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In their fourteenth annual review of asbestos-related liabilities reported in companies’ 10-Ks, NERA Director Mary Elizabeth C. Stern and Managing Director Lucy P. Allen use publicly available data to analyze trends in asbestos-related liabilities spanning from 2008 to 2021.

Highlights from this report included:

  • After falling for six years, new claim filings increased slightly in 2021.
  • Average dollars per resolved claim increased for a fourth year, up 23% in 2021, with a cumulative increase over the past four years of 125%.
  • Although the increase in total payments was smaller (only 3% in 2021), total payments reached the upper end of their historical range.
  • Even as average dollars and total payments increased, reserves continued to decline, dropping for a third year.
  • Dismissal rates, which had reached a plateau in 2020, declined again in 2021, continuing a general trend of declining dismissal rates that began in 2016. At the same time, the number of resolutions continued to fall, erasing the one-year increase observed in 2020.

In addition to reviewing 10-Ks, the authors collect data from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program on the incidence of mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States. The authors found after falling 14% over the 2016–2018 period and reaching its lowest level since 2010, mesothelioma incidence increased 6% in 2019 (the most recent data available).

Please contact the authors if you would like NERA to analyze your asbestos data in conjunction with that of other public companies in a benchmarking study.

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