What is the net impact of caps on noneconomic damages?
According to an article in the New York Times on 3/6/05, lawyers in states with caps on noneconomic damages have been largely successful in recasting damages to fit the available categories. The article is titled “Go Ahead. Test a Lawyer’s Ingenuity. Try to Limit Damages.” It cites a new study by Catherine M. Sharkey, a law professor at Columbia, to be published in the New York University Law Review in May. Prof. Sharkey analyzed jury verdicts in 22 states in 1992, 1996 and 2001. It did not consider cases settled out of court. It found that the median compensatory award in states with caps on damages was $324,000, compared with $387,000 elsewhere – figures that Professor Sharkey found were roughly equivalent after the data was adjusted for variables like the kind and number of plaintiffs and defendants, the percentages of local doctors and lawyers, and jurors’ wealth and ages.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).