“Everything’s bigger in Texas.” To many, this phrase is not merely a colloquialism, but rather a defining characteristic of the Lone Star State. Yet, for much of the state’s recent history, this “Texas-sized” perception generally was not reflected in civil jury verdicts in tort lawsuits. That is, until 2018, when juries from across the state’s rural and urban counties delivered one record-breaking verdict after another—including at least three nine-figure tort verdicts.
Whether the massive awards themselves will stand—as there will be appeals and settlements—this article seeks to highlight what may be traits and trends in these high-verdict cases resulting in the juries’ staggering awards. After recounting seven of the largest jury awards from 2018, the article will briefly discuss recurring themes by plaintiffs’ counsel and how Texas’s changing political landscape will likely impact the value of future verdicts and settlement negotiations.