Philadelphia partner Alicia Hickok was quoted in a Law360 article titled, “Zimmer Win May Force Harder Look At Runaway Verdicts.” The article examines a recent Superior Court of Pennsylvania decision reversing a $26.6 million verdict previously awarded to a knee-replacement patient in a suit against Zimmer. Although the decision is unpublished (and thus cannot be cited to the Superior Court), it emphasized that there are objective factors that must be considered.
In commenting on the concurrence, which found the factors ignored by the trial court to be very important, Alicia explained that it made sense for judges to address all of the factors. “You have to see what all of those factors map out, how that whole tapestry unfolds, and you can’t do that if you’re silent about the ones that aren’t developed in the record. I think that point is incredibly important in determining a damage award that’s by its nature somewhat speculative since it’s noneconomic.”
She also commented about how the decision could impact decision-making going forward, and what it may mean for plaintiff’s attorneys.
“What it might do is make trial courts more willing to make that hard assessment and undertake that thorough analysis,” she noted. “Perhaps what this will signal is there’s nothing that’s boundless, and maybe plaintiffs will need to be establishing that evidence more carefully. That’s a good thing.”