Punitive Damages: Inching Towards Predictability

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A claim for punitive damages can have a tremendous impact on any case. Even when an insurer is providing a defense and would not be obligated to pay for any punitive damages, the mere presence of a punitive damages claim can dramatically alter the handling of the case by adding uncertainty to the process. This, in turn, makes it much more difficult to determine the value of the case to reach a settlement. But recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts around the country have introduced a small measure of predictability into this area of the law.

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