Last week, we reported the first two thirds of the data regarding the Supreme Court’s handling of tort cases since 1990. Today, we’re looking at the data for the years 2010 to 2018.
During the most recent period, the Court has decided eighteen cases won by defendants at the Court of Appeal. The Court has affirmed six of those decisions, while reversing twelve. Across the entire period, winning defendants have won 41 while losing 42, for a winning percentage of .4767.
Plaintiffs who had won at the Court of Appeal were below .500 too, although by not quite so much – plaintiffs won seven while losing ten. Between 1990 and 2018, winning plaintiffs won 45 cases, but lost 69, a winning percentage of .3947.
Defendants overall were below .500 for the most recent nine years, winning sixteen while losing nineteen. For the period 1990 to 2018, defendants have won 110 tort cases while losing 87 – a winning percentage of .5584.
Next, we review the areas of tort law in which the Court’s cases fall. Between 2010 and 2018, the Court decided fifteen cases involving procedural issues, thirteen cases involving tort duties, and ten involving liability issues. Since 1990, the Court has decided sixty cases involving duty, 53 involving liability and 86 involving procedural issues.
In Table 875, we review the individual Justices’ votes for Tort Defendants. The top finishers were Justices and Corrigan (21 votes each), Justice Cantil-Sakauye (17) and Justices Werdegar and Chin (14 votes each).
Next, we report the total votes against insurer defendants. Justice Werdegar delivered the most at 18. Justices Chin, Werdegar and Corrigan were second at 17 votes apiece.
Next, we answer the question Which Justices were more likely to support a tort defendant than the Court as a whole? There are only five, and only two are still active Justices: Justice Arabian supported defendants in 63.27% of cases, Justice Baxter was 60.75%, Justice Corrigan was 58.06%, Justice Chin was 57.43%, and Justice Broussard was 57.14%.
Many more Justices were below the courtwide average. Justice Brown supported tort defendants in 56.58% of cases. Chief Justice George was 55.35%, Justice Panelli was 55.17%, Justice Moreno was 52.94%, Justice Kennard was 51.4%, Justice Werdegar was 50.3%, and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Eagleson were 50% apiece. Justice Lucas supported defendants 48.98% of the time. Justice Liu did so 46.43% of the time. Justice Kruger and Justice Cuellar supported the majority 40% of the time, but Justice Mosk did so in only 28% of cases.
Meet us back here next time as we turn our attention to the data on employment law.