Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation: 2016 Update

Wed Jun 22 00:00:00 EDT 2016
Mary Elizabeth C. Stern and Lucy P. Allen

In an annual review of recent trends in filings and settlements in asbestos litigation, NERA Director Mary Elizabeth C. Stern and Managing Director Lucy P. Allen use publicly available data to analyze trends in asbestos-related liabilities for more than 150 companies. Incorporating the 2015 data, the authors observed that:

  • Average dollars per resolved claim dropped by 35%, compared to the previous year;
  • The number of claims resolved and the average dismissal rates increased, while the number of claims pending declined;
  • Total indemnity payments fell slightly but remained within their historical range; and
  • Reserves were only slightly lower than the previous year’s levels, essentially ending a four-year decline.

These trends point to continued stability in the asbestos litigation environment, with filings, total indemnity spending, and reserves remaining steady. Against a backdrop of relative stability, however, is some uncertainty around future valuations. Read this year’s report to learn more about our findings and analysis.