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January 29, 2014

ILR Report Identifies New Lawsuit Trends, Key Lawsuit ‘Players’ and Examines Growing AG-Plaintiffs’ Bar Alliances

What are the new trends in American litigation? Where are opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers prospecting for lawsuit gold? Why are some state attorneys general cozying up to the plaintiffs’ bar?

These key questions, and more, are examined in a new ILR report — The New Lawsuit Ecosystem – Trends, Targets, and Players.

The report, authored by a distinguished group of practitioners, examines the developing lawsuit “ecosystem” and areas of litigation of most concern to the business community. 

“This broad look at the lawsuit ecosystem demonstrates that litigation abuse remains a multi-billion dollar industry with plaintiffs’ lawyers constantly searching for new profit centers,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “Abusive lawsuits rarely benefit anyone other than the lawyers who file them, and drain millions of dollars from business expansion and the creation of new jobs.” 

The report starts by examining trends and offering insights into the six core areas of America’s lawsuit industry: class actions, mass torts, asbestos, securities and mergers and acquisitions, false claims act, and wage and hour litigation.

The second part of the report delves into the areas of law where entrepreneurial plaintiffs’ lawyers have been prospecting for new liability:

  • Class actions against food makers alleging misleading advertising;
  • Data privacy suits against businesses over allegations that they inadvertently violated released or misused customer information;
  • Claims against brand-name drug manufacturers for injuries allegedly stemming solely from generic products they did not make or sell;
  • “Patent troll” litigation in which companies are formed solely to sue innovators and their customers over often bogus claims of patent infringement; and
  • Speculative theories of liability seeking to recover for risks of harm or“economic loss,” not actual injuries.


The third part looks at the increasingly troubling trend of state attorneys general turning over the keys to their offices and litigation powers to private plaintiffs’ lawyers.
 

The New Lawsuit Ecosystem also identifies the industries most frequently targeted by emerging theories of liability, and for the first time names the individual plaintiffs’ lawyers behind the litigation. 

View the report here.

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