We took a random sample of 100 Products Liability cases from jury verdict research in the State of Florida (Fig. 1) and computed a sample average case value of $1,435,239.49. This value was influenced by not only outliers, but defense verdicts, as well. We also saw a range of case values between $0, or a defense-favored verdict, and $53 million dollars.
Figure 1. The breakdown of the geographic regions in the sample.
After meticulously analyzing each case and its respective value in the sample, we determined that there were two significantly high values that were uncharacteristic of the rest of the values in the sample. These values, $19.5 million dollars and $53 million dollars, are called outliers because they lie outside of the normal range or trend seen in a sample. If we remove these outliers, as well as defense verdicts, which have a value of $0, we found a sample average case value of $1,691,046.41. While outliers normally cause and average case value to go down, in samples where there are more defense verdicts ($0 cases) than any other kind of verdict, removing those values causes the average case value to rise (Fig.2). This value is more typical than the originally-calculated average case value in the sample; yet, because this sample had a larger-than-average range of values, it’s hard to determine an exact average that represents most of the sample in the best way.
Figure 2. This graph shows the breakdown of outcomes in the sample.
Because of the range this sample possessed, it’s imperative that we look at different measures of central tendency to get a well-rounded look at the possible case values of the sample that could be used to project an estimated value of a similar case. For example, in the whole sample, we saw a median (middle) case value of $0 and a mode (most-often) case value of $0 including defense verdicts and outliers. Excluding these measures, we saw a total median value of $600,000 and a most-often value of $800,000. Obviously, these values show a massive incongruity between the originally-calculated average, the middle value of a sample, and the most-often value seen in the data. When analyzing samples with such a large range, viewing this data can help us get a more accurate view of what one can expect from a case; but, it also shows the instability and randomness of case values in some types of cases.
Figure 1 shows a pie graph where we broke down the geographic regions in the sample. These regions were studied closer to deduce their average case values and more. The Orlando region was made of cases in Orange County, the Tallahassee region was made of cases in Leon County, and the Rest-of-State region was made of all other cases, excluding the Orlando, Tallahassee, and U.S. District Court cases, a different region that we don’t normally see en masse. This sample had a good amount of cases from the U.S. District Courts. While these cases took place in a Florida county, they were removed to a different court, a District Court, which is often better equipped to deal with cases that it is sent in comparison to county courts. In Florida, we have three different districts: the Southern District, comprising of counties in southern Florida; the Middle District, comprising of cases in central Florida; and the Northern District, comprising of cases in northern Florida. In this sample, we only saw cases from the Southern and Middle Districts.
The three cases from the Orlando area showed an average case value of $2,116,666.67, however, it only had two cases with monetary awards, the other was a defense verdict. These cases had values of $100,000 and $6.25 million dollars, so an “average” case value is hard to determine in any accurate sense. In the two Tallahassee region cases, we saw an average case value of $141,000. This region only had one case with a monetary award of $282,000, the other was a defense verdict. One interesting difference is in the average case values from the U.S. District Court regions. The nine cases in the Southern District showed an average case value of $1,433,333.33 while the fourteen Middle District cases showed an average case value of $176,071.43 when we include defense verdicts, as these cases didn’t hold any of the outliers. Excluding defense verdicts, the Southern District had an average case value of $3.225 million dollars and the Middle District had an average case value of $493,000. Finally, the Rest-of-State region produced an average case value, including defense verdicts and the two outliers, of $1,687,874.30, and excluding those measures of $1,634,231.64.
The average case value for a certain type of injury reveals little about the value of any case. For more complete information about how to place a value on any case, please visit our “What is my case worth?” blog here [insert link].
To find out more about the outliers in this sample, please click here.
If you’re a potential client or an attorney seeking a second opinion and would like to discuss the value of your case, please feel free to call me anytime at (850)224-3310.