According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly 20 million lawsuits are filed every year in the U.S. Many of these lawsuits are regarded as "frivolous," meaning they have little merit based on facts. Frivolous lawsuits typically have the intent to intimidate defendants and seek cash settlements instead of a trial.
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a proponent of lawsuit abuse reform and sponsor of the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2011 that addresses meritless litigation, says the annual direct cost of U.S. tort litigation exceeds $250 billion.
Why so many lawsuits?
The reasons for the overwhelming lawsuit numbers are widespread. Creative lawyers have expanded the liability theory to include "what you could or should have done to foresee the damage that occurred to my client."