Half a million dollar verdicts are very rare in employment cases. As I have explained to many clients, the big dollar verdicts generally go to the clients with big lost income. CEO’s, doctors, etc. get the big verdicts because they lose so much money in salary and retirement benefits. So, it is no surprise that a $500,000 verdict was won by a doctor in California.
But, note also what the employee’s lawyer says: the employer’s lawyer made the mistake of sneering at the employee during the trial. The big dollar verdicts require something else: they need a "good" bad guy. Juries get upset when they award large amounts. Studies show that generally juries get mad at someone when they award large amounts.
People complain about the McDonald’s spilled coffee case from many years ago. What most people do not know is that the McDonald’s executive who testified about how supposedly safe their coffee was testified badly. He came across as rude and arrogant.
So, if you want a million dollar verdict, you need to be making six figure income. You also need a "good" bad guy…….