median was well into seven figures at $2,005,110, which was significantly higher than last year or in other recent years.
Santa Cruz County’s average was unusually elevated this year.
It reported only two verdicts the entire year, one of which tied for
the number 9 verdict of $5 million (see Groom v. Clyne, above). Its
average/median verdict was $2,500,668. In recent years, Santa
Cruz County’s average has been about 10 percent of that, in the
$200,000 to $300,000 range.
Maricopa County reported the third-highest average verdict of
$1,164,790, much lower than the past two years’ averages. This
county, home to Phoenix, is where the majority of Arizona verdicts are rendered. Maricopa County produced 5 of the Top 10
verdicts this year. There were also many smaller verdicts, making
Maricopa County’s median verdict $77,519.
The next two highest counties had only two reported plaintiffs’ verdicts each, which makes it difficult to call these true “
averages” due to the limited amount of data. Both Cochise and Navajo
2009 Reported Arizona Verdict Averages By Venue
STATEWIDE AVERAGE $1,384,215
U.S. DISTRICT COURT $7,304,775
County had verdicts higher than in recent years. Cochise County
had an average and median of $863,400; its average is typically
about half that. Navajo County’s average and median was
$511,000. Navajo County often produces only defense verdicts
and no plaintiff’s verdicts, and its average only reached six figures
in one other recent year.
Pinal County’s average was $360,128, and its median was
$302,000. Following that was Coconino County, with an average
and median of $325,000.
Arizona’s second-largest city is Tucson, and its venue of Pima
County generally produces the second-highest volume of verdicts.
Pima County’s verdict averages have been all over the map the past
few years. Its averages have ranged from low six figures to near $1
million. In 2009, Pima County’s average was $243,209. Except
for one brief dip in 2006, its verdict median has remained around
$50,000, and it was so again in 2009, at $40,000.
The outlying Arizona counties tend to produce few verdicts at
all and those that they do produce
are rarely into six figures. Gila
County’s average and median was
$136,895. Mohave County’s single plaintiff’s verdict resulted in
an average and median of
$116,134. Rounding out the
lower part of the ranges, Yuma
County’s single plaintiff’s verdict
resulted in an average and median
of $91,798. Yavapai County had
an average and median of
Graham County, in the eastern
mountains, has produced only
three reported civil verdicts in the
past six years, always under
$80,000. With a third verdict this
past year, its average and median
in 2009 was $10,000.
No civil verdicts were reported
out of Apache County, La Paz
County or Greenlee County. The
average by venue is highlighted in
the chart on this page. Plaintiffs Won 56 Percent of the Trials
Statewide, plaintiffs prevailed in
56 percent of the trials, and
defendants prevailed in 44 percent. After a more favorable year
for plaintiffs in 2008, that marked
a return to the largely 50–50 split
that has been the general trend in
Arizona in recent years.