January 8, 2009

Bloomberg Study: Megabucks Verdicts Declined in 2008

Margaret Cronin Fisk has a story on Bloomberg.com entitled Billion-Dollar U.S. Verdicts Vanish After Appeals, New Rulings, reporting on data compiled by Bloomberg about the largest civil jury verdicts in the U.S. in 2008. The story reports, among other things, that no jury verdicts topped $1 billion in 2008. That makes two of the last three years with no billion-plus verdicts.

More directly relevant to this blog,
the top ten punitive awards in 2008 totaled $960 million, which is nothing to sneeze at, but still down 30 percent from 2007 and 63 percent from 2006. If this trend continues, perhaps we will look back on 2006 as the zenith (or nadir, depending on your point of view) of the megabucks punitive damages award.