Stats on Tort Trials and Verdicts in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Tennessee

Information is now available on the number of tort trials and jury verdicts in Hamilton County, Tennessee for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.

There were 797 tort cases closed in Hamilton County (not including health care liability act cases) and 27 tort trials.  Here is how that compares with prior years:



Note that about 3 – 3.5 % of all closed cases in Hamilton County are tried to judgment, a number which is generally consistent with past years.  When your client asks you “what are the odds my case will go to trial” you can say that, on average 96-97% of filed cases are resolved (through voluntary dismissal, dismissal on motion, or settlement) before a jury verdict or judgment is announced.

The number of trials – 27- tells only part of the story, however.  Only 14 of those trials were jury trials – the remaining 13 were tried to the court. The plaintiff made a financial recovery in 9 of those 27 cases.  Note:  the fact that the plaintiff recovered in about 33.33 % of the cases does not mean the plaintiff “won” about 33.33% of the cases.  Why?  Because we do not know whether the plaintiff’s recovery exceeded the pretrial offer.  We can say that in Hamilton  County last year defendants received a defense judgment in about 66.66% of the cases that were tried.  Here is the data in a graph:


What monies were recovered by the plaintiff in the 9 cases where a recovery occurred?  We have the answer only in three broad bands of recoveries — less than $100K, $100K – $999K and $1,000,000 and over.   Here are the numbers:


Thus, six of the cases resulted in total damage awards of less than $100,000  Only three resulted in an award over $100,000, and not a single one cracked the $1,000,000 award figure.  Indeed, the state courts in Hamilton County have had only one million judgment or verdict in a personal injury or wrongful death case in the last six years.

You can find information about trials and verdicts in tort cases for every county in Tennessee by visiting the Free Resources at www.birddoglaw.comClick on this link to find a list of every county in the state, click on the relevant county, and go to “Case Statistics.”  (Note:  we are still inputting the 2021-22 data so some counties will have data only through June 30, 2021.  All information will be complete before May 1.


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