Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

Southern District of New York Jury Orders Costco to Pay Tiffany & Co. $8.25 Million in Punitive Damages for Selling...

On October 5, 2016, a Southern District of New York jury ordered Costco Wholesale Corp. (“Costco”) to pay Tiffany & Co. (“Tiffany”) an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages for selling “Tiffany” engagement rings that...more

Ninth Circuit Substantially Reduces Punitive Award Against Walgreen

Things have been quiet in the world of punitive damages for the last few months, but two recent decisions substantially reducing punitive awards under the BMW/State Farm factors warrant mention. My colleague Miriam Nemetz...more

4.5 Million Reasons to Abide by a Non-Solicitation Agreement

On September 9, 2016, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld an award of $4.5 million in punitive damages against several former employees, who violated non-compete/non-solicitation agreements with their former employers. In...more

Greektown Casino Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

Employer Failed to Grant Leave Extension for Employee With Stress-Anxiety Disorder And Fired Him Instead, Federal Agency Charges - DETROIT - A Detroit casino operator violated federal law by denying a reasonable...more

University Of Denver Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

University Paid Female Full Law Professors Significantly Less Than Male Counterparts, Federal Agency Charges - DENVER, Colo. - The University of Denver violated federal law by paying female employees lower wages than...more

Punitive Damages Claim Blocked by First Impression Bar

In a case pitting the 1960s band The Turtles — best known for the 1967 hit “Happy Together” — against satellite radio, a federal court in California recently granted summary judgment for Sirius XM Radio on the plaintiffs’...more

Hedge Fund Wins $40 Million Defamation Judgment

Following a three-week trial in New Jersey Superior Court, a jury awarded $40 million to NuWave Investment Corp., a hedge fund based in Parsippany, New Jersey. The case centered around reports provided to prospective...more

The Honest Company Faces False Advertising Class Action

Last Tuesday, a class action lawsuit was filed against The Honest Company, Inc. (“THC”) alleging that the “natural” products manufacturer has violated numerous California State false advertising laws. Specifically, the class...more

New Jersey Court Ruling Raises Price Of Employment Discrimination

Supreme Court Decision Impacts Potential Emotional Distress Damages - On September 19, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a jury’s award of $1.4 million in emotional distress damages to two Hispanic brothers who...more

Pa. Superior Court Affirms Punitive Damage Award in Breach of Noncompetition Agreement

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that assesses punitive damages against several individuals and their new employer resulting from their en masse departure from a previous firm and, in the...more

MA Supreme Court Reinforces Employer Obligations on Sexual Harassment

The court’s decision to restore a $500,000 punitive damages award for failure to adequately address a sexual harassment complaint highlights employers’ duty to investigate every allegation and take appropriate remedial...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, September 8, 2016

In most recent decision on The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, district court grants Sirius XM partial summary judgment, dismissing plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages, but permits plaintiffs to seek disgorgement of...more

Defence & Indemnity - August 2016: II. LIABILITY ISSUES #4

D. Canadian court recognizes new tort of public disclosure of embarrassing private facts and awards damages totaling $100,000 and issues an injunction against the Defendant. Jane Doe 464533 v. D.(N.), 2016 ONSC 541, per...more

Punitive Damages For Sexual Harassment: Still in Vogue

When an employer is put on notice of workplace sexual harassment, it must take adequate steps to investigate and take proper remedial action or risk punitive damages. That is the import of a recent ruling by the...more

Assault of Home Health Worker by a Patient’s Father Prompts OSHA Violation

A provider of pediatric home health, Epic Health Services, was recently fined $98,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection with the sexual assault of a home health employee by a patient’s...more

Shoddy Harassment Investigation Comes Back To Bite Employer

Employers, has this ever happened to you? An employee has accused her boss of sexual harassment. Right now, it’s her word against his, but you might be able to find out the truth if you interview her co-workers. The...more

Court Grants $3,000,000 in Punitive Damages for ESI Spoliation (Delaware)

GN Netcom, Inc. v. Plantronics, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93299 (D. Del. July 12, 2016) - In this antitrust case, the plaintiff motioned the court to grant sanctions for ESI spoliation. In 2012 upon notice of a...more

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Worsens Headaches for Employers Negotiating Pattern or Practice EEOC Claims

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C., a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the EEOC can seek punitive and compensatory damages for a pattern or practice...more

Creditors Beware-Automatic Stay Violations Can Lead to Massive Punitive Damages

Ohio Bankruptcy Judge Assesses $250,000 in Damages Against Mortgage Lender for Violating the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy Proceeding - A clerical error by a mortgage lender led to punitive damages and expensive...more

Preventing Limitation of Liability End-Runs

Owners who are dissatisfied with their contractors’ performance increasingly assert fraud-based claims in addition to breach of contract claims because fraud-based claims are not typically barred by contractual waivers and...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Ruling Highlights Importance of Attacking Punitive Damages When Seeking Summary Judgment

Earlier this month, a federal judge denied two multidistrict litigation (MDL) defendants’ bid to dismiss punitive damages in a pelvic mesh suit because they did “not present any arguments” specific to punitive damages,...more

Texas Court Of Appeals Reduces $115 Million Punitive Award To A Mere Shadow Of Itself

Courts applying BMW and State Farm often emphasize the Supreme Court’s admonition that the constitutional line is not “marked by a simple mathematical formula”—typically when rejecting a defendant’s argument that the ratio of...more

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