The Logic of Comparable-Case Guidance in the Determination of Awards for Pain and Suffering and Punitive Damages
31 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2016 Last revised: 19 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 2015
Little guidance is provided to fact-finders in arriving at awards for pain and suffering and punitive damages. Such awards are therefore highly variable. This article explains why methods involving comparable-case guidance — information regarding awards in comparable cases as guidance for determining damage awards — are generally effective in reducing unpredictability and improving the reliability of awards for pain and suffering and punitive damages. The article addresses major objections to such methods, and provides relevant legal context and direction for implementation.
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