Deep pockets, empty pockets: who wins in Cook County jury trials
This report examines how different types of parties fared in over 9,000 civil jury trials in Cook County, Illinois, between 1959 and 1979. It builds on two previous studies of civil jury trials, The Civil Jury: Trends in Trials and Verdicts, Cook County, Illinois 1960-1979, R-2881-ICJ, and Compensation of Injuries: Civil Jury Verdicts in Cook County, R-3011-ICJ. These studies found substantial disparities in outcomes for different types of lawsuits, even after the types and seriousness of plaintiffs' injuries and the amount of claimed economic losses were accounted for. The analyses in the present report describe variations in outcomes for different types of litigants, and find that corporate defendants paid damage awards that were one-third larger than those that individual defendants had to pay. Government defendants paid even more than corporations in most of their lawsuits. However, corporations fared worse than all other defendants in lawsuits where plaintiffs claimed very severe injuries. Among individual litigants, blacks lost more often than whites, both as plaintiffs and defendants, and black plaintiffs received smaller awards. Black defendants, however, paid less than their white counterparts.
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WHO DISPUTES? AN ANALYSIS OF LITIGANT
WHO WINS AND WHO PAYS? EXAMINING
THE DETERMINANTS OF OUTCOMES
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automobile accident award against corporate awards against black black and white black defendants black plaintiffs received CCJVR claims Common carrier contributory negligence Cook County Jury corporate defendants court dants Death action plaintiff deep pocket Defendant Awards defendants paid directed verdicts disability Dramshop found liable Governmental defendant hospitals Independent Variable Coefficient individual defendants individual plaintiffs Injury on property injury-on-property Intentional tort involved issues jurors jury trials larger awards less litigant characteristics litigant type LOGIT ANALYSIS lost income malpractice median award Medical Malpractice Number of defendants Number of plaintiffs occupation party characteristics percent of defendants percent of plaintiffs Plaintiff age plaintiffs and defendants product liability race Rand Corporation Regression Analysis sample second-action severe injuries severely injured plaintiffs smaller awards Street hazard sued Table third-party tiffs tion trial outcomes types of defendants types of lawsuits types of litigants white defendants white plaintiffs winning workers ZT ZT ZT