Biggest Personal Injury Verdicts & Settlements Of All Time outlines six of the largest personal injury verdicts and settlements of all time.

Biggest Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements Of All Time - The article discusses the biggest personal injury verdicts and settlements of all time and how lawsuit loans can help plaintiffs in these cases.
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Biggest Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements Of All Time

If you have been injured in an accident or incident due to negligence or intentional behavior, you may be entitled to compensation from the party who was at fault. The amount of compensation varies depending on many factors, including the type and severity of the injuries and other facts and circumstances unique to each personal injury case.

For the most part, personal injury settlements and verdicts do not garner much attention other than among the personal injury lawyers and parties involved in each case. Sometimes, however, the amount of a verdict after trial or negotiated settlement of a personal injury claim is so large that it draws media attention.

The median jury verdict in a personal injury lawsuit was $125,366 according to the most recently available data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute. It does not take into account settlements reached before a case goes to trial or before it even gets filed with a court and becomes a public record.

As previously mentioned, each personal injury claim presents its own unique set of facts and circumstances that determine how much a claimant actually receives. To illustrate the point, here are some of the biggest personal injury awards of all time.

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Key takeaways

Some of the largest awards associated with personal injury litigation can be found in claims where the plaintiff sustained either serious injuries or there were fatal injuries. Product liability, medical malpractice and motor vehicle collisions seem to produce some of the largest settlements, but there have been multibillion-dollar class action settlements and jury awards, as well.

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Verdict Example 1: Talcum Powder Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed by a 63-year-old woman claiming that her use of talcum products produced and sold by Johnson & Johnson caused her to develop terminal ovarian cancer ended in a Los Angeles, California, courtroom when a jury awarded her $417 million in 2017. Hers was one of more than 4,500 claims pending at the time against Johnson & Johnson claiming that use of its “Baby Powder” and “Shower-to Shower” products caused ovarian cancer.

Jurors awarded $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. Lawyers for the plaintiff presented evidence showing how the company continued to market its talc products after publication of research studies linking the long-term use of talc with the development of cancer.

The 2017 jury verdict was in a lawsuit filed on behalf of one plaintiff, but a class action lawsuit in Missouri against Johnson & Johnson over its talcum products ended with a jury awarding multiple plaintiffs $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages. An appeals court judge reduced the total award from $4.690 billion to $2.120 billion in 2020.

Verdict Example 2: Motorcycle Crash

A Florida jury awarded a former Army sergeant $411.7 million in compensation in 2020 for injuries he suffered when he attempted to avoid a motor vehicle accident on an interstate that caused a multi-vehicle pileup by steering his motorcycle onto the median. He collided with a stopped vehicle whose truck driver had failed to activate emergency flashers, leave its lights on or do anything else to make the truck visible to other vehicles.

The motorcycle rider suffered serious injuries that left him permanently disabled with constant pain and unable to walk without assistance. The plaintiff had medical expenses in excess of $750,000.

A $1 million settlement offer was rejected by the trucking company whose vehicle was shown to have caused the original pileup. The case proceeded to trial with the result being a $411.7 million jury verdict was against all parties found to be at fault, including the trucking company that rejected the settlement offer.

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Verdict Example 3: Woman Hit By Falling Utility Pole

While waiting for a bus in Union City to take her to work in 2017, a 43-year-old woman was struck by a falling utility pole owned by Verizon and PSE&G. The falling pole struck the woman on the head and body causing multiple injuries to her spine and traumatic brain injury, which left her paralyzed from the chest down.

A New Jersey court approved a settlement offer of $125 million made by Verizon. According to the lawsuit, Verizon failed to replace the pole despite being notified in 1999 by PSE&G that its condition required that it be replaced. PSE&G was ordered to pay $250,000 of the settlement.

Verdict Example 4: Diluted Cancer Drugs

When Georgia Hayes was diagnosed with cancer, she did not know that the pharmacist providing the chemotherapy drugs prescribed by her doctors diluted them to increase this profits. According to a cancer specialist who testified for the plaintiff in the lawsuit she filed against the pharmacist, the diluted chemotherapy drugs prevented any chance cancer patients had of being cured. The specialist testified that the ovarian cancer that the plaintiff had would probably cause her to die because of the diluted medications.

At the trial in Missouri, it was revealed that the plaintiff had medical bills and lost wages totaling almost $600,000. Jurors hearing the evidence against the pharmacist awarded the plaintiff $225 million in actual damages and $2 billion in punitive damages at the conclusion of the trial in 2002.

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Verdict Example 5: Defective Hip Transplant

A United States District judge in Missouri gave final approval to a 2020 jury award in a defective hip implant lawsuit filed by a woman against the manufacturer of the device. Jurors awarded the woman $20 million, plus interest and costs after hearing evidence of the injuries caused by the devices implanted in 2008. Jurors also awarded $1 million, plus interest and costs to the husband of the woman to compensate him for his damages.

Verdict Example 6: Wrongful Death Verdict Against Tobacco Company

There have been many personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed against the largest tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and other producers of cigarettes and tobacco products, by smokers who developed lung cancer or other types of medical problems from using the products. One of the biggest tobacco lawsuit verdicts unrelated to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was awarded in a wrongful death case filed by the widow of a Florida man who died from lung cancer.

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was signed in 1998 by 52 states and 45 tobacco companies to settle lawsuits filed by states to recover health care costs they incurred providing care for people with illnesses related to tobacco products. The settlement required the payment of more than $204 billion by the tobacco companies to state governments through 2025.

The 2014 wrongful death lawsuit filed in Florida claimed the plaintiff’s husband became a cancer patient because he smoked cigarettes produced by R.J. Reynolds. The jury hearing the case awarded the widow and family members $23.6 billion as compensatory damages and punitive damages.

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What happens after a jury verdict?

When a settlement is reached through negotiations between attorneys for the injured party or, in wrongful death cases, the attorneys for the family of the victim and adjusters or attorneys for insurance companies that issued liability policies to the parties being sued, the insurance companies issue a check for the agreed-upon amount of the settlement. Getting paid after a jury verdict takes longer.

Sometimes, the insurance companies for the parties held liable for the claim may decide to voluntarily pay the amount awarded by the jury without challenging the verdict by filing an appeal. Personal injury claims that go to trial and result in some of the biggest verdicts, particularly in medical malpractice cases or class-action lawsuits where large amounts are awarded by jurors for punitive damages, may be appealed by lawyers for the losing parties. Appellate courts have the authority to overturn a jury verdict and order a new trial, let the verdict stand as awarded by the jury, or reduce the amount of the damages awarded to the victims.

The 2017 class-action lawsuit mentioned in the first verdict example was appealed by Johnson & Johnson. An appeals court in 2020 exercised its authority by reducing the punitive damages awarded by jurors to $2.120 billion from $4.690 billion.


When the negligent, reckless or intentional behavior of another party causes you or a loved one to be injured, a negligent tort, malpractice or defective product lawsuit may be filed to recover compensation and damages. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury or lung cancer and ovarian cancer, may sometimes result in large jury verdicts or negotiated settlements.

If you have been injured and believe you may be entitled to recover damages from the party who was at fault, arrange for a consultation with a personal injury attorney to find out what options are available to you. Your lawyer can advise you about the best way to go about recovering damages either by filing a lawsuit only on behalf of yourself or by filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of yourself and others similarly injured due to the negligence of the party who is at fault. is a pre-settlement funding company that can help relieve financial pressures while waiting for a judgment or settlement of your personal injury lawsuit by offering pre-settlement funding at rates as low as 2.5% simple interest per month. For additional information, contact at (800) 340-4973 or apply online.

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