Hans, V. P., & Lofquist, W. S. (1992). Jurors’ judgments of business liability in tort causes: Implications for the litigation explosion debate. Law and Society Review, 26, 85-115.
Criticisms of the civil jury, including charges that the jury is biased against business, have been central to debates over the litigation explosion and demands for tort reform. This article seeks to inform these ongoing controversies by examining tort jurors’ accounts of how they reached decisions in cases with business parties. Interviews and questionnaire data showed that jurors were skeptical of plaintiff tort cases against businesses, organized their accounts more on the actions and motivations of plaintiffs than on the responsibilities of business, and spoke often of the litigation crisis and the importance of limiting awards. Mean juror attitude toward “litigation explosion” and businesses in general strongly related to jury awards.