Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

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

Fifth Circuit Allows Award of Compensatory Damages for FLSA Overtime Violation

In its December Vaughn decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that plaintiffs in age discrimination cases may not collect compensatory or punitive damages. The court based its decision on its interpretation of...more

Amtrak Employee Reinstated Following Retaliation for Whistleblowing

A former employee of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (“Amtrak”) was recently awarded a $892,551 settlement and was reinstated as an Amtrak employee, following an order from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Jackson Walker Media Clients in Important Free Speech Case

Houston partner John K. Edwards argued before the Texas Supreme Court in September 2016 on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend...more

Employment Law Letter - Winter 2017

For many years there has been disagreement about whether or not employees who bring discrimination claims under Connecticut’s Fair Employment Practices Act can get punitive damages (not just compensatory damages for lost...more

Ohio Court Compels Plaintiffs to Respond to Interrogatories Regarding the “Contours” of the Putative Class

In a reversal of the usual scenario where a plaintiff seeks and a defendant resists class discovery, the Southern District of Ohio granted a defendant’s motion to compel answers to its interrogatory regarding who was included...more

SPECIAL REPORT: Reservation of Rights

The South Carolina Supreme Court has concluded that: (1) an insurance company’s reservation of rights letter was insufficient and the insured had therefore waived its coverage defenses; (2) even if the reservation of rights...more

Connecticut Supreme Court: Punitive Damages Are Not Recoverable Under State Employment Discrimination Statute

The Connecticut Supreme Court rang in the new year with a ruling long awaited by employers, settling the lingering question as to whether punitive damages are recoverable for claims under the Connecticut Fair Employment...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules No Punitive Damages Under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently set aside an award of statutory punitive damages in a disability discrimination case brought pursuant to Connecticut’s human rights law, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act...more

How Damages Are Calculated in Accident Cases

Calculating damages in injury accidents is complex, involving considerations such as disfigurement, the loss of quality of life, ongoing medical costs, losses of earning capacity, pain and suffering, increased risks of future...more

EEOC Sues Marquez Brothers For Hispanic-Preference Hiring

Non-Hispanic Applicants Turned Away From Entry-Level Positions, Federal Agency Charges - FRESNO, Calif. - Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates violated federal law when they failed to hire non-Hispanic...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Position on Punitive Damages for Age Discrimination

Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed its earlier position that compensatory and punitive damages are not available to plaintiffs who allege violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)....more

The Spotify Settlement With NMPA: What It Means for Music Publishers

In March 2016, the popular music streaming service, Spotify, reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (“NMPA”) to cover billions of unlicensed streams from member publishers dating back to the...more

Lessons Emerging from Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trials

In a staggering verdict, a Texas jury recently awarded over $1 billion against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. (“DePuy”) (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) to six California...more

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