Sunday, March 04, 2001

Study: Juries refusing to award money

Most N. Ky. lawsuits don't see a penny, but even those that do don't see many

The Associated Press

        Juries refused to award any money in more than half of the lawsuits that went to trial in state courts in Northern Kentucky over the past two years, according to a study.

        During 1999-2000, only seven people in 58 cases collected more than $100,000 when they sued for injuries in the state courts in 12 Northern Kentucky counties. Only two verdicts were for more than $1 million, the study shows.

        The study was published in a 453-page book by the Kentucky Trial Court Review. It looked at every case that went to trial in every county in 1999 and 2000.

        “It's harder today to get money from juries than it's ever been in my 30-year career,” said E. Andre Busald, a Florence attorney and former president of the Kentucky Trial Lawyers Association.

        Mr. Busald said he is using the information in the study to tell clients not to expect any kind of win. Even awards in the $20,000 to $50,000 range are difficult to obtain, he said.

        Kurt Philipps, who has defended and filed lawsuits, said the study gives good insight into how jurors may weigh a case.

        “It gives you a window and shows what jurors have done in similar cases,” he said.

        The study showed that 53 percent of the 58 cases that went to trial in Northern Kentucky resulted in a win for the defense.

        The results were reversed across the entire state, with 52 percent of the trials resulting in victories for the plaintiffs, the person suing.

        Campbell County was the only major county in northern Kentucky that returned more plaintiff than defense verdicts.


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