Consumer Protection case filings over the last three years declined steadily through the pandemic.
Lex Machina and LexisNexis release their Consumer Protection Litigation Report, which covers consumer protection litigation trends in federal district court. It focuses on the three-year period of 2018 to 2020 and includes emerging trends in data breach, class actions, unfair/deceptive trade practices, COVID-19 cases, and cases filed under the following important statutes:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
“Although overall consumer protection case filings appear relatively steady over the last ten years, focusing on individual claims reveals a different story,” said Laura Hopkins, Lex Machina’s Consumer Protection Legal Data Expert and author of the report. “Looking deeper into the analytics, there is a substantial increase in FCRA cases over the last 10 years, while FDCPA cases continue on a decline. The increase in FCRA case filings is likely the result of jurisdictional divides in case law and increased consumer ability to monitor their credit reports. The significant shifts in case filing trends for certain case types highlights the importance of looking at claim-specific data like we do in this report.”
Findings from the report include:
- Over the last decade, consumer protection case filings saw a modest peak in 2017 with 15,523 cases, but then declined 17% between 2017 and 2020, which only saw 12,922 case filings.
- Despite steady numbers overall, certain case types saw drastic increases and decreases. For example, FCRA claims nearly tripled over the last decade while FDCPA claims decreased 42%.
- The FTC tops the most active plaintiffs list with 157 cases filed in the last three years while the most active defendants are credit reporting companies that faced large numbers of FCRA claims.
- Atlas Consumer Law filed the most consumer protection lawsuits in the last three years with 2,509 cases.
- The most active defendants’ law firm was Jones Day with 2,970 cases.
- When looking at damages by type, the largest damages amount was for restitution damages, with nearly $5.5 billion that were most often part of consent judgments in FTC/CFPB Enforcement cases.
Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report may help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to file a particular motion, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.
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About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 17 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021), “Best Decision Management Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards, 2019), and “Disruptor of the Year” (Changing Lawyer Awards, 2019). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.