The Top 5 Largest Jury Verdicts in American History

Jury verdicts are at the core of the civil justice system. This has its own pros and cons. Critics of the system argues that high-profile cases result in unimaginable verdicts that are seemingly outrageous. They are often reduced after rendered. Jury verdicts are crucial in setting standards in the civil and criminal justice systems, influencing social practices of individuals, businesses and even within the systems. It is also important input to future contentions and in creating legal patterns or precedents. They influence and affect claims and settlement behavior that will later become guidelines to claimants/plaintiffs and defendants in the future. These verdicts – some of the largest lawsuits ever – sent a message to the world about the conduct alleged at trial. So, without further explanation, let’s look at the top 5 biggest lawsuits ever.

Johnson and Johnson and Talcum Powder

$4.69 Billion

The case of Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson was one of the largest lawsuits of all time. Allegations were made that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer and a lawsuit was brought a series of victims and their families. After protracted litigation, a jury awarded a Plaintiff $4.6 billion dollars in one of the largest lawsuits in history. 

Monsanto and Roundup

$4.14 Billion

In 2018, in Pilliod v. Monsanto Company, allegations were made that Roundup weedkiller, a product then manufactured by Monsanto led to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury awarded a couple $4.14 billion in damages. 

Phillip Morris and Tobacco

$3 Billion

After lengthy litigation regarding the dangers of Tobacco, a jury in 2002 awarded a man who alleged that the tobacco giant misled him about the dangers of smoking in the case of Williams v. Philip Morris Companies Inc.

Georgia Hayes v. Robert Courtney

$2.2 Billion

A case of deceitful act, Robert Courtney was a pharmacist in Missouri who diluted cancer drugs that he dispensed to patients including Ms. Hayes. She was already in remission from her ovarian when she was taking diluted drugs from Courtney’s pharmacy. The jury awarded Ms. Hayes, along with other cancer patients getting drugs from Courtney, $2.2 billion for punitive and compensatory damages.

Ford Motor Co. Defective Design Lawsuit

$2.05 Billion

Litigated in 1999, Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company was filed against Ford Motor Company alleging defective design of the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle. It was further alleged that this product defect caused a rollover accident that left the victim paralyzed. The jury awarded the woman $2.05 billion. 

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