Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation: 2018 Update

Wed Jun 27 16:06:00 UTC 2018
Mary Elizabeth C. Stern and Lucy P. Allen

In NERA’s tenth annual review of asbestos-related litigation, Director Mary Elizabeth C. Stern and Managing Director Lucy P. Allen examine a dataset of more than 150 asbestos defendants, reporting on the latest trends and new findings.

2018 Highlights:

  • After increasing in 2016, average dollars per resolved claim pulled back in 2017 (falling 5%), although values remained higher, on average, than in 2015.
  • The number of claims resolved and average dismissal rates both declined for the second year in a row, dropping 29% and 14%, respectively, over the two-year period.
  • Total indemnity payments decreased slightly, falling 8%, but remained within the range observed historically.
  • Reserves, which had increased slightly over the prior two years, were flat in 2017.
  • New claim filings fell, on average, marking the third year of declines (for a cumulative decline of 19%), but the magnitude of the declines remained much smaller than those observed during the mid-2000s.