With the COVID-19 outbreak shuttering courts nationwide, defense lawyers and insurers are likely to enjoy a respite from the much-ballyhooed spate of multimillion dollar “nuclear verdicts” that have sent waves of lobbyists to state legislatures hoping to stem the tide.

Insurers have noted a general trend over the years of “social inflation” driving up jury awards. In a transcript of a January earnings call, Travelers Insurance CEO Alan Schnitzer cited “headwinds from a challenging tort environment” as one factor that had impacted company profits.

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