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Most Recent Tennessee Judiciary Report Shows Damages Awarded in Personal Injury or Death Trials Only 31% of the Time

Posted on May 29 2015 7:41AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report was published providing statistics for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year for Tennessee cases.  This is another in a series of posts where I will discuss the interesting statistics found in this report.  Today I will discuss the personal injury and death cases in Tennessee where there was an actual trial. 


For the 2013 - 2014 fiscal year there were a total of 416 personal injury or death cases that actually went to trial.  Out of those cases, only 128 (only 30.8%) of them resulted in damage awards.  This is a significant decrease over the 2012 – 2013 year where 41.1% of these trials resulted in damage awards.  Also, keep in mind there are obviously some cases that proceed to trial where the defendants actually admit liability and the only issue at trial is the amount of damages.  As a result, this is a truly stunning number which further reflects how conservative Tennessee courts and juries are becoming in awarding damages in personal injury or death cases.


Shelby County Statistics:


Some of the statistics for individual counties are also quite surprising.  For instance, in Shelby County a total of 95 such cases proceeded to trial.  Out of those 95 cases only 36 were awarded damages (38% received awards).  This is drastically reduced from the prior fiscal year when 57.9% of the personal injury or death tort trials in Shelby County resulted in an award of damages.   


Davidson County Statistics:


Davidson County also reported a reduction in number of cases that actually resulted in damages.  There were a total of 57 trials in Davidson County, Tennessee for personal injury or death cases.  A total of 34 resulted in actual damages.  This shows that 59.6% of the time damages were actually awarded in Davidson County cases.  This is reduced from the prior fiscal year where damages were awarded 65% of the time. 

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Statistics for Damages Awarded in Tennessee Personal Injury Cases for Fiscal Year 2013 - 2014

Posted on May 6 2015 10:23AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

This post is another post in a continuing series of discussions about the most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report.  The most recent report was released for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014).  As I previously discussed, out of the 416 personal injury or death cases that went to trial in 2013 – 2014, a total of only 128 of those cases actually resulted in damages.  The total monetary award for these 128 cases that resulted in damages was $44,723,979.00.  This constitutes an average award of $349,406.00 per case where damages were actually awarded.  However, that number is very deceiving.  Specifically, this statistic was significantly warped by one single award in Shelby County totaling $33,591,900.00.  When this one award is removed, the total damages awarded in personal injury or death trials in Tennessee for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year totals $11,132,079.00.  This results in average award of $87,654.16. 


Interestingly, out of the 128 cases where damages were awarded, only 27 cases resulted in awards of $100,000.00 to $1,000,000.00.  There were only 2 cases that were awarded over $1,000,000.00 in the State of Tennessee for 2013 – 2014 (this includes the above discussed $33,591.900.00 award).  The remaining 99 cases were all awarded damages somewhere between $1 and $99,999.99.  Once again, obviously a substantial amount of cases settled before going to trial so there are obviously very significant cases that never go to trial and are instead settled.  However these statistics show how few large jury verdicts there are in Tennessee on an annual basis.  These statistics are very helpful in providing a measuring stick to assess Tennessee cases and the value for those Tennessee cases.  These numbers show, once again, how favorable things are for the defense in Tennessee. 


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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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