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This report analyzes characteristics of individual claims that explain variation in compensation and expenses. The first section describes the research approach and sketches the tangled context in which spending occurs for asbestos product liability litigation. Section II presents data on the characteristics of closed claims and on the actual compensation paid and expenses incurred by plaintiffs, defendants, and insurers in 1980-1982. Section III focuses on explaining the variation in total compensation. Sections IV, V, and VI, respectively, analyze claim characteristics that help explain why certain claims receive no compensation, identify which claims proceed to trial instead of being closed before trial, and identify which claims result in punitive awards. Sections VII and VIII analyze the variations in defense and plaintiff litigation expenses. Finally, Section IX totals the expenditures and examines the ratio between litigation expense payments and net compensation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.