Class Actions and Mass Torts
By shifting the focus of the class action debate to improving the way these suits are litigated, antagonists can find common ground
Long a matter of controversy, public debate about class action lawsuits was reinvigorated in 1991 when the Civil Rules Advisory Committee took up the issue of whether mass tort lawsuits should be certified as class actions. As the issue mushroomed into an ideological debate about the social purposes of class actions, the rule reform process was brought to a halt.
In 1996, a team of ICJ researchers began an effort to describe the current landscape of class actions for money damages and to study the practices and outcomes of these suits. The result was Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain, a comprehensive, book-length study published in 2000.
The ICJ's next phase of research into aggregated forms of litigation will focus on new developments in mass torts and class action practice such as multi-district litigation status, social policy class actions, and international class actions.
Economic Effects of Product Liability and Other Litigation Involving the Safety and Effectiveness of Pharmaceuticals — 2013
Liability effects on the economic performance of the pharmaceutical industry play a prominent role in the debate about the economic effects of product liability in the United States. The author analyzes incentive effects on company decisions, implications for economic outcomes such as drug safety and effectiveness, and suggests how public policy changes could mitigate liability-based sources of inefficient decisions of pharmaceutical companies.
This collection of essays by leading legal scholars is the first book to approach the issue of confidentiality in the legal system in a multidisciplinary, nonpartisan, and empirical manner. The essays provide empirical analyses and case studies of the impact of greater disclosure on various aspects of the system, ranging from settlement values to fraud, and propose several novel prescriptions for reform.
This research brief provides an overview of a collection of essays, a collaborative project by the UCLA-RAND Center for Law and Public Policy, examining the trade-offs between transparency and confidentiality in the civil justice system.
This report reviews the court proceedings that led to the uncovering of abusive diagnostic practices in silica litigation, then identifies several areas in which changes in litigation practices and procedures could increase the likelihood that similar diagnosing practices would be uncovered in the future or prevented from occurring in the first place.
A Framework for Analyzing Influences and Outcomes of Mass Litigation Episodes in the United States — 2009
Proposes a conceptual framework for analyzing the roles of social, institutional, economic and legal factors that affect or are affected by mass litigation.
While a class action such as one brought under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 is certainly the most well-known mechanism for aggregating large numbers of similar claims, other approaches include mass joinder of parties, mass consolidation of separate cases, or multidistrict litigation transfer of federal cases from across the country into a single action for pretrial processing; corporate reorganizations under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code; large-scale inventories of clients controlled by a single attorney; government-initiated enforcement actions; and private attorneys general litigation brought on behalf of the general public.
Examines the relation between regulation and class actions in the insurance industry.
This research brief describes characteristics of more than 700 class action cases against large U.S. insurers -- trends in claims, their allegations, and their outcomes -- including the vast majority of cases that never become certified as a class.
Class actions, which are civil cases in which parties initiate a lawsuit on behalf of other plaintiffs not specifically named in the complaint, often make headlines and arouse policy debates. However, policymakers and the public know little about most class actions. This book presents the results of surveys of insurers and of state departments of insurance to learn more about class litigation against insurance companies.
Asbestos Litigation — 2005
Asbestos litigation is the longest-running mass tort litigation in U.S.history. Through 2002, approximately 730,000 individuals have brought claims against some 8,400 business entities, and defendants and insurers have spent a total of $70 billion on litigation. Building on previous RAND briefings, the authors report on what happened to those who have claimed injury from asbestos, what happened to the defendants in those cases, and how lawyers and judges have managed the cases.
Fashioning a National Resolution of Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation: A Reply to Professor Brickman — 2004
Fashioning a National Resolution of Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation: A Reply to Professor Brickman
The number of asbestos claims filed annually, the number and types of firms named as defendants in asbestos litigation, and the costs of the litigation to those defendants have all risen sharply in recent years. Given these trends, the authors examine the dimensions of asbestos litigation: How many claims have been filed? By whom? Against whom? For what kinds of conditions? At what cost and with what economic effects? And, if current trends continue, what will be the future costs of the litigation?
Revisiting the Monster: New Myths and Realities of Class Action and Other Large Scale Litigation — 2002
She extends her consideration of mass tort litigation to include what she terms "the new social policy torts": suits against tobacco companies, firearms manufacturers, and managed care organizations that are intended to change public policy.
This briefing documents the first phase of a new study on asbestos litigation, now the longest-running mass tort litigation in U.S. history.
In this article, the authors explore alternative strategies for class-action reform aimed at improving the cost-benefit ratio of damage class actions.
Class action lawsuits -- allowing one or a few plaintiffs to represent many who seek redress -- have long been controversial.
Safety in the Skies: Personnel and Parties in NTSB Aviation Accident Investigations-Master Volume — 2000
Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, RAND used a variety of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to assess the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) operations and processes.
In this report, RAND outlines a comprehensive set of recommendations intended to help the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) strengthen the party process, create a more expansive statement of causation, modernize investigative procedures, streamline internal operating procedures, better manage resources, maintain a strategic view of staffing, streamline training practices, improve facilities for engineering and training.
Class action lawsuits-allowing one or a few plaintiffs to represent many who seek redress-have long been controversial.
Individuals within the aggregate : relationships, representation, and fees
A glass half full, a glass half empty : the use of alternative dispute resolution in mass personal injury litigation — 1995
A glass half full, a glass half empty : the use of alternative dispute resolution in mass personal injury litigation
The civil justice system has not responded well to the challenge of handling mass torts, and many innovations have been proposed to improve processing of these cases.
Since the early 1980s, thinking about mass toxic torts has changed dramatically, and a consensus has emerged calling for substantial modifications in traditional court processes to improve the efficiency and equity of the mass claims resolution proce...
Presents the Institute for Civil Justice's (ICJ) agenda for a program of research on mass tort litigation, and the results of ICJ work to date.