Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Virginia Supreme Court Holds That Courts May Not Instruct Juries That Punitive Damages Are Disfavored

The drafting of jury instructions on punitive damages presents unique challenges for defense lawyers. On the one hand, it is generally necessary to ask for an instruction that goes beyond existing law in order to preserve...more

Whistleblower Awarded $80,000 in Punitive Damages

A recent case, Peasley v. Regis Corporation, resulted in a jury awarding $80,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiff, a hair stylist named Valerie Peasley. The claim was filed under the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act....more

Has Exposure To Punitive Damages Increased In Arizona?

Until recently, it was generally accepted that punitive damages awards are to track awards of compensatory damages on a 1:1 ratio. This ratio was convenient for defendants, as it provided some amount of certainty when...more

6 Ways for Car Dealers to Avoid a $540,000 Sexual Harassment Jury Verdict

Many dealers took notice of the recent sexual harassment jury verdict against a Massachusetts Lexus dealer, in which a jury awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against the dealership although it awarded only $40,000 in...more

Third Circuit Holds That Under Pennsylvania Law An Insured Against Whom Punitive Damages Have Been Imposed May Not Recover Those...

As a matter of public policy, Pennsylvania (like a number of other states) prohibits insuring against punitive damages. But what happens if an insurer refuses to settle a case against a policyholder within policy limits and...more

Hawaii Finds Arbitration Agreement With “Severe Limitations on Discovery” is Unconscionable

Hawaii issued a bold arbitration decision this month. It applied its state contract law to conclude that the parties did not form a clear arbitration agreement, but even if they did, it was unconscionable because it...more

Texas Legislature Passes Two Bills Impacting Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Litigation

Companies at risk of personal injury or wrongful death litigation in Texas should take note of two bills recently passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, HB 1692 and SB 735. HB 1692 HB 1692 is intended to curb the practice...more

ABA Hijinks – Defeat the Resolution Supporting Unlimited Punitive Damages

Most of us are members of the American Bar Association. Some of us are more active than others. At one extreme, Bexis has been in what the ABA calls “leadership,” as editor of the Mass Torts Newsletter, for some 15 years. ...more

West Virginia Employment Update: The Mountain State is Becoming Much More Attractive to Employers

For the past several decades, West Virginia has not fared particularly well when employers were faced with tough decisions regarding whether to close or open new facilities in the state.  One of the factors that undoubtedly...more

Arizona Civil Verdicts 2014

Courage. Trial lawyers have lots of important traits and skills, and courage is at the top of the list. To be able to speak confidently to the jury who holds your client’s case in its hands, to tell that story in a way that...more

Why Criminal-Law Statute-Of-Limitations Principles Should Apply To Claims For Punitive Damages

There are not many true affirmative defenses to punitive damages, much less ones that can be established on the face of the complaint. One potential basis for dismissing a claim for punitive damages, which could be...more

The Bard Mesh Litigation

All filed federal product liability lawsuits claiming injuries with transvaginal mesh or bladder slings used for repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are centralized. In February...more

The Boston Mesh Litigation

Mesh products have been regularly used to repair abdominal hernias since the 1950s. In the 1970s, gynecologists used surgical mesh products designed for abdominal hernia repair to repair prolapsed organs....more

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli Reporter - Summer 2015

- In this Issue: - Has Exposure to Punitive Damages Increased in Arizona? - The Different Warranties Covering A Contractor’s Work - The Frustrating EEOC Conciliation Process - Demanding Access to...more

Texas Supreme Court Limits Amount Of Supersedeas Bond In Decision With Possible Implications For Cases In Which Punitive Damages...

One of the biggest challenges confronting a defendant that has lost a large judgment is the need to file a supersedeas bond in order to prevent execution on the judgment during the pendency of the appeal. There are good...more

West Virginia Supreme Court Of Appeals’ Refusal To Review Punitive Award For Excessiveness Under Due Process Clause Warrants...

As readers of this blog and litigants and their attorneys in punitive damages cases well know, the U.S. Supreme Court gets the final say on matters of constitutional interpretation, including the due-process requirements for...more

Mayer Brown Submits Amicus Brief For Chamber Of Commerce In Tenth Circuit Appeal Involving Excessive Punitive Damages

Although the Supreme Court’s modern due process cases have given lower courts a framework for deciding whether an award of punitive damages is excessive, some lower courts have been misapplying the Supreme Court’s guidance,...more

Montana Supreme Court Upholds $5 Million Punitive Award That Is Five Times The Compensatory Damages

Montana is known fondly to many as Big Sky Country, but it also is quickly gaining a reputation for big punitive damages awards. Not only are juries imposing breathtaking amounts of punitive damages with increasing...more

Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

Trespass And Other Claims: Ever Wonder If Litigation Is Worth It?

Flyboy Aviation Properties, LLC v. Franck (In re Flyboy Aviation Properties, LLC), 525 B.R. 510 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2015) – A chapter 11 debtor operated a small private airport. The debtor and an adjacent landowner had a...more

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of...more

Up in Smoke – District Court Vacates $20,760,000 Punitive Damages Verdict in Florida Tobacco Lawsuit

On April 23, 2015, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida vacated a $20,760,000 punitive damages award that had been levied against international tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris USA, Inc. by a...more

Practical Guidance on Application of Caps on Non-Economic Damages and Punitive Damages

In 2011, Tennessee joined a growing number of states that passed tort reform. In Particular Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-102 provides for caps on non-economic damages and Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-104 provides for...more

Case Update: Families of Factory Workers Awarded Punitive Damages to the Tune of Almost $40 Million

A few weeks ago, we told you about a jury awarding over eight million dollars to the families of two factory workers who were killed by a co-worker in 2010. As it turns out, that award was just the beginning. Last week, a...more

Recall Mishandling and Dangerous Child Products

Last year, Graco recalled almost 6 million car seats due in large part to a safety defect. The recall began with around 3.8 million car seats, but it grew over the course of 2014. When the buckle mechanism on the car seats...more

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