From the law firm of Quinn Emanual: "How Juries Think About Punitive Damages: The Empirical Evidence"--
Juries ignore their instructions. Juries don't understand their instructions. Juries can't remember their instructions even minutes after reaching a verdict. These are not the conclusions of a cynical trial lawyer, but some of the findings from a recent empirical study of how juries think about punitive damages.
Not surprisingly, studies of punitive damages have concluded that although juries feel about the same amount of "outrage" over a particular incident, there is often little agreement about how to translate this outrage into a dollar award. Other conclusions can be found in the full article.