Statistics reported on Friday, February 18, 2011 confirmed that 36 verdicts and judicial awards (non-jury trials) exceeded one million dollars in 2010, a one-third increase from the 27 reported in 2009. The average amount for a plaintiff’s jury verdict was $1,495, 000 ranging from a low of $460 to a high of $88.7 million (an airplane crash, products liability matter, Pridgen vs. Parker Hannifen Corp.). The report also noted the following:
The largest medical malpractice verdict was $5.17 million arising from the death of a 72 year-old woman because of multiple organ failure after undergoing an elective cardiac catheterization.
The potential for such verdicts is often a significant factor in settlement discussions and probably results in an inflationary factor that causes defendants to “pay a premium” above settlement value, for similar cases in different jurisdictions, in order to avoid the risk of an unreasonable Philadelphia County verdict.