Are jury verdicts in business trials influenced less by a corporation's negligence than by sympathy for the plaintiffs, prejudice against business, and a belief in the corporation's "deep pockets"? Many members of the public and corporate executives believe that this is so, and they feel that the jury's decision making presents serious problems for American business competitiveness and its justice system. This book -- the first to provide a systematic account of how juries make decisions in typical business cases -- shows that these assumptions are false or exaggerated.Drawing on interviews with civil jurors, experiments with mock jurors, and public opinion polling, Valerie P. Hans explores how jurors determine whether businesses should be held responsible for an injury. She finds that many civil jurors, rather than being overly sympathetic to plaintiffs who bring civil lawsuits, are actually hostile to them, that there are only occasional instances of anti-business prejudice, and that there is no evidence of the deep-pockets hypothesis. Hans concludes that jurors do treat businesses differently than individuals, but this is because the public has higher expectations of corporations and more rigorous standards for their conduct.
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