www.peakforensics.com Jefford Englander
• The number of verdicts reversed its declining trend. Based on
the number of verdicts reported, the number of Arizona cases
that are tried all the way to verdict had until 2016 been steadily
declining for six years. That trend reversed in 2016 and the
number of verdicts increased by 18 percent, back to approximately 2014 levels.
• The top verdicts for 2016 were slightly down, after an upward
spike the year before. The top ten verdict amounts for 2016
looked most like the ranges in 2012 and 2014.
• Medical malpractice verdicts for plaintiffs have continued to
become more common in Arizona, and larger in amount. This
rise started four years ago, and continues to show as a trend.
• Reliably year over year, counties with smaller populations and on
the outer geographical parts of Arizona lean more conservatively
on verdicts, and tend to return defense verdicts or plaintiff’s
verdicts that are relatively lower.
• Punitive damages remain rare and are generally given by Arizona
factfinders only when they are presented with aggravating or
extreme facts. We typically see punitive damages awarded in
roughly ten cases per year. Amounts range considerably.
• Over the past ten years, the average percentage chance of a
plaintiff winning at trial in all types of civil cases is 59 percent.
This percentage has remained within a very close range in that
decade; it was highest in 2008 and lowest in 2014.
We consider this yearly article part of our leadership of and service
to the profession, and we are honored to write it. We hope you
continue to find it interesting, useful and informative. If you enjoy
these verdicts articles, please follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyLWilkins
where she reports on verdicts and other legal news, and Troy on
Twitter @TroyRobertsLaw. Please feel free to contact us any time
for more details about the verdicts or to report significant ones
that happen in the future. 18
1. Martha Minow & Robert Post, Standing up for ‘so-called law,’
BOSTON GLOBE, Feb. 17, 2017, available at http://epaper.
2. This article makes no comment on the merits of the claims
or defenses in these cases, or the parties or specific lawyers
involved. This article does not analyze or include cases that
settled before or during trial, mistrials, stipulated judgments,
judgments as a matter of law, or criminal cases. The verdicts as
summarized do not include costs, fees or reductions that may
have been established later. The parties listed are those who
were active when the verdict was delivered. Significant post-verdict developments are in these endnotes. Because the focus