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Number of Mass Tort Suits Falling, WSJ reports

A thorough report in the Wall St. Journal, entitled "Plaintiffs' Lawsuits Against Companies Sharply Decline" [subscription required to view] notes that in recent months, judges have dismissed or challenged tens of thousands of cases in matters ranging from claims of lung damage from asbestos and silica dust to allegations that the diet drug fen-phen caused heart problems. Moreover, fewer new claims like these are being launched, as state and federal courts and legislators attack the methods used to round up plaintiffs for mass tort litigation.

There is no reliable count of claims, but a look at several key areas -- particularly asbestos and silica claims -- shows large-scale litigation against single products is on the wane.

This year, new securities-fraud class-action lawsuits are down 45%, to 61 through June from 111 in the first half of 2005, according to a study mentioned in the article. This all looks to be (positive) fallout from District Judge Jack's rebuke of phony silicosis cases.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.