Lex Machina’s 2020 Insurance Report looks at trends and insights in federal district court litigation. The first section of the report features Federal District Court data from 2010 to 2019, with a focus on the last five years. The second section of the report focuses on March through June of 2020 in order to examine the impact of COVID-19 on insurance litigation.
Impacts of COVID-19:
- Lex Machina is tracking cases caused by the COVID-19 crisis by tagging cases in the system with a COVID-19 tag. Out of the 4,114 Insurance cases filed in March through June of 2020, 418 were caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Insurance case filings in Q2 of 2020 increased 20% over Q1. While case filings do tend to increase between Q1 and Q2 each year, the increase was particularly pronounced in 2020.
- Insurance cases were up 14% in 2020 compared to 2019, and business interruption (up 300%) and business liability cases (up 9%) were a large reason for that increase.
- Comparing March through June of 2019 against March through June of 2020, there was a drop in all findings activity except summary judgments, which were up 3%. There were three fewer trials in 2020 than 2019; however, trials were already down significantly in 2019 from the previous years.
- Over the last decade, Insurance case filings fluctuated between about 8,000 and 11,000 cases per year. There was a bump in case filings in 2013 and 2014 that was at least partially due to an increase in hurricane-related cases in those years. Between 2016 and 2019, Insurance case filings increased 28%.
- The Southern District of Texas had the most Insurance case filings from 2015 to 2019. More than half of those cases were homeowners insurance cases and about one-third were hurricane-related cases, likely due to Hurricane Harvey.
- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company saw the most cases with over 2,000 Insurance cases. Of those cases, the company appeared as a defendant 94% of the time.
- Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons filed the most Insurance cases with 1,143 cases, nearly always appearing for defendants.
- Pandit Law Firm was second with 1,119 cases, where it appeared for plaintiffs in all but two cases.
Legal Analytics is used for planning, forecasting, and litigation strategy. The metrics in this report may help readers examine who to pursue as clients, how long a matter may take, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data in order to gain a competitive edge in litigation.
Lex Machina hosted a webcast about the report on September 10, 2020 with report author Ron Porter and Nicholas Reuhs, partner at Ice Miller. To view a recording of the event visit here.
To request a copy of the report, click here.
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