Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

DDL Summer Vacation Tripadvisor

To keep the DDL blog up and running even through the dog days of Summer, your trusted correspondents try to stagger their vacations. Bexis recently got back from his typically Hemingway-esque adventure, and now it’s our...more

Amendment to the Personal Information Protection Act Passed in the National Assembly July 6, 2015

On July 6, 2015, the Korean National Assembly passed a bill containing several amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This bill (the Amendment Bill) combines a number of major provisions from nine...more

The Sixth Circuit Finds Complaints to Harassing Supervisor Constitute Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (“Sixth Circuit”) decision could have major implications for employers within its jurisdiction. In EEOC v. New Breed Logistics, No. 13-6250, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6650, the...more

Collective Redundancy Consultation

In E Ivor Hughes Educational Foundation v Morris UKEAT/0023/15, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the implications of an employer’s failure to consult with its employees in breach of U.K. collective redundancy...more

For “At-Issue Waiver,” The Best Defense May Not Be An Affirmative Defense

As this blog has repeatedly documented, it can be hard for insurers to assert the attorney-client privilege in the context of bad faith litigation. One difficulty arises in states that enforce a presumption against the...more

ABA Resolution 105 on Punitive Damages Is Dead for Now

On the eve of the ABA's Annual Meeting next week, the ABA's Standing Committee on Medical Professional Liability announced its withdrawal of proposed Resolution 105 from consideration by the ABA House of Delegates. The...more

Insurance Fraud Act Suits by Insurers Held to Trigger Right to Jury Trials in New Jersey

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously held that a civil defendant sued by an insurance company for violations of the state’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA) has the right to trial by jury. In Allstate New...more

Wacky Employee Claims: What Employers Can Learn From Outlandish Situations

Think you've heard every cautionary workplace tale? Believe it or not, you probably haven't – the real question is, how prepared are you to handle wildly unusual complaints, extreme accommodation requests, and highly awkward...more

If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...more

50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy, Trades In Da Club for In Da Courthouse

The rapper Curtis James “50 Cent” Jackson III filed a voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Connecticut bankruptcy court on Monday, July 13, 2015. Jackson rose to prominence with songs like In Da Club and P.I.M.P. from...more

Update on Opposition to ABA Hijinks

Last month, we described the proposal by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Medical Professional Liability concerning legislation on “defective medical products” and punitive damages for “patient harm...more

Missouri Court Of Appeals Finds Juror Research Into Who Receives Punitive Damages Awards Non-Prejudicial

The Missouri courts seem to provide more than their share of material worthy of comment. In Ross-Paige v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, decided on June 30, a jury had found for the plaintiff, a St. Louis police...more

Sixth Circuit Gives Dukes Class Members A Re-Do, Allowing Them To Pursue Class Certification Of Sex Bias Claims Against Wal-Mart

Whereas Wal-Mart scored a major victory for employers in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), its saga continues as former class members continue to pursue class claims in regional forums. As we previously...more

"Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Allowing Punitive Damages in New York City Asbestos Cases"

In a unanimous ruling decided July 9, 2015, New York's Appellate Division, First Department declined to overrule an April 2014 order by Justice Sherry Klein Heitler, the then-coordinating justice of the New York City Asbestos...more

Montana Supreme Court Fails To Reach Constitutionality Of Punitive Damages Cap In Masters Group v. Comerica

A year ago, my colleagues Andy Frey and Rory Schneider wrote this post about a case in which the Montana Supreme Court had been asked to review, among other things, the trial court’s holding that the state’s cap on punitive...more

New CT Law Bars “Pay Secrecy”

On July 2, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 15-196, entitled An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.  The new law is intended to end pay secrecy, and specifically bars employers...more

Bringing Punitive Damages to the Forefront of Florida Trucking Litigation

Having punitive damages imposed against a trucking company is often a source of great anxiety for defense attorneys and their trucking company clients. Florida attorneys skilled in the handling of truck accident cases...more

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

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