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Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide by Cass R. Sunstein,Reid Hastie,John W. Payne,David A.

By Cass R. Sunstein,Reid Hastie,John W. Payne,David A. Schkade,W. Kip Viscusi

Over the earlier twenty years, the USA has noticeable a dramatic bring up within the quantity and importance of punitive damages verdicts rendered by way of juries in civil trials. essentially the most striking instance is the July 2000 award of $144.8 billion within the Florida type motion lawsuit introduced opposed to cigarette brands. Or reflect on fresh verdicts opposed to the automobile producer BMW in Alabama. In exact circumstances, argued within the related courtroom ahead of an analogous pass judgement on, one jury offered $4 million in punitive damages, whereas the opposite provided no punitive damages in any respect. In instances related to injuries, civil rights, and the surroundings, multimillion-dollar punitive awards were an issue of excessive controversy.

But how do juries truly make judgements approximately punitive damages? to determine, the authors-experts in psychology, economics, and the law-present the result of managed experiments with greater than six hundred mock juries concerning the responses of greater than 8,000 jury-eligible voters. even if juries tended to agree of their ethical judgments concerning the defendant's behavior, they rendered erratic and unpredictable greenback awards. The experiments additionally confirmed that rather than moderating juror verdicts, the method of jury deliberation produced a awesome "severity shift" towards ever-higher awards. Jurors additionally tended to disregard directions from the judges; have been inspired by means of no matter what quantity the plaintiff occurred to request; confirmed "hindsight bias," believing that what occurred must have been foreseen; and penalized businesses that had dependent their judgements on cautious cost-benefit analyses. whereas judges made a few of the comparable blunders, they played higher in a few parts, suggesting that judges (or different experts) might be higher outfitted than juries to make a decision punitive damages.

Using a wealth of recent experimental info, and delivering a bunch of provocative findings, this e-book files quite a lot of systematic biases in jury habit. it will likely be necessary for someone not just in punitive damages, but in addition jury habit, psychology, and the way humans take into consideration punishment.

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