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1 Big Thing: Mass Tort Advertising Surge Driven by Third-Party Litigation Funding

By Triple-I Editorial Team ● Jan 22, 2024

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are increasingly using the airwaves and social media to seek clients for mass tort cases. This trend mirrors a rise in mass product liability and personal injury cases driven by third-party litigation funding, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The big picture: The surge in advertising to recruit plaintiffs for mass tort cases is being driven by third-party investors, particularly private-equity firms and hedge funds, who see potential for lucrative returns in funding these large volumes of lawsuits.

  • Highway billboard advertising is another common tactic used by trial attorneys to recruit plaintiffs for mass tort and personal injury cases, generating opportunities for legal system abuse, according to Triple-I. 

By the numbers:

  • Nearly 800,000 television advertisements for mass tort cases ran in 2023, costing over $160 million.
  • Ad spending reached nearly $300 million on television spots in 2019 when lawsuits targeting Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer were gaining momentum.
  • More than $106 million was spent by the 10 biggest digital legal advertisers in 2023, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • $20 million to $100 million is the average range of loans being provided to individual law firms from third-party litigation funders, with prospective returns as much as 20% for riskier mass tort litigation.
  • 24% increase in federal civil cases filed in 2023, driven by a rise in mass tort lawsuits.

What they’re saying: “In almost all the mass tort cases, you can find big law firms that have taken it (third-party litigation funding), or if they haven’t, they’ve considered it,” said Michael McDonald, a partner with Morning Investments, a financial advisory firm.

Go deeper: Read Triple-I’s report on how third-party litigation funding impacts the pricing and affordability of insurance.

  • Visit Triple-I’s legal system abuse and social inflation knowledge hub.
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