Quotient Verdict Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Quotient Verdict, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Quotient Verdict?

(n) Quotient verdict is the method of averaging the monetary damages awarded by all members of the jury when they differ in their opinion about the amount to be decreed in the suit before them.

History and Meaning of Quotient Verdict

A quotient verdict is a method of reaching a decision in a civil lawsuit when jurors cannot agree on the exact amount the defendant should pay in damages. The legal term “quotient verdict” means an average or the quotient, of what the jurors believe is the proper amount of damages to be awarded to a plaintiff. This method of calculating damages is believed to have originated in the early eighteenth century.

Quotient verdicts followed the earliest jury practice when jurors were not trained in the law but were meant to provide an assessment of the facts from their own common sense viewpoints. The approach was meant to eliminate the chance of a split verdict when the jury was unable to agree unanimously.

Examples of Quotient Verdict

Here are a few fictional examples to demonstrate how the term "quotient verdict" might be used in a legal context:

  • In a personal injury lawsuit, three jurors thought the plaintiff deserved $100,000, one juror thought they deserved $50,000, and two jurors thought they deserved $75,000. The quotient verdict would be calculated by adding up all of the damages and dividing by the number of jurors (which is 6 in this case), resulting in an award of $79,166.

  • In another case, four jurors believed the plaintiff deserved $200,000 and two jurors thought they deserved $150,000. In this scenario, the quotient verdict would also be $79,166, since it is the average of what all six jurors believed the plaintiff should receive.

Legal Terms Similar to Quotient Verdict

Some related terms to "quotient verdict" include:

  • Majority Verdict: A decision reached when more than half of a jury agrees on a verdict.
  • Unanimous verdict: When all members of a Jury reach an agreement on the case.
  • Hung jury: When a jury is unable to reach a verdict.