Behind the Scenes

Cybex Verdict May Have Been an Issue of Bad Timing

When Cybex was found liable in a product liability suit last month, many people in the industry expressed shock about the verdict amount—$66 million—and concern about the welfare of the company if Cybex's planned appeal isn't successful.

A story by Margaret Cronin Fisk in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, suggests that Cybex may have been a victim of bad timing. With all the bad publicity about companies such as BP and Toyota, with the recession still seemingly in progress and with banks foreclosing on homes, jurors tend to think that corporations just don't care about people. That is leading to a subtle prejudice against corporations, the story says. Ten of the 50 largest jury verdicts in 2010 were product liability cases, according to Bloomberg.

Do you think juries are more apt to side with individuals over corporations due to all the negative news about big business these days? And do you think Cybex has any hope in its appeal of the verdict?

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