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Poll: Respondents favor individuals over insurers in lawsuits

More than half of the respondents in a recent poll said they would favor an individual in a lawsuit against an insurance company, according to the Defense Research Institute.

DRI conducted a national telephone survey to assess how insurance companies would fare against various demographics.

Fifty-nine percent of all respondents said they would side with the plaintiff over an insurance company, with little difference in results between men and women.

Twenty-one percent said they would be inclined to favor the insurance company and just 20 percent believed they could be impartial.

“The results of our poll show two things,” John R. Kouris, executive director of DRI, said in a press release. “The fact that only 20 percent would approach their responsibilities as a juror in an objective manner means that we have a bit of public education to do on the role of a juror in the administration of justice. Second, while some of the demographic responses are expected, others are quite surprising.”

DRI found that younger respondents were even more likely to favor plaintiffs, with 71 percent of those aged 18-29 saying they would side with an individual.

The defense group also analyzed responses by political party. Seventy-three percent of those identifying as liberals indicated support for individuals over an insurance company; 50 percent of conservatives said the same.

Based on the survey results, the group least likely to favor an individual: college graduates with an income in excess of $100,000, the only demographic surveyed in which fewer than half of respondents said they would be inclined to support the plaintiff.

The DRI said the poll is the first of what will be an annual national opinion survey by the group.

– Correy E. Stephenson

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