Taking a civil lawsuit to court tends to be a costly mistake, the New York Times reports. Researchers have found that plaintiffs who reject out-of-court settlements end up with less money 61% of the time, losing an average $43,000. Defendants turned out to be right more than plainfiffs about going ahead with a trial—but the average cost of a bad call was a whopping $1.1 million.
For plaintiffs who view an offer from a defendant as "half a loaf," it's actually often "an entire loaf or more," observes the study's co-author. Behaviorists credit a wrong-headed push to the end of a court battle to human gambling impulses, while critics of the legal profession believe hefty trial fees also play a role.