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Litigation

Empirical legal studies

Cornell University Law School

2002

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Juries, Judges, And Punitive Damages: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg, Neil Lafountain, Brian Ostrom, David Rottman, Martin T. Wells Mar 2002

Juries, Judges, And Punitive Damages: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg, Neil Lafountain, Brian Ostrom, David Rottman, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article, the first broad-based analysis of punitive damages in judge-tried cases, compares judge and jury performance in awarding punitive damages and in setting their levels. Data covering one year of judge and jury trial outcomes from forty-five of the nation's largest counties yield no substantial evidence that judges and juries differ in the rate at which they award punitive damages or in the central relation between the size of punitive awards and compensatory awards. The relation between punitive and compensatory awards in jury trials is strikingly similar to the relation in judge trials. For a given level of compensatory …