Why Are Some Broken Finger Cases Worth More Than Others?

Extrapolated from the 75-case research sample of broken finger cases taken from jury verdict research across the State of Florida, we saw two high-value outliers: $590,000 and $1,193,164. When exploring the distribution of case values in this sample, and bearing in mind the average case value we calculated previously, we determined that any value of over $402,000 would be included as an outlier in the analysis of this sample. Figure 1 shows the visual depiction of the quantitative deviation of outliers from the expected trend of data in the sample.

Case values chart

Outliers are values that go far above (or below) the calculated average of any data set. Outliers instruct a researcher to look at a specific data point to determine why that point would diverge from the regular trend of values in that set. In jury verdict research particularly, outliers direct anyone analyzing jury verdicts to a specific case to analyze the facts of that case and determine why that case received a higher verdict or settlement in a jury trial setting than another case that is intrinsically very similar. High-value outliers must be studied in terms of their ability to skew the average of a data set from their extraordinarily high value. Because outliers cause the average case value of a sample to change, it’s important to always calculate averages with and without the outliers for the most representative average of a data set.

The cases involving outliers generally have clarifying situations that set them apart from the overall trend of the other cases in the sample. Let’s look at both outliers from the sample, starting with the highest-valued case, to further exemplify this fact.

In Case Study 12, we saw a 51-year-old plaintiff in Lee County who was an employee of the defendant’s electrical connector manufacturing business. In the course and scope of her employment, the plaintiff was using a fifty-ton power press which double-cycled and came down onto the plaintiff’s fingers without warning, causing two finger fractures. The plaintiff was awarded $1,193,164, where $800,000 was assigned to compensate for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. $392,264 was allotted for lost wages and $900 was allotted for past medical bills. It is unknown if this plaintiff’s injuries required surgery.

Case Study 46 involved a 20-year-old male plaintiff in Orange County who was injured in a motor vehicle accident when the defendant allegedly made a negligent lane change. The plaintiff claimed that he suffered multiple finger fractures when a tow truck driven by the defendant swerved into the lane in which he was traveling on his motorcycle; the truck then collided with the plaintiff. This case was resolved by settlement where the plaintiff received $590,000. It is unknown if this plaintiff’s injuries required surgery, as well.

To learn more about the value attributed to all broken finger cases, please click here.

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