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Series

Litigation

Empirical legal studies

Cornell University Law School

1997

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Predictability Of Punitive Damages, Theodore Eisenberg, John Goerdt, Brian Ostrom, David Rottman, Martin T. Wells Jun 1997

The Predictability Of Punitive Damages, Theodore Eisenberg, John Goerdt, Brian Ostrom, David Rottman, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Using one year of jury trial outcomes from 45 of the nation's most populous counties, this article shows a strong and statistically significant correlation between compensatory and punitive damages. These findings are replicated in 25 years of punitive damages awards from Cook County, Illinois, and California. In addition, we find no evidence that punitive damages awards are more likely when individuals sue businesses than when individuals sue individuals. With respect to award frequency, juries rarely award punitive damages and appear to be especially reluctant to do so in the areas of law that have captured the most attention, products liability …


The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection And Resolution, Theodore Eisenberg, Henry S. Farber Jan 1997

The Litigious Plaintiff Hypothesis: Case Selection And Resolution, Theodore Eisenberg, Henry S. Farber

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The process through which cases are selected for litigation cannot be ignored because it yields a set of lawsuits and plaintiffs that is far from a random selection either of potential claims or of potential claimants. We present a theoretical framework for understanding the operation of this suit-selection process and its relationship to the underlying distribution of potential claims and claimants. The model has implications for the trial rate and the plaintiff win rate at trial. Our empirical analysis, using data on over 200,000 federal civil litigations, yields results that are strongly consistent with the theory.