The latest report from the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform highlights litigation trends from across the country, and not surprisingly New Jersey is cast in an unfavorable light. New Jersey is noted as a hot spot for asbestos bankruptcy trust fraud and false claims act litigation. In addition, the report claims New Jersey is second only to California in the number of food related class action suits filed in the state, thanks largely to our state’s 6 year statute of limitations.
ILR summarizes the report as follows:
[The New Lawsuit Ecosystem – Trends, Targets, and Players] starts by examining trends and offering insights into the six core areas of America’s lawsuit industry: class actions, mass torts, asbestos, securities and mergers and acquisitions, false claims act, and wage and hour litigation.
The second part of the report delves into the areas of law where entrepreneurial plaintiffs’ lawyers have been prospecting for new liability:
• Class actions against food makers alleging misleading advertising;
• Data privacy suits against businesses over allegations that they inadvertently violated released or misused customer information;
• Claims against brand-name drug manufacturers for injuries allegedly stemming solely from generic products they did not make or sell;
• “Patent troll” litigation in which companies are formed solely to sue innovators and their customers over often bogus claims of patent infringement; and
• Speculative theories of liability seeking to recover for risks of harm or “economic loss,” not actual injuries.
The third part looks at the increasingly troubling trend of state attorneys general turning over the keys to their offices and litigation powers to private plaintiffs’ lawyers…
The New Lawsuit Ecosystem also identifies the industries most frequently targeted by emerging theories of liability, and for the first time names the individual plaintiffs’ lawyers behind the litigation.