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NCJ Number: 233094 Find in a Library
Title: Punitive Damage Awards in State Courts, 2005
Series: BJS Special Reports
Author(s): Thomas H. Cohen Ph.D.; Kyle Harbacek
Corporate Author: Indiana University Purdue University, Research Support Funds
United States of America
Date Published: March 2011
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University Purdue University, Research Support Funds
Indianapolis, IN 46202
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: Agency Summary|PDF|Text
Agency Summary: 
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Special Report presents findings on civil trials concluded in 2005 in a national sample of state trial courts in which punitive damages were requested or awarded.
Abstract: Presents findings on civil trials concluded in 2005 in a national sample of state trial courts in which punitive damages were requested or awarded. This BJS report discusses rates of punitive damage requests or awards in major civil categories, such as intentional tort, automobile accident, medical malpractice, product liability, and employment discrimination. The report describes differences in punitive damage activity by different pairings of plaintiff and defendant litigants; highlights findings on punitive damage award amounts; examines ratios of compensatory to punitive damage awards; and compares punitive damages in bench and jury trials. Lastly, it presents information on plaintiff and defendant post-trial and appellate activity in civil trials with punitive damages. Highlights include the following: 1) Litigants sought punitive damages in 12% of the estimated 25,000 civil trials concluded in 2005. 2) Plaintiffs received punitive damages in 30% of the 1,761 civil trials in which these damages were requested and the plaintiff prevailed. 3) The median punitive damage award was $64,000, and 13% of cases with punitive awards had damages of $1 million or more. Information about the source data can be found on the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts (CJSSC) Web site at
Main Term(s): Civil litigation
Index Term(s): Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); Court statistics
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