As you’ve surely heard by now, the plaintiffs’ bar has come up with a can’t-miss-science-based trial strategy. Its creators boast that it has produced over $6.25 billion in jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury suits since 2009, including nearly $19.2 million in the past week alone. And they’ve given their strategy a name; it’s called: The “Reptile Theory.” While there are many who dispute its claimed scientific basis (here, here, here), defendants who’ve squared-off with the Reptile don’t doubt its effectiveness. Continue reading
Tag Archives: civil trial courts
Can a company use warranty to help drive sales? It sure can. Just ask Hyundai Motors. It saw its market share jump from 1.1% to 4% after it extended its powertrain warranty in 1999. You might also want to put the question to Volkswagen, which saw its sales drop 30% in the three years after it shortened its powertrain warranty in 2002. Continue reading
Yesterday, a federal jury in Cleveland ruled for Whirlpool Corp. in a warranty-based class action involving allegedly defective front-loading washing machines. As discussed in an earlier post, the case had been up and down to the Supreme Court, and given the Court’s recent class action rulings, that was it was allowed to proceed to trial was rather unexpected. Continue reading
Imagine if you will, you are the founder and CEO of ABC, Co., a small to midsize company that’s been sued for millions of dollars in a breach of contract action. Next imagine that, just before sending the jury out to deliberate, you heard the judge say to them: “It is up to you to decide what ABC, Co.’s obligations were under the contract.” Feeling queasy? Well, here’s the kicker: your company wrote the contract.
Recently, a scenario just like this one played itself out in a Chicago courtroom. How’d it turn out, you ask? Read on. Continue reading
Is the “Reptile Theory” now slithering through civil trial courts across the U.S. truly a product of science or something else? Its critics view it as lipstick on a lizard. Its creators promote it as a can’t miss scientifically based trial strategy for obtaining huge jury awards and settlements in civil litigation. Think of it what you will, but if you are likely to ever be a defendant in a civil trial, don’t ignore it. Continue reading