Civil juries in the 1980s: trends in jury trials and verdicts in California and Cook County, Illinois, Volume 30, Issue 8
This report extends earlier efforts to document and analyze the outcomes produced by the civil justice system based on studies of civil jury trials in Cook County, Illinois, and San Francisco County, California. First, the report updates the earlier work by incorporating data for the years 1980 through 1984. Second, it expands the scope of the study to include the entire state of California. Past patterns in jury awards continued in Cook County during the 1980s: The size of most jury awards did not increase (the median actually fell), but large jury awards, and therefore the average, increased sharply. The pattern that prevailed in both jurisdictions during the 1960s and 1970s, however, changed in San Francisco: There was a substantial increase in the size of awards during the 1980s across the entire range of cases tried in state and federal courts. Unlike past findings, the increase was not restricted to a few very large awards. The average award increased as in previous years, but median awards also increased to triple the median of the late 1970s.
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TRENDS IN NUMBER AND TYPES
THE OUTCOMES OF CIVIL JURY TRIALS
THE CURRENT PERSPECTIVE AND COMPARISONS
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Accident Property Carrier adjusted for inflation Alameda automobile accident trials average award awards in Cook awards in San awards increased business/contract California jurisdictions CC SF CC change to comparative civil jury trials civil justice system common carrier comparative negligence Cook County juries Dram dram shop expected awards expected verdict Francisco and Cook greater high-stakes Injury on Common injury on property Institute for Civil intentional tort jurors jury awards jury decisions large awards Liability Malpractice litigation low-stakes M. A. Peterson median awards Medical Malpractice million dollar awards money awarded number of civil number of jury number of trials Orange County percent of trials Period SF CC personal injury award plaintiffs won Product Business product liability Property Carrier Tort rural Sacramento San Francisco County Santa Clara Santa Clara County SF CC SF Smaller-city street hazard Table Total awards trial outcomes trials and verdicts trials in Cook trials in San tried to juries