The Hidden Victims of Tort Reform: Women, Children, and the Elderly

53 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2006  

Lucinda Finley

SUNY Buffalo Law School

Abstract

I have conducted empirical research from several states on how juries in medical malpractice and other tort suits allocate their damage awards between economic loss damages and noneconomic loss damages. I then compared cases in which men are the victims and cases in which women are the victims. This research demonstrates that while overall men tend to recover greater total damages, juries consistently award women more in noneconomic loss damages than men, and that the noneconomic portion of women's total damage awards is significantly greater than the percentage of men's tort recoveries attributable to noneconomic damages. Consequently, any cap on noneconomic loss damages will deprive women of a much greater proportion and amount of a jury award than men. Noneconomic loss damage caps therefore amount to a form of discrimination against women and contribute to unequal access to justice or fair compensation for women.

Keywords: damages, damage caps, noneconomic damages, medical malpractice, gender discrimination, tort reform

Suggested Citation

Finley, Lucinda, The Hidden Victims of Tort Reform: Women, Children, and the Elderly. Emory Law Journal, Forthcoming; Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2006-009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=898863

Lucinda M. Finley (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States

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