Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Fear and Trebling: E-Book Class Action Takes a(nother) Bite out of Apple

The legal drama continues for Apple, Inc., as the tech giant recently suffered another in a string of significant legal setbacks in the e-book antitrust saga in the Southern District of New York. Last month, Judge Denise...more

Third Circuit Seeks Guidance from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Whether Insured Tortfeasor May Assign Bad Faith Claim to...

Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 12-4450 (3d Cir. Feb. 20., 2014) - Third Circuit petitions Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to decide whether an insured tortfeasor can assign his or her statutory bad faith...more

Direct Optical to Pay $53,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

Farmington Hills Optical Store Fired Employee Because of Request for Service Dog, Federal Agency Charged - DETROIT - Direct Optical, Inc., an optical store in Farmington Hills, Mich., will pay $53,000 and furnish other...more

What Are Punitive Damages?

Have you been seriously injured in an auto accident in San Fernando Valley by another person's negligent or unlawful behavior? If you answered yes, and the actions of the person that hurt you were atrocious (or outrageously...more

The Penalty Game

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals have been dealing with multiple lawsuits stemming from its drug Risperdal. Shortly after dodging a $1.2 billion judgment in Arkansas, J&J has returned its...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Feb 26, 2014

Fourth Circuit Allows Punitive Damages Against Insurer For Bad Faith Despite Lack Of Actual Damages - Why it matters: A policyholder is not required to prove ascertainable damages to be entitled to an award of...more

Foundering On "Sea-Tossed" Waters? The Fifth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing in Estis

After making a splash in October of 2013 with a landmark ruling in McBride v. Estis Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505, 517 (5th Cir. 2013) "that punitive damages remain available to seamen as a remedy for the general...more

Should Punitive Damage Claims Be More Limited in Florida Nursing Home Abuse Cases?

Imagine discovering that your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home you trusted to provide the care you could not give in your own home. Now imagine that the nursing home was aware of the situation and...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Credit Card Fee Constitutional Challenge

On January 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a constitutional challenge to certain credit card fees. In re Late Fee and Over-Limit Fee Litig., No. 08-15218, 2014 WL...more

New Jersey punitive damages analysis ignores established precedent

Since 2008 New Jersey law has effectively granted pharmaceutical manufacturers immunity from punitive damages claims. While New Jersey state courts continue to recognise and enforce that immunity, some recent federal court...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Defamation – Plaintiffs Limited To Recovery of Special Damages Based on Failure To Demand a...

Deepak Kalpoe, et al. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County - Court Of Appeal, Second Appellate District (December 17, 2013) - In lawsuits for libel or defamation against certain publications and broadcasters,...more

For Executives, This May Have Been The Most Frightening Holding Of 2013

Recently, I wrote about the Court of Appeal’s holding in Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd., 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 1017 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. Dec. 18, 2013). Because it was the holidays, I’m not sure that the case...more

Annual Report On “Judicial Hellholes”

The American Tort Reform Association has released its annual report on “Judicial Hellholes”—a term it popularized for jurisdictions in which defendants often contend that they can’t get a fair shake. This year’s report...more

Guidance For Developers: Protect Against Liability Through Planning And Regulatory Compliance

Recently, Phillips Lytle attorneys successfully appealed an award of punitive damages against a developer found liable for flooding neighboring property. Unanimously reversing the Appellate Division, the New York Court of...more

’Tis the Season of Giving, Right?

We all think of December as the season of giving. Unfortunately, prevailing defendants in Title VII cases don’t always feel that way. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prevailing plaintiffs enjoy compensatory...more

Federal PA Court Permits “Bad Faith Set-Up” as a Defense to Insured’s Bad Faith Claim

A Pennsylvania federal court recently allowed an insurer to plead “bad faith set-up” as a defense to, or “avoidance” of, a bad faith cause of action. The plaintiffs in Shannon v. New York Central Mutual Insurance Company who...more

Product Liability Newsletter - December 2013: Punitive Damages Based on Gross Negligence: Massachusetts Bucks the Trend

In the recent decision in Aleo v. SLB Toys USA, Inc., 466 Mass. 398 (2013), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) found that an $18 million punitive damages award based on gross negligence was not grossly excessive...more

Woman Awarded $25 Million in Punitive Damages from Tobacco Company for Husband’s Death

A Florida state appeals court recently upheld the decision to award Dorothy Alexander $25 million in punitive damages and $8 million in compensatory damages for the death of her husband. She claimed that Lorillard Tobacco Co....more

Weekly Law Resume - November 2013: California Court Finds 10:1 as Maximum Constitutionally Defensible Ratio Between Punitive and...

Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second District (August 29, 2013) - The imposition of punitive damages by a jury has been one of the least predictable, most subjective...more

Pate Estate v. Harvey: Division on the Appropriate Standard of Appellate Review for Punitive Damages Amounts

A trial judge’s assessment of damages is usually entitled to significant deference on appeal. Even so, when it comes to awarding punitive damages, appellate courts have a more interventionist role. But how interventionist?...more

Georgia Federal Court Rules That Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers Are Not Entitled To A Jury Trial

On November 12, 2013, a Georgia district court ruled that Dodd-Frank whistleblowers are not entitled to a jury trial or punitive damages. Pruett v. BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-02607 (N.D. Ga., Nov. 12, 2013). This is a...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Decide Whether Interest and Fees are Available on Legal Malpractice Claim

Our previews of the latest additions to the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket continue with Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum and Perlman, a case from the First District Appellate Court. Goldfine poses a number...more

California Employment Law Notes - November 2013

Employer Was Entitled To "Substantial Motivating Factor" Jury Instruction - Alamo v. Practice Mgmt. Info. Corp., 219 Cal. App. 4th 466 (2013) - In one of the first appellate opinions to consider the new jury...more

Employment Law -- Nov 06, 2013

California Employers Face New Laws On January 1, 2014 - Why it matters: Employers in California should ring in the New Year by updating their policies and training to reflect the new laws, particularly the major...more

Corporations Must Describe Employee Duties in Detail to Show Employee is not a “Managing Agent” in Order to Sustain Evidentiary...

A female employee experienced difficulty with the availability and unsanitary conditions of portable toilets at a job site. After she was fired, the woman sued alleging violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

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