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Most Conservative and Liberal Tennessee Jurisdictions for Personal Injury and Death Cases Over the Last 5 Years (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2014) – A Statistical Analysis

Posted on Oct 19 2015 9:42AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

I previously discussed major trends in Tennessee verdicts and the conservative or liberal nature of many counties in Tennessee for verdicts in personal injury cases.  This post is designed to provide updated statistics on the most recent data available so you have the best information covering the last five years.  This information can provide valuable insight on the risks associated with taking a case to trial in the various Tennessee jurisdictions.

 

The statistics contained in the below chart are for the 5 year period covering July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014 (based on the most recent Tennessee judiciary reports currently available).  These numbers include both jury and non-jury cases (because the statistics available do not separate them out). I will list the counties in order with the most conservative at the beginning of the list and the most liberal at the bottom of the list (when I use the terms “conservative” and “liberal” I am simply referring to the percentages of cases where damages were actually awarded). 

 

District and County

Cases Tried

Cases Awarded Damages

Percentage of cases awarded damages

District 27 (Obion, Weakley)

7

0

0

District 28 (Crockett, Gibson, Haywood)

4

0

0

District 29 (Dyer, Lake)

10

0

0

District 25 (Fayette, Hardeman, Lauderdale, McNairy, Tipton)

36

1

2.8

District 17 (Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore)

35

1

2.9

District 23 (Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Stewart)

16

1

6.3

District 8 (Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott, Union)

131

14

10.7

District 15 (Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale, Wilson)

39

6

15.4

District 12 (Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Rhea, Sequatchie)

50

10

20.0

District 24 (Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, Henry)

30

6

20.0

District 10 (Bradley, McMinn, Monroe, Polk)

99

22

22.2

District 13 (Clay, Cumberland, Dekalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, White)

96

23

24.0

District 4 (Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson Sevier)

66

19

28.8

District 16 (Cannon, Rutherford)

116

34

29.3

District 2 (Sullivan)

28

9

32.1

District 3 (Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins)

31

10

32.3

District 21 (Hickman, Lewis, Perry, Williamson)

37

12

32.4

District 1 (Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Washington)

49

16

32.7

District 11 (Hamilton)

191

66

34.6

District 5 (Blount)

31

11

35.5

District 6 (Knox)

256

94

36.7

District 18 (Sumner)

60

23

38.3

District 31 (Van Buren, Warren)

10

4

40.0

District 22 (Giles, Lawrence, Maury, Wayne)

24

10

41.7

District 9 (Loudon, Meigs, Morgan, Roane)

32

15

46.8

District 26 (Chester, Henderson, Madison)

82

39

47.6

District 19 (Montgomery, Robertson)

77

39

50.6

District 7 (Anderson)

71

36

50.7

District 30 (Shelby)

415

211

50.8

District 20 (Davidson)

313

185

59.1

District 14 (Coffee)

19

14

73.7

 

Generally, most Tennessee counties are conservative when it comes to assessing damages in personal injury or death cases.  Overall, there were 2471 cases tried in Tennessee during this 5 year period.  A total of 931 resulted in monetary damages.  This means only 37.7% of personal injury cases that went to trial in Tennessee actually resulted in monetary damages over the last five years.  Also, remember that some cases go to trial where there is a stipulation or concession of liability and the only issue is the extent of monetary damages.  As a result, the actual percentage of cases where damages are awarded are probably significantly lower than the above statistics because of this factor that cannot be determined by the statistics.

 

The above information can provide valuable insight to attorneys, corporations and insurance companies on the general proclivities of certain Tennessee jurisdictions in personal injury cases.  The two most liberal jurisdictions (setting aside Coffee County which has a very small sample size) are Davidson County and Shelby County, as would be expected.  However, even in those counties, it is close to a 50/50 proposition on whether damages will be awarded or not.  When compared to my prior statistical report that was done covering a 7 year period from 2005 to 2012, it is clear most Tennessee jurisdictions have become more reluctant to award damages in personal injury or death cases.

 

Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Defense Litigation blog.

TAGS: Jury Issues, Damages, Tennessee Legal Statistics
Comments
Charles  -  1/30/2017 12:13:17 PM
Charles,

That is very interesting. I am just using the numbers they had in the official report. I guess, like anything, they are dependent on the people gathering and submitting the numbers accurately. I will be interested to know if others see discrepancies in the numbers.

Thanks,
Jason

Charles Holliday  -  1/30/2017 10:18:14 AM
Jason,

I have to question the accuracy of the stats because I tried a jury trial in Weakley County in early 2014 in which the jury awarded my client damages. I also know that Randy Kinnard had a jury trial in Weakley County in 2013 that resulted in the largest jury verdict in the county's history.

Those two cases alone would drop that district 10 spots or so with a 22.2% ratio.

I wonder how many cases are not reported for one reason or another?

Jason Lee  -  10/19/2015 2:27:15 PM
Lora,

These are for all personal injury trials which includes jury and non-jury. The statistics do not separate them out. However, in the most recent year where statistics are available (2013 - 2014) there were 416 personal injury trials. 232 were jury and 184 were non-jury trials. I should make that a little more clear in my post.

Thanks,
Jason

Lora Barkenbus Fox  -  10/19/2015 2:14:48 PM
Thanks for putting this together. Just to be clear, are these all trials or just jury?

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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