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Runaway Juries

Civil cases are cases in which a party generally seeks money damages to compensate for a wrong that was done to him or her or an injury caused to him or her. Are juries awarding excessive damages in these cases? How should we decide what is a frivolous lawsuit? What do you think of the McDonald's coffee verdict (discussed on page 323 of your textbook). Should limits be placed on punitive damages - why or why not? The answer should include research and outside sources that should be properly cited using APA style formatting.

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The notion that the McDonald's coffee verdict was frivolous is inaccurate and wrong. Therefore, before beginning a discussion regarding the efficacy of civil suit litigation, you must have a understanding of the history of previous incidents that occurred prior to this case with McDonald's coffee. This will be discussed in length to justify the judgment that was awarded and to give the student an insight into why these types of verdicts are necessary to force big business style organizations such as McDonald's to change. The adage that states to force a company to change, you must "hit them where it hurts" is predicated upon ensuring that corporations who consistently violate rules must be assessed huge monetary consequences for them to be persuaded to change their practices.

This was true for a more egregious and deadly product, Big Tobacco, and is also true for McDonald's. When juries award "excessive" damages, they are not awarding anything in excess for these cases such as the multi-billion dollar verdict against Big Tobacco and multi-million dollar verdict against McDonald's. What jurors are doing is exercising their right to send a message to companies with billions of dollars in profits by issuing a verdict that affects their bottom line for practices that have continuously resulted in violations. In Big ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses runaway juries.