In many civil cases, when injuries arise, there are multiple avenues the victim may take to secure compensation from the negligent party. For centuries,trial by jury has been the foundation of the justice system. However, today it’s far more common for companies to offer settlements to injury survivors to close the case privately. Under this process, companies get away with paying far less than they should to the victims of negligence.
Jury trials make larger settlements possible because they put pressure on defendants to pay higher sums (and give plaintiffs an idea of what they would receive in a jury trial). In essence, jury verdicts act as baselines that keeps settlements where they should be. They give future plaintiffs leverage, leveling the playing field between individual citizens and corporate defendants.
The Impact of a High Verdict on Settlement Sizes
Lawsuits of similar nature impact how victims are offered settlements. For instance, there are thousands of cases against Johnson & Johnson for the use of talcum powder in their products and the potential link to ovarian cancer. Despite some being thrown out by an appeals court, verdicts of $72 million and $55 million began a trend of massive verdicts against the company.
As time went on, verdicts went as high as $110 million. The most recent was a $417 million verdict (which was later overturned). However, overturned or not, these verdicts meant that settlement offers had to be increased in order to incentivize plaintiffs to close their cases. Just a handful of high-profile verdicts allow thousands of other victims to get justice for their pain.
However, without jury verdicts, settlements will go down again. The truth is clear: trial by jury is the ultimate form of justice for victims and communities because it allows the public to see the wrongdoing of a negligent party.
Call Denver Trial Lawyers ® to discuss your potential case today.