The Cook Group Legal Litigation Attorneys

2019 Asbestos Lawsuits Remained Numerically Consistent, Geographically Consolidated


  1. The number of asbestos lawsuits in 2019 remained steady from 2017 and 2018.
  2. The jurisdictions where The Cook Group focuses its practice—New York City and Madison County, IL—once again hosted the majority of mesothelioma claims filed nationwide.
  3. Lung cancer cases across the country rose in number, due largely to a substantial increase of cases filed in St. Clair County, IL.

According to data provided in the latest KCIC Industry Report, the number of asbestos lawsuits filed across the nation in 2019 remained consistent with recent years.

KCIC, a technology and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., prepares the annual report to provide an overview of asbestos litigation across the country. The firm examines roughly 90% of the complaints filed nationwide that involving a claim of an asbestos-related injury.

For the most part, the report found that not much had shifted from recent years. In terms of mesothelioma claims, Madison County, IL, and New York, NY, held their places as the top two jurisdictions. As for all cases alleging an asbestos-related disease, Madison County saw 1,150 total complaints, which was far and away the most filings in any jurisdiction. New York City had 314 cases filed, which was the third most in the nation. St. Louis, MO, was ranked fifth on the list with 234 filings, and Cook County, IL, came in eighth with 132 complaints.

Perhaps the most noticeable trend in 2019 involved the continued rise of asbestos-related filings in St. Clair County, IL. Due in large part to lung cancer cases filed by the Gori Law Firm, St. Clair County was the second-busiest docket in the nation with 359 cases. St. Clair County had only the fifth-highest number of claims as recently as 2017 (fourth-highest number in 2018). According to the report, lung cancer cases generally are becoming more prominent, as they accounted for 33% of asbestos lawsuits in 2019 as opposed to 25% of such suits in 2018.

Although the number of asbestos-related lawsuits has remained consistent over the past several years, it is possible that the COVID-19 outbreak will have an adverse impact on 2020 filings. That said, we at The Cook Group have adapted our practice to continue serving our clients and insurance carriers as effectively as ever in New York, Illinois, Missouri, and the other states in which we practice.

If you have questions about the KCIC report or filing trends in Illinois and Missouri, feel free to contact the attorneys in The Cook Group's St. Louis office.