Juries, Judges, and Punitive Damages: Empirical Analyses Using the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts 1992, 1996, and 2001 Data
33 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2006
We analyze thousands of trials from a substantial fraction of the nation's most populous counties. Evidence across ten years and three major datasets suggests that: (1) juries and judges award punitive damages in approximately the same ratio to compensatory damages, (2) the level of punitive damages awards has not increased, and (3) juries' and judges' tendencies to award punitive damages differ in bodily injury and no-bodily-injury cases. Jury trials are associated with a greater rate of punitive damages awards in financial injury cases. Judge trials are associated with a greater rate of punitive damages awards in bodily injury cases.
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