WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today released new research spotlighting key emerging national and state legal reform trends. Lawsuit Ecosystem II: New Trends, Targets and Players is a large-scale survey of lawsuit trends, including the explosion of litigation exploiting a law intended to stop unsolicited telemarketing, and Laboratories of Tort Law: A Three-Year Review of Key Supreme Court Decisions examines how some recent state Supreme Court decisions pose challenges to the business community.

“Businesses across industries face an ever-widening spectrum of lawsuit abuse, as plaintiffs’ lawyers are perpetually identifying new profit centers,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of ILR. “Meanwhile, state high court decisions outside the mainstream are creating a continuous guessing game for the business community in terms of how states will enforce their laws.”

Lawsuit Ecosystem II updates a 2013 ILR paper detailing litigation trends, the growing alliance between state attorneys general and plaintiffs’ lawyers, and the industries most frequently targeted by emerging theories of liability. In particular, the update discusses the rapid rise of litigation exploiting the Telephone Consumer Protect Action (TCPA). According to the study, TCPA lawsuits are up 30 percent through September of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Laboratories of Tort Law discusses the impact of recent key state Supreme Court rulings on business, including an Alabama decision holding drugmakers liable for alleged injuries caused by products they did not manufacture. The paper also discusses Nevada and West Virginia decisions that unreasonably expand the duties of homeowners and businesses to protect visitors and even trespassers on their property from injury. The research also details a Wisconsin ruling in support of inflated personal injury awards.

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.