Philadelphia County Million-Dollar Verdicts - 2010 Statistics
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Philadelphia County Million-Dollar Verdicts - 2010 Statistics

February 19, 2011

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 verdicts/findings exceeding one million dollars represented 9 percent of the 386 verdicts and 311 judicial findings rendered last year.  There were 332 defense verdicts/findings, or 47.6 percent of the total judgments rendered in civil proceedings in 2010 (excluding summary judgments and other dispositions prior to final judgment).
  • In comparison to the average amount of jury verdicts, the average amount for a plaintiff’s non-jury award was $112,320 with a range between $48.00 and $7 million. 
  • There were more jury verdicts for defendants (206) than plaintiffs (180).
  • 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.