Today Lex Machina is announcing the release of a new module which covers federal product liability litigation. The Products liability addition of 500,000 cases pending since 2009 represents the largest expansion of the Lex Machina platform since its launch in 2006.

This data set more than doubles the number of cases which can be analyzed by subscribers.

Products liability module will provide the same trends in case timing, resolutions, findings, and damages for injuries caused by product defects, including medical devices/pharmaceuticals, vehicles, aircraft, asbestos, and more. It also includes third party subrogation cases where entities such as insurance companies take over the case on behalf of the plaintiff.

Challenges of Multi- District Litigation. The majority (91%, or 454,166 cases) of federal product liability cases pending since 2009 are part of a multi-district litigation (MDL) – a procedure where cases around the country involving the same incident (or complex set of facts) are transferred and combined into the MDL proceeding for discovery and pretrial. Lex Machina has tagged all of these cases so they can be filtered out of the results in one click. This technique allows researchers to easily compare the data involving only the master case, with the data including all the MDL cases included. Researchers can easily determine whether a presiding judge has expertise with MDL cases, and provides actual judicial rulings about expert witness admissibility.

Products Liability Damages and Findings Tags. According to the press release, Lex Machina interviewed top product liability attorneys to better understand their needs and incorporated their feedback directly into the new offering. As a result, Lex Machina has added 11 new damages tags, including wrongful death/disfigurement, property damange, lost profits and medical expenses; and 24 new findings, including breach of warranty, defective product, negligence and consumer protection law violations. Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics is the only platform that incorporates these unique filters into its offering.

Among some of the key product liability insights found within the data, include:

  • More than 10,300 vehicle-related product liability cases have been pending since 2009. Last year saw the largest number of vehicle-related product liability cases filed (2,226 cases).
  • The top three district courts for product liability cases pending since 2009, representing 58% of all filings, are: Eastern District of Pennsylvania (29%), Southern District of West Virginia (21%), and Eastern District of Louisiana (8%).
  • Asbestos-related filings made up over 140,000 cases pending since 2009 – 97% of which were filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Legal Analytics for Product Liability Litigation Webcast

On November 14 and 9:30 PST, 12 EST, Lex Machina is hosting a Products Liability Litigation webcast will feature Bob Ambrogi, renown legal tech blogger and Above The Law columnist will introduce the new module, along with with Eric Falkenberry, partner at DLA Piper, and Lex Machina’s chief evangelist and general counsel, Owen Byrd. Register for for the webinar