'They're Just Killing Us'

ALM Law.com
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The plaintiffs bar is obtaining nuclear settlements through skillful manipulation of juries, said Robert Tyson, who has sought to rally the defense bar against rising verdicts and settlements.… It is a concept coined “social inflation,” according to the Defense Research Institute, which represents civil defense attorneys.

… But the institute’s “social inflation” claim has pushback from the Consumer Federation of America, and the Center for Justice and Democracy, which said the concept is merely a means to higher insurance premiums and to advance restrictions on consumers’ legal rights.

“It takes two sides to settle a case,” said Joanne Doroshow, who co-authored a related report and is the executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy.

“So let me get this straight—corporations are complaining that they and their insurance carriers are voluntarily settling cases for amounts that are too high?” Doroshow said. “If they really believe that, they should fire their apparently incompetent lawyers.”

The authors of the report claim that corporate and insurance lawyers have used the term “to cover a number of wildly disconnected things” to justify a loss.

The report cites “#MeToo and child sexual abuse claims; lawyer advertising and case funding; securities class actions; millennials as jurors; and verdicts in worsening truck crashes.”

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