Median Employment Lawsuit Damages Continue to Rise

According to the 2005 edition of Employment Practice Liability:  Jury Awards Trends and Statistics, damages awarded for employment-related lawsuits were approximately 20 percent higher in 2004 than the year before.  While actual damages rose, the percentage of plaintiffs winning their cases dropped slightly.

For 2004 the median jury award for employment-related lawsuits was $218,133, compared to $182,131 for 2003.  The probability of a plaintiff winning their case continued to decline at 63 percent and has decreased seven points since hitting 70 percent in 2002.

Most awards were in the $100,000-to-$249,000 range (22 percent) and $250,000-to-$499,000 range (17 percent), according to the report.

A breakout of the various types of employment-related cases along with median awards follows:

Employment-Related Lawsuits



 Median Award


 $          270,000

Discrimination (Overall)

 $          187,583


 $          262,405


 $          211,272


 $          186,250


 $          138,880


 $          101,563

Retaliation (Overall)

 $          140,000

Wrongful Termination

 $          125,880


Source:  Employment Practice Liability:  Jury Awards Trends and Statistics, 2005, Jury Verdict Research, Horsham, Pa.