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Empirical legal studies

Cornell University Law School

1999

Torts

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Judicial Decisionmaking In Federal Products Liability Cases, 1978-1997, Theodore Eisenberg Jan 1999

Judicial Decisionmaking In Federal Products Liability Cases, 1978-1997, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In 1992, Professor James Henderson and I wrote that, throughout the 1980s, a quiet, pro-defendant revolution in products liability had occurred. That revolution was likely largely the product of a "widespread, independent shift in judicial attitudes." It was not discernable in cases tried before juries. The federal data used in that study were available through 1989. Also in 1992, using the same database, Professor Kevin Clermont and I wrote about the surprising relation between plaintiff win rates in judge and jury trials in products liability cases. Plaintiffs prevailed at a higher rate before judges than they did before juries. Comparable …