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Punitive damages, Compensatory damages, Punitive awards, Compensatory awards, Joni Hersch, Kip Viscusi, Hersch-Viscusi, H-V, Empirical legal studies


Applied Statistics | Legal Remedies | Litigation


This article assesses the relation between punitive and compensatory damages in a data set, gathered by Hersch and Viscusi (H-V), consisting of all known punitive damages awards in excess of $100 million from 1985 through 2003. It shows that a strong, statistically significant relation exists between punitive and compensatory awards, a relation that replicates similar findings in nearly all other analyses of punitive and compensatory damages. H-V's claim that no significant relation exists between punitive and compensatory awards in these data appears to be an artifact of questionable regression methodology.

Publication Citation

Theodore Eisenberg & Martin T. Wells, "Significant Association Between Punitive and Compensatory Damages in Blockbuster Cases: A Methodological Primer", 3 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (2006)