Number of Federal Tort Trials Fell by Almost 80 Percent from 1985 through 2003

The number of tort trials concluded in U.S. district courts declined by nearly  80 percent – from 3,600 trials in 1985 to fewer than 800 trials in 2003, the Department of Justice’s  Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.  Approximately nine out of 10 tort trials involved  personal injury issues – most frequently, product liability, motor vehicle (accident), marine and medical  malpractice cases. The percentage of tort cases concluded by trial in U.S. district courts has also  declined from 10 percent in the early 1970s to 2 percent in 2003. 

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