Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Reading the Crystal Ball: Reservation of Rights Letters under South Carolina Law in the Wake of Harleysville Group Insurance v....

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently took a firm stance on what constitutes a sufficient reservation of rights letter in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., et al., — S.E.2d — , No. 2013-001281,...more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty (and Related) Claims Are Not Easily Defeated: A Case Study in Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings

Just what must be alleged for claims for breach of fiduciary duty to proceed past initial pleadings and into meaningful fact development? In a recent decision, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of...more

EEOC Files Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against J.C. Witherspoon, Jr., Inc.

Company Fired Hebrew Pentecostal Truck Driver Because of His Sabbath Requirement, Federal Agency Charges - CHARLESTON, S.C. - J.C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc., a South Carolina corporation headquartered in Alcolu, violated...more

Mayer Brown Submits Amicus Brief For Chamber Of Commerce, American Tort Reform Association, And American Insurance Association In...

Seemingly minor legal issues sometimes can have a surprisingly significant effect. That is particularly true with the ratio guidepost because the effect of any dispute about the guidepost’s application is literally...more

Washington Supreme Court Holds That Punitive Damages May Be Awarded to a Seaman Under a General Maritime Law Unseaworthiness Claim

On March 9, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion confirming the types of damages available to a plaintiff under a general maritime unseaworthiness claim, specifically determining that punitive damages are...more

When Life Imitates Art

– Will Caveats or “The Family Feud” Part 2 –  The North Carolina Court of Appeals continues to publish opinions in Will Caveat cases that could easily serve as a storyline from a daytime television series. One example...more

Federal Court knocks TPM circumvention with significant damages award

In a major victory for Nintendo, the Federal Court of Canada awarded $12.7 million in damages for circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright infringement. This decision (America of America Inc. v...more

Federal Court Cracks Down on Intentional Infringement with $1 Million Punitive Damages Awards

It's been a costly week for intentional infringers of intellectual property (IP) rights. In two separate decisions, the Federal Court of Canada has awarded $1 million in punitive damages. These are among the highest punitive...more

Does “Act” Mean Also a Failure to Act?

No, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in In re Cowen, adopting the minority rule and parting ways with four other Courts of Appeals. The automatic stay provision of the Bankruptcy Code addressed in Cowen...more

Nintendo Awarded $12.7 Million for Circumvention of Technological Protection Measures in Precedent-Setting Case

In a precedent-setting decision issued yesterday, Nintendo of America Inc v King et al, 2017 FC 246, the Federal Court awarded $12,760,000 in damages for circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright...more

Connecticut Common-Law Rule Limiting Punitives Does Not Apply to Statutory Damages

Drawing a distinction between punitive damages based on statutory and common law claims, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a common-law rule limiting punitive damages does not apply to an award of statutory damages...more

EEOC Sues Fracking Company for Race-Based Harassment and Retaliation

Downhole Technology Fired a Black Employee for Complaining About Racial Intimidation With a KKK Hood, Federal Agency Charges - HOUSTON - A manufacturer of equipment used in hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") violated...more

Employer Commits Willful Violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act By Including Waiver In Statutorily Mandated Disclosure

In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that including waiver of potential claims language in the same document as the statutorily required Fair Credit and Reporting Act disclosure was a violation of FCRA. In sum, the...more

Consistently Inconsistent? Fifth Circuit Appears to Have Conflicting Approaches to Damages Under the ADEA and FLSA

Can a plaintiff get pain and suffering or punitive damages in a retaliation claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)? In Vaughan v. Anderson Regional Medical Center, the Fifth Circuit, denying both an...more

Fifth Circuit Denies Punitive and Compensatory Damages for ADEA Retaliation Claims, Creates Circuit Split

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, recently found that punitive and compensatory damages are not available for retaliation claims brought under the federal Age...more

BuzzFeed Faces $11 Million in Defamation Suit by British News Agency

BuzzFeed, the popular independent digital media company, was hit with an $11 million defamation suit in January 2016 by journalist Michael Leidig and Central European News (“CEN”). Leidig and CEN are demanding more than...more

Punitive Damages and an Essential Jury Instruction

In one of our recent posts we touched on punitive damages in the context of one of the Pinnacle Hip bellwether trials. In this post, we address another interesting aspect of punitive damages: whether they can be used to...more

EEOC Sues Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours for Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

Company PresidentSexually Harassed Male Employees for More Than a Decade, Federal Agency Charges - HONOLULU, Hawaii - Three related Hawaii tour companies -- Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours, Inc., Hawaii Tours and...more

Compensation: Is it Becoming Employers’ Greatest Vulnerability?

A few weeks ago, a jury in New Jersey federal court found that Lockheed Martin discriminated against a former employee. The employee claimed that Lockheed violated federal and state laws by discriminating against him on the...more

Can the ‘Long-Ago’ Nature of Conduct Bar Punitive Damages — Even for Recent Injuries?

Does the statute of limitations bar a claim for punitive damages if the conduct occurred outside the limitations period, but the plaintiff’s injuries occurred within it? An Illinois federal judge recently confronted this...more

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

Metadata Plays Key Role in $10.8 Million Whistleblower Lawsuit Verdict: eDiscovery Case Law

Earlier this month, federal jurors awarded nearly $8 million to the former general counsel of a company who says he was fired because he blew the whistle on his company’s potential violation of a foreign bribery law. That...more

Product Liability Update: January 2017

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds Birth Control Patch Manufacturer Had Duty to Warn Patient Directly But Packet Insert Adequately Warned of Greater Risk of Blood Clots As Compared to Birth Control Pill; Design Defect Claim...more

Puerto Rico Issues Comprehensive Labor Law Reform

On January 26, 2017, Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Roselló, signed into law the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (the “Act”). The Act represents the first significant and comprehensive labor law reform to occur in...more

Ex-GC Awarded $8 Million For Retaliatory Firing

A California federal jury awarded Sanford Wadler, former General Counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, $8 million for his claims against his former employer under the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the...more

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Cybersecurity

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