Jury Verdict Research has just released its Jury Awards and Statistics. It’s not a pretty picture. The median award in 2007 came to $250,000, up from $192,000 in 2006, representing an all-time high. Nearly one in five verdicts (18%) came in between $100,000 and $250,000, 14% averaged between $250,000 and $500,000, while 22% came in at more than $1,000,000, the highest percentage ever! Discrimination awards (based on race, sex, and disability) jumped from a low in 2006 of $247,500 to $252,000 in 2007.
The probability of a plaintiff’s winning a verdict in 2007 came to 71%, up from 56% in 2006. The probability of a plaintiff verdict was even higher in state cases at 66%, up from 55%. One bright lining: the median settlement for 2007 was $77,875, a reduction from $85,000 in 2006. The report contains many more statistics, as well as noteworthy employment practices awards.
Here’s the point: In today’s tightening economy the last thing you can afford is an employee lawsuit! Make sure that you have your compliance act together and purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).