A recent story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch stated that “Bigger Fines Might Help Airlines Focus On Service”. The article implies that if the government enforced already existing airline safety and service rules by imposing fines on wrongdoing airline companies, that service and safety would improve.
This same principle applies to the civil justice system. If juries provide verdicts adequately compensating victims, defendants' wrongful conduct will be deterred. Nothing changes conduct more that a good hit to the pocketbook.
If a jury provides inadequate compensation, the defendant learns nothing. Conduct rewarded is conduct repeated.
When your child broke a window, would you make him pay to learn something or would you say don't do it again? Which is more effective?
If juries have the courage to enforce the rules we already have, society will be better off in the long run.