On Thursday, KCIC posted their 2023 Mid-Year Asbestos Filings Update. This update is compiled using information collected through July 31. Here are some highlights from the update:
Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Increase After Last Year’s Decrease
The number of asbestos-related lawsuits decreased from 2021 (1,972) to 2022 (1,922). However, 2023 shows an increase in the number of filings over the same span (1,963). In addition, the number of filings in 2023 is down from the high point of the last five years in 2019 (2,191).
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Claims Continue to Rise
As in 2022, mesothelioma and lung cancer filings continue to make up the majority of filings this year (91 percent). However, both the total number of mesothelioma and lung cancer cases have increased from last year. Specifically, the number of mesothelioma cases in 2022 (51 percent) rose in 2023 (54 percent). In addition, the number of lung cancer cases in 2022 (35 percent) rose in 2023 (37percent). Other cancer, non-malignant and unknown disease cases have fallen (9 percent) as compared to last year’s data (14 percent).
Most of the Top 10 Jurisdictions Saw an Increase in Filings
Madison (IL), St. Clair (IL), and New York (NY) counties continue to be the top three jurisdictions for asbestos filings, respectively. Philadelphia County (PA) is now the jurisdiction with the fourth-highest filings, jumping Wayne County (MI), which fell to eighth. St. Louis (MO), Cook (IL), and Los Angeles (CA) counties hold the fifth to seventh positions in the list. Middlesex (NJ) and Kanawha (WV) Counties round out the top 10 jurisdictions.
New York County experienced the highest increase of filings since 2022 (31.2 percent). The following jurisdictions in the top 10 also experienced filing increases: Madison (5.6 percent), St. Clair (9.7 percent), St. Louis (10.5 percent), Cook (28.6 percent), Los Angeles (9.8 percent), and Kanawha (9.5 percent). Wayne County experienced the highest decrease of filings since 2022 (-51.8 percent). Philadelphia (-13.6 percent) and Middlesex (-13.8 percent) were the other jurisdictions in the top 10 that also saw decreases in filings.
Significant Increases and Decreases in the Top 10 Plaintiffs Firms
The top five plaintiffs’ firms with the highest number of filings remains unchanged from 2023. The Gori Law Firm saw a 9.9 percent increase in filings in 2023 (334) as opposed to 2022 (304). Weitz & Luxenberg maintained the second spot on the list while experiencing a 9.2 percent decrease in filings in 2023 (198) as opposed to 2022 (218). Simmons Hanly Conroy (5.5 percent) and Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd (3.2 percent) both experienced single-digit increases, while SWMW Law, LLC experienced a 14.3 percent decrease in filings.
Notably, the firms in the fifth through ninth positions experienced significant increases: Meirowitz & Wasserberg (50 percent), Belluck & Fox (96.6 percent), Brayton Purcell (67.9 percent), and Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC (61.5 percent). Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC rounded out the top 10 Plaintiffs firms with a decrease in filings by 23.6 percent.
The Asbestos Case Tracker will continue to monitor the significant trends in asbestos litigation nationwide.