Introduction: The Problem and Efforts to Understand It

George L. Priest

in Punitive Damages

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780226780146
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226780160 | DOI:
Introduction: The Problem and Efforts to Understand It

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Over the past two decades, the United States has experienced a dramatic increase in the incidence and magnitude of punitive damages verdicts rendered by juries in civil litigation. The magnitude of punitive damages verdicts appears to vary substantially across juries. But this judgment, too, is problematic. In some sense, no two cases are alike. Thus, there is an inherent difficulty in evaluating one verdict against another and, especially, in evaluating these verdicts from the standpoint of a jury or judge, since no outsider can exactly put himself or herself in a similar position. This chapter provides a short summary of how the question of punitive damages is presented to a jury, in order to set the stage for the experimental studies themselves.

Keywords: juries; punitive damages; civil litigation; verdict; experimental studies; judgment

Chapter.  6465 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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