WSJ Talks to Behrens About Transparency in Mass Tort Advertising

The Wall Street Journal reported on the rise in mass torts and spoke to Shook Partner Mark Behrens for perspective, “Inside the Mass-Tort Machine That Powers Thousands of Roundup Lawsuits.” The process to acquire plaintiffs often includes the use of marketing companies, call centers, and television and online advertising.

Behrens explained to the WSJ that often television lawyers who “pass on clients to bigger firms are building inventory without close scrutiny being given to the claims that they have filed, and hoping that hard work by other lawyers will lead to a mass settlement that will allow them to cash in.”

Advertising dollars for mass-tort lawsuits have soared from just a few million in 2017 to more than $20 million in 2019.

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform estimates that plaintiffs’ lawyers collected $77 billion in fees on tort cases in 2016, which is divided between companies and plaintiffs.

Behrens co-leads Shook’s Public Policy Practice and has been involved in civil justice issues, liability law and defense litigation for more than 25 years.