The Anchors Away Act addresses a tactic that plaintiff lawyers use to manipulate juries into awarding inflated noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. It is well-documented that juries will often be significantly and substantially influenced by a figure suggested by plaintiffs’ counsel and use that number as a base, or “anchor,” for determining the amount of noneconomic damages to award. Because noneconomic damages are subjective, the suggested award may be arbitrary. Greater appreciation by plaintiff attorneys of the power of suggestion has dramatically increased tort verdicts, driving up the cost of goods and services for all consumers. The Act prevents lawyers from stating a specific amount or range of noneconomic damages the jury should award, freeing jurors to decide on their own the amount of any noneconomic damages a tort plaintiff should receive.
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