Update — More on Nuclear Verdicts

Nuclear verdicts are growing more problematic for insurance companies, businesses and individuals. A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) shows that verdicts of $10 million or more are going up at a dangerous rate.

The ILR’s Nuclear Verdicts: An Update on Trends, Causes, and Solutions said from 2013 to 2022 the median verdict in that time period hit $21 million. It’s gone up since says ILR’s Oriana Senatore.

“Nuclear verdicts are increasingly the new normal in jury awards, and the data shows that these awards are becoming entrenched. It’s time to address this problem before it gets worse,” Senatore said. “Most people may not realize that nuclear verdicts affect almost everything, from the prices of common household products to availability and affordability of insurance.”

Here’s what the report found:

  • 50% of nuclear verdicts were between $10 million and $20 million
  • 33 1/3% were between $20 million and $50 million
  • 19% of nuclear verdicts were above $50 million
  • Many — called mega verdicts — were over $100 million
  • Mega verdicts — the report said — are on the rise

“Nuclear verdicts can threaten the viability of a business or the availability of a needed product, or create insurability problems for an entire industry,” ILR said in the report. “For example, due in large part to nuclear verdicts, fewer companies offer insurance to commercial trucking companies and the cost has led many independent businesses to stop operating.”

Nuclear verdicts by type of case:

  • 23.3% — product liability
  • 23.2% — auto crash
  • 20.3% — medical liability
  • 14.3% — Premises liability
  • 10.4% — Other negligence
  • 5.4% — Intentional tort
  • 3.1% Miscellaneous

Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/3RySE7r

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