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Trend of fewer federal products-liability cases

Far-sighted managers of law departments look at trends to gauge future spending, types of work anticipated, technology investments, and staffing needs. For example, as reported in Counsel to Counsel, May 2006 at 15, federal lawsuits filed under Nature of Suit 365, the designation for personal injury-products liability, show a dramatic rise and fall over six years.

Based on eyeballing the article’s chart, I estimate the number of these cases filed rose from 6,000 in 2001 to 13,000 in 2002, up to 17,000 in 2003 and peaked at 27,000 in 2004, before sliding to 24,000 last year. It may be, according to the article, that one or two massive families of suits, such as the thousands that alleged harms from Baycol, fen-phen, or Firestone tires, cause most of the bulges and shrinkages.

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