On April 2, 2018, Lex Machina released key findings from its first annual Product Liability Litigation report. This extensive report includes data from more than 400,000 product liability cases across the nation between 2009 and 2017. Covering both multi-district litigation (MDL) and non-MDL cases, the report focuses most on claims involving pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Types of Product Liability Cases

According to the report, more than 289,200 product liability cases involving medical devices or pharmaceuticals have been filed in District Court since 2009. Almost all of these cases were settled or resolved procedurally, rather than decided on the merits of the case. It is rare for product liability cases involving medical devices and pharmaceutical products to be litigated all the way through to court award of damages.

The second-most popular type of product liability cases were those involving asbestos. Although asbestos case filings have steadily declined from thousands to hundreds from 2009 to 2017, there were more than 87,300 asbestos-related cases filed across the nation during this period.

California’s Data

The report recognizes that three districts across the U.S. tied for the largest percent (5%) of non-MDL product liability claim filings between 2009 and 2017: Central District of California, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and District of New Jersey. Central District of California and Eastern District of Louisiana are tied at 6% for the most non-MDL-associated pharmaceutical or medical device case filings, while New Jersey leads this category with 8%.

Owen Byrd, the General Counsel and Chief Evangelist at Lex Machina, stated, “Every year, the number of product liability cases filed in District Court consistently outpaces the combined case filings for patent, commercial, employment, trademark, copyright, antitrust, securities, and bankruptcy appeals. Of those product liability cases, medical device and pharmaceutical litigation accounts for the lion’s share of all filings, which is why we’ve chosen to feature this sector in our first annual report.”

Help When You Need It

As more pharmaceutical products and medical devices hit the market, there is always the potential that these products will be defective or cause you harm in some way. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury because of a faulty product, contact Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation in Murrieta today at (951) 489-3320. We offer free consultations and will do everything we can to secure you the compensation you deserve.