In Addition to Medicine, Corporate Entities Also Feeling the Sting of Nuclear Verdicts

April 21, 2024

On a national scale, the rise of multimillion dollar verdicts is being experienced in the corporate world, as well as in medicine. The median “nuclear” verdict for businesses rose to $44 million in 2023, up from $21 million in 2020. Nuclear verdicts are defined as judgments over $10 million.

This new analysis from a public affairs agency also reports that 2023 experienced a 15-year high with 89 lawsuits resulting in verdicts over $10 million, while 27 were classified as “thermonuclear” or more than $100 million. Missouri, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington were the states with the largest number of verdicts last year.

The analysis provides several factors for the increase in these mega verdicts, including social pessimism and erosion of tort reform. Another aspect that had a large influence on verdicts included shifts in jury pool demographics – particularly the addition of Millennial and Gen Z jurors who are more pro-plaintiff and less trusting of corporations.

The report also pulled back the curtain to reveal that plaintiffs law firms are allegedly using the media and the digital landscape to feed that corporate mistrust and negative headlines to shape perceptions of cases.

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