This research brief describes work documented in Understanding Mass Personal Injury Litigation: A Socio-Legal Analysis (RP-311).

Excerpt: The 1980s was the era of mass personal injury litigation. Hundreds of thousands of people sued scores of corporations for losses due to injuries or diseases that they attributed to catastrophic events, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, or toxic substances (see figure). Businesses and their insurers paid billions of dollars in indemnification; insurance, defense, and plaintiffs' lawyers received billions more. The specter of mass liability frightened insurers from some markets and manufacturers from research and development in some product lines.

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