David Yates Jan. 4, 2016, 5:15pm


Southeast Texas trial lawyers feasted on automobile collision lawsuits in 2015, filing several hundred in the Jefferson County District Clerk’s Office.

In all, 1,431 lawsuits were filed in the office, slightly down from last year’s total of 1,457, according to courthouse records.

Of the 1,431 suits filed last year, nearly a quarter (334) of the cases were personal injury lawsuits involving an automobile.

Several Beaumont attorneys, such as Jonathan Juhan and Clay Dugas for example, advertise heavily in Southeast Texas in search of auto collision clients.

Around two-dozen of the suits filed in 2015 were toxic tort cases, court records show.

For the past three years, lawsuits filed in the District Clerk’s Office have hovered around the same mark, with area trial lawyers filing 1,311 petitions in 2013.

The year prior, Beaumont attorneys brought nearly 2,200 lawsuits in 2012, a good chunk of which were suits against insurance companies.

From 2005 thorough 2012, Jefferson County lawsuit totals have been bolstered by Hurricane Ike and Rita victims who sued their insurers.

Despite the spike from the hurricanes, as a whole civil filings continue to dip in the Lone Star state.

In March, the Office of Court Administration published its Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary. Data collected by the administration shows a 17 percent drop in civil filings from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2014.

Starting in 2003, Texas has passed numerous tort reform measures, which includes the passage of two bills in 2015 aimed at ending asbestos double dipping, in an effort to curtail frivolous litigation.

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