As it continues to expand its legal analytics into new practice areas, Lex Machina is today announcing the addition of analytics for federal product liability litigation. The new module is the largest expansion of the platform to date, it says, encompassing nearly 500,000 cases pending since 2009, including 158,000 open cases.

Since launching with its initial focus on intellectual property and its acquisition by LexisNexis, Lex Machina has added modules for securities, antitrust, commercial litigation, employment and bankruptcy.

Like those other modules, the new products liability module uses data derived from court dockets to provide insights and show trends in areas such as case timing, resolutions, findings, and damages for injuries caused by product defects.

Among the case types covered are aircraft, asbestos, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and vehicles. It also includes subrogation cases, in which a third-party, such as an insurance company, takes over the case on behalf of the plaintiff.

Some 91 percent of federal product liability cases since 2009 are part of a multi-district litigation, LexMachina says. In MDL matters, the module will allow users to filter out the “noise” of associated cases and focus only on the master case, if they choose, or include the associated cases.

Among some of the key insights LexMachina found in the product liability data:

  • More than 10,300 vehicle-related cases have been brought since 2009. Last year saw the largest number of these cases filed (2,226 cases).
  • The three district courts with the most product liability cases since 2009, representing 58 percent of all filings nationwide, are the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (29 percent), Southern District of West Virginia (21 percent), and Eastern District of Louisiana (8 percent).
  • Asbestos-related filings made up over 140,000 cases pending since 2009 – 97 percent of which were filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Products Liability Webcast Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I will moderate an Above the Law webcast that will discuss emerging trends in products liability litigation and provide an introduction to Lex Machina’s products liability analytics. Panelists will be:

  • Eric Falkenberry, partner at DLA Piper and experienced litigator in product liability cases.
  • Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel at LexMachina.

The program is tomorrow, Nov. 14, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.