Each year we read of higher and higher verdicts. This phenomenon has a name: social inflation. According to Telis Demos, writing in the The Wall Street Journal, social inflation “typically refers to an upward creep in perceptions by an injured party of what they are owed, their willingness to pursue that via the legal system, and what that means for insurance policies covering companies’ liabilities.”
As reported in the WSJ, one way this plays out is larger jury awards, with a review by VerdictSearch showing a more than 300% increase in the frequency of verdicts of $20 million or more in 2019 when compared to the annual average from 2001 to 2010.
Traditionally, cases are evaluated based on “facts and law” but stakeholders ignore the impact of social inflation at their peril. As social inflation increases jury verdicts, defense counsel need to soberly assess the chances for a defense verdict and if that is unlikely, to develop mitigation strategies to avoid extraordinarily high verdicts. Read more to learn how the Disruptive Lawyer combats high verdicts and the social inflation phenomenon.