Jury Verdicts Are Now “Thermonuclear!”
August 15, 2023
You’ve heard of nuclear verdicts, the large jury awards of $10 million or more. These awards have been rising in frequency and dollar amounts over the past few years in a variety of categories. In fact, they have been increasing so much that there is a new label for super-sized awards: thermonuclear! Those are the skyrocketing jury awards that far exceed that $10 million, often reaching $100 million or more.
Unfortunately, medical liability cases are most impacted by these large jury awards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform published a report that found that the median verdicts grew from $19.3 million in 2010 to $24.6 million in 2019, a 27.5% increase.
These “thermonuclear verdicts” are of particular concern to healthcare professionals as a significant percentage of personal injury or wrongful death cases nationally were medical liability claims (20.6%). Other top areas included product liability cases (23.6%) and auto accidents (22.8%). Florida, California, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania lead the list of states with the most nuclear verdicts.