Jury Nullification in Modified Comparative Negligence Regimes

Details

Author(s):
  • John J. Donohue III
Publish Date:
June 29, 2011
Publication Title:
79 University of Chicago Law Review 945 ; Also Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1874466; Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 419
Format:
Working Paper
Citation(s):
  • Eli K. Best, John J. Donohue III, Jury Nullification in Modified Comparative Negligence Regimes, 79 University of Chicago Law Review 945 (2012); Also Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 1874466; Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 419.

Abstract

This paper analyzes jury findings from nearly one thousand negligence suits to determine whether juries in modified comparative negligence jurisdictions apportion percentages of negligence differently than juries in pure comparative negligence jurisdictions. We find that juries in modified comparative negligence jurisdictions are substantially less likely to find that a plaintiff was more than 50% negligent. This evidence of jury manipulation strengthens the case for pure comparative negligence, which we argue is already superior on theoretical and policy grounds.