Changing the Narrative on So-Called Nuclear Verdicts

Client walking out of courtroom victorious

“Legal system abuse” was the topic of an article I recently read in an insurance industry publication about so-called “nuclear verdicts.” It blamed plaintiffs’ lawyers for manipulating juries and engaging in tactics that, it contended, abuse the legal system.

Such articles claim that juries are awarding damages that are irrationally high which, of course, insurance companies don’t like. 

But what the article failed to mention is that every big damages verdict is preceded by an insurer’s failure to settle the case. When insurers, and their defense attorneys, fail to properly evaluate cases and fail to settle them, the verdicts follow.

Of course, there are many excellent defense lawyers who properly evaluate cases and advise their clients and the insurers. But many times I’ve also seen defense lawyers stay in their echo chamber and fail to objectively evaluate the facts of the case and the risks that they pose to their clients.

Articles like this are really just an assault on the jury system. Insurance and defense industry insiders think that juries are too stupid to make decisions and that they can easily be manipulated into doing whatever some skillful plaintiff’s lawyer wants, when in reality that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Juries ensure accountability and responsibility. In regards to trial by jury, Thomas Jefferson said, “I consider that as the only anchor, ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” 

The very same corporate interests that want to avoid responsibility from juries are the same ones that fail to take responsibility for failing to settle cases when they should.

Next time you read an article about some verdict that an insurance industry insider attacks, notice how there will be ZERO mention of the insurers’ repeated failures to settle the case.

What do you think? Continue the discussion with me on LinkedIn.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.