The Shadow of Punitives: An Unsuccessful Effort to Bring it into View
Wisconsin Law Review, 1998
Posted: 4 Nov 1998
This paper reviews existing empirical evidence concerning the impact of the threat of punitive damages on the processing and settlement of civil damages claims and law suits. Relatively little such evidence is available, and most of that does not support the contention that the threat of punitive damages impacts a large proportion of claims, or that the threats that do occur increase payouts significantly in most cases. The authors discuss their unsuccessful research effort to collect systematic data from large corporations on the corporations' experiences with punitive damages claims. The authors argue that the question of the impact of the "shadow" of punitive damages will remain open until such data are available for analysis.
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