Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Autozone's Predicament: A $185 Million Punitive Damage Award

The record $185 million punitive damage award by a California jury in November 2014 against AutoZone has been widely reported. This huge verdict raises immediate questions: How did this happen? What circumstances led the jury...more

Employment Client Alert: Punitive Damages Award in Title VII Sexual Harassment Case Does Not Violate Due Process

In State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, WL 6918577, published December 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an award of $300,000 in punitive damages did not violate due process even though no compensatory damages...more

Employment Law - December 2014

California Jury Awards Record $185M Verdict to Female Employee - Why it matters: A California jury made national headlines and terrified employers across the country when it awarded $185 million in punitive damages...more

Federal Judge Upholds Record $185 Million Punitive Damages Verdict Won by Fired Female Manager

Last month, a federal district judge in San Diego upheld a $185 million jury verdict in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against AutoZone Stores. The verdict is a record for a single-plaintiff employment discrimination...more

$185 million punitive damages for pregnancy discrimination: what led to the largest single-plaintiff employment award?

Rosario Juarez worked at AutoZone but now can buy 1 percent of its total market capitalization. Juarez began as a retail salesperson in San Diego in 2000. She was promoted to Parts Sales Manager but was unsuccessful in...more

Huge Jury Award in Pregnancy Discrimination Case – But Will It Stick?

Causing waves to travel through the legal community, a California jury has recently ordered a woman’s former employer to pay her $186 million in punitive damages. In the case, the woman claimed that she had been demoted after...more

Actions Speak Louder than Words: Jury Awards $185 Million in Punitive Damages in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

On November 17, 2014, a San Diego federal jury of five men and three women awarded Plaintiff Rosario Juarez $185 million dollars in punitive damages in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her former employer AutoZone...more

The $185 Million – Yes – $185,000,000 Single Employee Discrimination Case

On November 17, a federal jury returned a verdict against AutoZone in favor of a single plaintiff for the insane amount of $185,000,000.00 in punitive damages. The plaintiff alleged gender and pregnancy-related harassment,...more

ALERT: Danger Zone - Employer Hit with Huge Pregnancy Discrimination Act Verdict

In a stunning employment verdict, a California jury awarded $185 million in punitive damages and $873,000 in compensatory damages to a former AutoZone store manager who claimed the auto-parts retailer mistreated her based on...more

California Jury Awards Over $185M To Victim Of Pregnancy Discrimination and 'Glass Ceiling'

A manager at AutoZone who complained she was not promoted like her male counterparts, demoted for taking leave to have a child, and eventually fired for filing a discrimination action was awarded damages yesterday of over...more

Not A Zone You Want to Get Into: Jury Smacks AutoZone with Discrimination/Retaliation Verdict

On Monday a federal jury in California awarded $185 million to a former AutoZone store manager who alleged that throughout her employment she had been discriminated against, demoted, and ultimately terminated because of her...more

October 2014: Product Liability Update

Some Courts Loosening Restrictions on Punitive Damages. The 1990s and 2000s saw many developments 9 restricting the frequency and size of punitive damages awards in tort litigation, including both state tort-reform...more

Fifth Circuit Maritime Case Will Set National Standard

In McBride v. Estis Well Service LLC, a divided Fifth Circuit sitting en banc held that punitive damages are not recoverable by an injured seaman or his heirs under the Jones Act or general maritime law of...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Rejects Insurers’ Appeal of Jury Verdict on Bad Faith Failure to Settle, but Remands for New Trial on...

Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., No. WD76880, 2014 WL 4290814 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014), reh’g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 30, 2014). Missouri Court of Appeals affirms sufficiency of...more

The Point Of An Unenforceable Noncompete May Be Very Sharp Indeed

Writing for Mother Jones, Kevin Drum recently asked “What’s the point of an unenforceable noncompete agreement?” He posits two possible answers: First, it’s just boilerplate language they don’t really care about but...more

Maritime Bulletin: Fifth Circuit Rules on McBride

The Fifth Circuit issued its en banc decision in Estis v. McBride Well Service, LLC, No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. September 25, 2014) and ruled that a Jones Act seaman’s recovery is limited to pecuniary losses where liability is...more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Removing Caps on Punitive Damages: What is the Impact on Business? [Video]

Time will reveal the impact from the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision to remove caps on punitive damages. Some say it could either be helpful for consumers or a deterrent to job creation. Recently, the court ruled that a...more

Collection Practices Plaintiffs Try End Run Around Florida Punitive Damages Laws

In Florida, debtor-side attorneys are asserting a novel legal argument to bring punitive damages claims at an earlier stage, pursuant to the civil remedies section of Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act, Section...more

To Hell With “Oh, Hell, Why Not” – The Fifth Circuit en banc Reverses Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C.

In a much anticipated ruling, the Fifth Circuit en banc has reversed the original panel ruling in Estis v. McBride Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505 (5th Cir. 2013), which sent shockwaves through the maritime bar and...more

UPDATE: Punitive Damages for Jones Act Seamen are not “Pining for the Fjords, they’re Dead”!

On September 25, 2014, the en banc Fifth Circuit, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), concluded in a brief opinion that the Supreme Court’s decision of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.,...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court 2013-2014 Term Summary Part 3: Recap of Cases Affecting Wisconsin Businesses

This post is the third in a series of posts analyzing the 2013-14 term of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This post provides in a nutshell what businesses need to know about the cases from last year’s term of the...more

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Legal Update: Judge Makes Findings of Gross Negligence and Negligence

While the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has largely disappeared from the news headlines, for the parties involved in the litigation, the legal machinations, particularly with respect to liability, have a long way still to...more

Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Fraud Verdict Against The California Franchise Tax Board

The Franchise Tax Board’s Shande - This is case that has been more than two decades in the making. It began in the 1990s when inventor Gilbert Hyatt filed a California tax return showing that he relocated from...more

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statute Capping Punitive Damages Violates Right To Trial By Jury

On September 9, 2014, in a unanimous opinion authored by the Honorable Patricia Breckenridge, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a Missouri statute which imposed a cap on the amount of punitive damages...more

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