Characteristics of Litigations Involving Contact Dermatitis: An Exploratory Analysis

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Journal Article

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Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug




Contact dermatitis (CD) is one of the most common skin disorders, occurring in >20% of patients worldwide. Estimated cost burden for CD in the United States approaches $1 billion annually. To describe characteristics of litigation among patients with CD. Westlaw legal database for U.S. lawsuits was queried for lawsuits between the years 1983 and 2021 containing the keywords "dermatitis or eczema." Each lawsuit associated with CD was analyzed by plaintiff demographics, verdict, prosecution reason, payouts, and allergen implicated. Of 98 cases, 61 met the inclusion criteria. Verdicts issued favored plaintiffs (42.6%) more than defendants (32.8%) with the remaining cases decided through settlements. If payout occurred, the mean was $246,310 (standard deviation [SD] = $798,536), the median was $20,000 (Q1 = $8,500, Q3 = $88,725, interquartile range = $80,225). The top reason for litigation was toxic exposure ( = 38, 62.2%), and common contact allergens associated with lawsuits were latex ( = 4, 20%), surgical tape ( = 4, 20%), and beauty products ( = 4, 20%). Common allergens associated with lawsuits include latex, surgical tape, and beauty products. Most CD cases adjudicated in the United States since 1983 are associated with toxic exposures.


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