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Civil Jury Cases and Verdicts in Large Counties

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1995
14 pages
C J DeFrances; S K Smith; P A Langan; B J Ostrom; D B Rottman; J A Goerdt
Publication Series
This report presents results from a survey of civil jury cases and verdicts in the Nation's 75 largest counties.
Over a year-long period ending June 30, 1992, juries in State general jurisdiction courts in the Nation's 75 largest counties decided an estimated 12,000 tort, contract, and real property rights cases. Thirty-three percent of these cases were automobile accident suits, 11 percent were medical malpractice, and 5 percent were product liability and toxic substance cases. Plaintiffs won 52 percent of the cases, and juries awarded these plaintiffs $2.7 billion in damages, of which 10 percent were punitive damages. The average time from the filing of the complaint to the jury verdict was 2.5 years. The majority of plaintiffs (88 percent) in jury cases were individuals, and half the defendants were businesses. Among jury tort cases, plaintiffs won in 74 percent of toxic substance cases, 60 percent of auto tort cases, 41 percent of product liability cases, and 30 percent of medical malpractice cases. During the 12 months, juries disposed of 360 product liability cases. Plaintiffs won 142 cases, and punitive damages were awarded in three of the cases. Of the 403 medical malpractice cases with a plaintiff winner, punitive damages were awarded in 13 cases. In four of them cases, the punitive damage award was more than $250,000. 13 tables

Date Created: June 25, 2018