Center for America

Speaker's Resource: 6. Punitive Damages, p 6

 

 

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Key Reference Citations (KRC)

 

Trends in Punitive Damage Awards, Continued

Washington Legal Foundation, 1992 Study

  • The Washington Legal Foundation’s 1992 study compared punitive awards in business-related cases in four large states (California, Texas, Illinois and New York) for the years 1968-1971 and 1988-1991.

 

  • In the first four-year period, there were a total of 73 punitive damage verdicts.  In the second four-year period, there were 401 punitive damage verdicts. The stuffy found that total punitive damages had grown from less than $800,000 in the first four-year period, to more than $312 million in the later four-year period.  

  • The average award in the first period was only $1,080 while the average award in the second period was $778,000 - nearly equal to the entire amount of punitive damages awarded during the first four-year period.”  (Washington Legal Foundation study as cited by www.pacificresearch.orgPunitive Damages in California: A Review and Comparison of the Evidence”, March 1996)

Rand Institute for Civil Justice

The RAND Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice conducted a comparison of jury verdicts in Cook County, Illinois and San Francisco County.  

  • “RAND has gathered verdicts in four-year increments from both jurisdictions, starting with the 1960-1964 period.  Since 1960. RAND has identified 396 punitive damage awards in the two jurisdictions.  Table 2 below displays the average, median and total punitive damages awarded in each jurisdiction.”

 

  • “Table 2 indicates that there is a large variance between average and median awards. This variance highlights the unpredictability of punitive damage amounts.” (Rand Institute for Civil Justice  study as cited by www.pacificresearch.orgPunitive Damages in California: A Review and Comparison of the Evidence”, March 1996)

 

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