Compensatory Damages

News & Analysis as of

California Supreme Court Holds That Brandt Fees Awarded Post-Trial By A Court Must Be Included In Denominator Of...

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., holding that so-called Brandt fees should be treated as compensatory damages when calculating the ratio of...more

Updates On Some Cases About Which We Have Reported

There have been subsequent developments in several cases about which we have posted in recent months. On April 27, 2016, the California Supreme Court denied review in Casey v. Kaiser Gypsum Co., a case in which the...more

Insurance – Bad Faith – Punitive Damages

Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company - California Supreme Court (June 9, 2016) - Absent special justification, ratios of punitive damages to compensatory damages that greatly exceed 9 or 10 to 1...more

10th Circuit Reverses Punitive Damages Against Property Owner Based on Use of “Reputable” Contractor

As we reported earlier this month, courts sometimes disregard the general rule of non-liability for the conduct of independent contractors, and allow liability to be imposed against principals — including for punitive damages...more

Brandt Fees Increase Allowable Punitive Damages Whether Fees are Awarded by Judge or Jury

In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (No. S213873, filed 6/9/16), the California Supreme Court ruled that in an insurance bad faith case an award of attorney’s fees under Brandt v. Superior Court (1985) 37 Cal.3d 813,...more

Bad Faith Attorneys’ Fees Are Compensatory Damages in Determining Cap On Punitive Damages

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., __ Cal.4th ___ (2016) that the attorneys’ fees awarded to a veteran who sued for benefits under a “hospital stay” policy should be...more

AGG Litigation Insights Newsletter - Spring 2016

Potential plaintiffs and freshly sued defendants often discount the importance of damages analysis when it comes to litigation planning and execution. After all, disputes over liability receive far more attention during...more

Use of ‘Caps’ To Apportion Individual Defendants’ Joint and Several Liability Permitted in Employment Discrimination Action

On April 1, 2016, the United States Court for the District of Connecticut entered judgment on a jury verdict in Bakhit, et. al. v. Safety Markings, Inc. et. al., 3:13-CV-1049, an employment discrimination case, awarding the...more

Colorado Expands Anti-Discrimination Act With Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On June 1, 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law Colorado’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The act, which becomes effective on August 10, 2016, amends the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) and...more

Damages 101

Litigation is inherently results-oriented. Too often, however, even those experienced in litigation tend to blur the lines between subtly different categories of damages. Perhaps it’s time to go back to Damages 101....more

Kentucky Supreme Court Affirms Punitive Damages 386 Times Compensatory Damages; Clarifies Vicarious Liability Standards

Last month, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed an award of punitive damages against a hospital, under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), that was a staggering 386 times the hospital’s share of...more

Craigslist Files Another Suit against Data Scraper

For years, craigslist has aggressively used technological and legal methods to prevent unauthorized parties from scraping, linking to or accessing user postings for their own commercial purposes. In a prior post, we briefly...more

Court Upholds $1.6 Million C-8 Jury Verdict

In another development in the ongoing ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) multidistrict litigation, a federal trial court in Ohio upheld an October 2015 jury verdict against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (“DuPont”). ...more

Reflections on the Twentieth Anniversary of BMW v. Gore

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in BMW of North America. Inc. v. Gore, the first time the Court had ever held that a punitive damages award was unconstitutionally excessive under the Due...more

Tenth Circuit Reduces Punitive Award By More Than Ninety Percent In Carbon Monoxide Case

Lately, we have had many occasions to criticize courts’ analysis of punitive damages issues, so it is nice for a change to be able to report on the Tenth Circuit’s insightful decision in Lompe v. Sunridge Partners. Readers...more

Ninth Circuit Leaves it to Policyholder to Pay Eddie Haskell’s Attorneys’ Fees

Moral hazard lurks around the edges of many disputes about liability coverage. Everyone agrees in principle that insurance shouldn’t help bad actors benefit from their wrongdoing, but parties often clash over where the...more

When Are Punitive Damages Too Punitive?

The defendants aren’t in the health care business, but their April 1 victory in the Tenth Circuit has implications for defendants in all lines of business. That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighed in with an amicus...more

Hulk-Sized Damages in Sex Tape Privacy and Publicity Case

In 2006, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as “Hulk Hogan,” had sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem. Apparently unbeknownst to either of them, his best friend Todd Alan Clem, now legally known as “Bubba the Love...more

Judgment Day Dooms Employer: No New Trial In EEOC Case After Finding Of Failure To Accommodate Anti-Christ Fears

In EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-215 (N. D. W.Va. Feb. 9, 2015), the EEOC brought a religious discrimination suit on behalf of an employee against his coal mining employer defendants, parent company Consol...more

California Court Of Appeal Bends Over Backwards To Uphold Substantial Punitive Award In Asbestos Case

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires procedural fairness in state trials, but that principle seems absent from a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a judgment against Kaiser Gypsum...more

The Hot, Sweaty, Smelly Results are In: You Can’t Sexually Harass Your Employee Even if She’s a Lawyer and You’re a Guru

In a tabloid-worthy legal verdict delivered on January 27, 2016, hot-yoga guru Bikram Choudhury has been found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of sexually harassing his own company lawyer and then firing her after she attempted...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds $1.75 Million Punitive Damages Award In Transvaginal Mesh Case

About a month ago, we reported on a Delaware trial court decision reducing a $75 million punitive award to $7.5 million in a transvaginal mesh case. Last week, in what we believe to be the first appellate decision in one of...more

Filing Of Four Lawsuits Over Ten Years Did Not Waive Right To Arbitrate Where “Litigation Machinery” Had Not Been Invoked

Grigsby & Associates appealed an order confirming an arbitration award of compensatory damages and attorney fees to M Securities, in a dispute relating to underwriting fees owed in a municipal bond transaction. Grigsby...more

California Jury Awards $9.8 Million In Compensatory Damages And $70 Million In Punitive Damages In Hemorrhoid Stapler Case

In a post a few weeks ago, I reported on a verdict by a federal jury in Atlanta awarding $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against the manufacturer of a hip implant. Not to be outdone, on...more

Federal Jury Awards $1 Million In Compensatory Damages And $10 Million In Punitive Damages In Bellwether Hip Implant Trial

In a post last month, we reported on a district court’s rulings on motions in limine in the first bellwether hip implant trial against Wright Medical Technology Incorporated. The case subsequently went to trial, and last week...more

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