The Bureau of Justice Statistics has just released a new study (along with the data) of the tort activity in Federal courts. Click on the figure to see the decline in the number of tort cases decided in Federal courts. The report is just descriptive--it does not offer much in the way of analysis, but it is quite interesting nonetheless.
Check out the median med mal awards and note the spike in 2003. (Recall it is the average award that really matters to insurers). Note also that plaintiffs receive compensation in only 28 percent of the cases.