Pushback to Governor’s Executive Orders and Highest Verdict Awards Last Year in Arizona
In 2019, there were verdict awards statewide totaling $156 million. The highest awarded damages were for a Maricopa County case involving Biological Resource Center, Inc., a body donation center committed to science and research. Families allowed the Center to collect the remains of family members, believing that the bodies would be used to advance science and medicine. After a raid on the facilities, the families learned that their loved ones had been mutilated after death and sold piecemeal for non-medical and non-scientific purposes. After a 4-week jury trial, plaintiffs were awarded $8 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. In Pima County, two large verdicts (one for $5.5 million and one for $5 million) were awarded to plaintiffs for personal injury/wrongful death claims. The median award in Arizona for plaintiff’s personal injury verdicts is $53,000. The top award in the nation in 2019 was in a Pennsylvania case against Johnson & Johnson, an American multinational corporation, in the amount of $8 billion.