Exposure, in its broadest sense, involves a multitude of factors, both objective and subjective. Exposure, in its broadest sense, involves a multitude of factors, both objective and subjective. (Photo: Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

In a litigation landscape marked by ever-increasing severity, handling catastrophic, or potentially catastrophic matters is becoming more of a norm. Jury awards, particularly in situations allowing for punitive damages, can reach into the billions. To achieve optimal resolution, it is essential to recognize when a claim is catastrophic to marshal the correct approach.

But how do you recognize a catastrophic case and, once recognized, how do you manage it?  What are the factors that are likely to make a case catastrophic vs. “run of the mill” (if such cases exist)? Further, if a case is truly catastrophic, how do you establish the best pathway to resolution? While some factors that support characterizing a case as catastrophic are rather obvious, others can be more subtle and possibly latent.

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