Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

Downriver Community Services Fired Counselor Because of Disability, EEOC Charged in Suit

Employer Refused to Make Accommodation for Herniated Disc, Federal Agency Said - DETROIT - A New Haven, Mich.-based provider of community health services violated federal law by denying a reasonable accommodation to,...more

Revised Military Lending Act Rules Impose New Compliance Obligations on a Wide Variety of Creditors

The Department of Defense (DOD) recently finalized amendments to its Military Lending Act (MLA) regulations that impose new compliance obligations on a wide variety of creditors, including issuers of credit cards and...more

Some Lessons From Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co.

On July 22, 2015, the Pennsylvania trial court in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. Action No. 98-813 (Pa. Common Pleas, Jul. 22, 2015) filed a supplemental opinion under Pa. R.A.P. 1925(a) in connection with the appeal...more

Virginia Supreme Court Decides Punitive Damages Case

In the recent case of Cain v. Lee, the Virginia Supreme Court determined that the Circuit Court for the County of Stafford erred when it granted a jury instruction that provided that “punitive damages are generally not...more

Courts Impose Breach of Fiduciary Duty Penalties on Officers, Directors

Officers and directors of companies can face substantial financial liability for breaching their fiduciary duties to the companies they manage, regardless of their ability to pay such damages, and sometimes regardless of the...more

The Difficulty Of Challenging FCA Fine As Excessive

Last month, in U.S. ex rel. Drakeford v. Tuomey, No. 13-2219, (4th Cir. July 2, 2015), the Fourth Circuit affirmed a False Claims Act verdict against a nonprofit hospital in Sumter, South Carolina. In an area of the law where...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Jury slaps AutoZone with $186M verdict for pregnancy bias

Earlier this summer, a California jury awarded nearly $186 million – $800,000 in compensatory damages and $185 million in punitive damages – to a former AutoZone store manager who filed suit against the auto parts retailer...more

Why Shady Grove Should Be No Impediment To Obtaining Bifurcation In Federal Court

As we have noted in prior posts, many states require courts to bifurcate punitive damages trials upon the defendant’s request. The question therefore arises whether a federal court sitting in diversity must or, at least...more

EEOC Wins $365,000 Default Judgment Against Bliss Cabaret for Race Discrimination and Retaliation

Adult Entertainment Club Fired Manager Who Objected to Ban on Hiring African-Americans and Terminated African-American Bartender Due to Race - TAMPA, Fla. - A Clearwater, Fla., adult entertainment club and its parent...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - July 2015

Eighth Circuit: No Bad Faith Where Insured Failed to Make a Sufficient Demand and Insurer Refused to Entertain Settlement Offer Prior to Completing Investigation - Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

Officer/Director Breach of Duty: If Things Get Bad Enough, There May Be Recourse

Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors v. Baldwin (In re Lemington Home for the Aged), 777 F.3d 620 (3rd Cir. 2015) – The debtor was a nonprofit corporation that operated a nursing home. The chapter 11 unsecured...more

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

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