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Quotient Verdicts, Juries

In civil cases in Missouri, verdicts generally require nine of twelve jurors — and the verdict must be based on a preponderance of the evidence. This is in contrast to criminal jury verdicts which require
unanimity — and a conclusion that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In civil cases, quotient verdicts are improper and may result in a new trial. A quotient vedict is arrived at by a prearranged agreement among the jurors to be bound by the result of the averaging of the individual estimates of the jurors. Jones v. Midwest Pre Cote Co., 412 S.W.2d 468, 471 (Mo. 1967). Prearrangement is the “central element of the quotient verdict.” Boquist v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 516 S.W.2d 769, 777 (Mo. App. 1974). This requires strong evidence that prior to the calculations ultimately resulting in the award the jury agreed to be bound by the total. Id.

This usually requires testimony from one of the jurors after the trial to affirm that they reached an improper quotient verdict. If one is demonstrated, then the case would likely be set for a new trial.

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