BY KELLY WILKINS & TROY DANIEL ROBERTS
“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more, and become more, you
are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams
At trial, leadership shows itself in many forms. Judges are the leaders of the court-
room. Trial lawyers lead their teams. Juries try to lead the case to justice. And
clients took a firm stand as leaders to try the cases you’re about to read.
Here are 2015’s leading verdicts. The largest Arizona verdict in 2015—of
$288 million—was the retrial in a commercial property dispute, and its original
verdict was one of the largest verdicts ever in this state. The highest Arizona verdicts were also about: the lack of a highway median barrier that allowed a head-on
crash; an ex-husband who hired a hit man to kill his ex-wife; a company alleging
misappropriation of its trade secrets over an aircraft contract; a major tractor-trailer crash; a company claiming that its patents for a circuit-board component were
infringed; and three medical malpractice verdicts against a nursing home, a hospital, and a doctor.
Arizona juries gave seven verdicts higher than $10 million, and 18 verdicts
between $1 million and $10 million. Two $5 million awards tied for the num-ber- 10 spot. All but two of the top verdicts were from Maricopa County. Eight
of the highest awards were awards given by juries; three were bench verdicts from
judges, including the very largest verdict.
As ever, this article focuses on verdicts given in civil cases by Arizona juries and
judges. Please see the endnotes for any notable post-verdict activity or appeals as
of the time we completed our writing. 1 The case numbers are listed with the case
name, and online dockets are available if you want to look at the post-trial lawyering in more depth or see who the lawyers or judges were. 2 The focus here is on
how the Arizona juries and judges decided these cases, and what they awarded.