NERA Releases Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation

16 June 2009

16 June 2009/New York -- NERA Economic Consulting, a leading global provider of economic advice and analysis in business, legal, and regulatory matters, today released, Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation, a report analyzing trends in asbestos filings and settlements, in light of legislative and judicial tort reform over the past several years.

The report, co-authored by NERA Senior Vice President and Mass Torts and Product Liability Practice Chair Lucy P. Allen, and Vice President Mary Elizabeth C. Stern, reviews asbestos-related claims over the period of 2001 to 2008 for 150 solvent defendants who report claims in their public filings.

Snapshot of Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation found that aggregate trends are generally favorable to asbestos defendants. In particular the authors found that:

  • Asbestos claim filings are down-average claim filings peaked in 2003 and have since fallen 84% through 2008. This drop in filings corresponds to the enactment of legislative and judicial tort reforms in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Dismissal rates are up-dismissal rates of asbestos cases have steadily increased since 2001 and were three times higher in 2008 than in 2001.
  • Total indemnity payments are down-the total indemnity payments, the aggregated amount a company pays to resolve claims each year, increased approximately 33% each year from 2001 through 2004. In 2005, indemnity payments began to decline, on average, and have now dropped back to 2002 levels.

About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting ( is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For more than six decades, we have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real-world industry experience to issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation.

NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world’s largest economic consultancies. Continuing our legacy as the first international economic consultancy, NERA serves clients from major cities across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.