Punitive Damages

News & Analysis as of

California Sues Mendota Bioenergy LLC Over $1.7 Million In Misspent Public Money

On April 8, 2016, the California State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Commission) sued Mendota Bioenergy LLC, claiming it improperly spent public money targeted for equipment purchases....more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Jury Verdict Against Mortgage Servicer for Extreme and Outrageous Conduct

Following the Eleventh Circuit’s decision last month in McGinnis v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., No. 14-13404, mortgage servicers should be aware that failing to recognize and correct miscalculations of a...more

Tenth Circuit Reduces Punitive Award By More Than Ninety Percent In Carbon Monoxide Case

Lately, we have had many occasions to criticize courts’ analysis of punitive damages issues, so it is nice for a change to be able to report on the Tenth Circuit’s insightful decision in Lompe v. Sunridge Partners. Readers...more

Supreme Court Decides Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt

On April 19, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, No. 14-1175, holding that under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, U.S. Const., Art. IV, § 1, a State may not decline to apply the law of...more

Federal District Court Slashes Punitive Award In Hip Implant Case

A couple of months ago, I did a post about the post-trial motions in the first trial arising out of alleged defects in Wright Medical Technology’s hip implant device. On April 5, the district court resolved the motions,...more

Ninth Circuit Leaves it to Policyholder to Pay Eddie Haskell’s Attorneys’ Fees

Moral hazard lurks around the edges of many disputes about liability coverage. Everyone agrees in principle that insurance shouldn’t help bad actors benefit from their wrongdoing, but parties often clash over where the...more

Court Caps Exemplary Damages Award Where Plaintiff Did Not Plead or Prove A Misapplication Of Fiduciary Property Capbusting...

In Davis v. White, a lawyer sued his former partner over the application of a receivable. No. 02-13-00191-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3075 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth March 24, 2016, no pet. history). A jury awarded the plaintiff over...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $2 Million Punitive Award Against Chicago State University

The due process review of a punitive damages award for excessiveness has a number of interconnected parts. A series of relatively small errors can quickly add up and dramatically skew the outcome of a review process that is...more

When Are Punitive Damages Too Punitive?

The defendants aren’t in the health care business, but their April 1 victory in the Tenth Circuit has implications for defendants in all lines of business. That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighed in with an amicus...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds That Defendant Does Not Need To Plead Applicability Of Cap On Punitive Damages

An issue that seems to be arising with increasing frequency is whether the defendant must plead applicability of a cap on punitive damages in its answer. We have already explained why the argument that the cap is an...more

Hulk-Sized Damages in Sex Tape Privacy and Publicity Case

In 2006, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as “Hulk Hogan,” had sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem. Apparently unbeknownst to either of them, his best friend Todd Alan Clem, now legally known as “Bubba the Love...more

Punitive Damages Only Mostly Dead Under General Maritime Law

Following the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in McBride v. Estis Well Service, 768 F.3d 382, 391 (5th Cir. 2014), we reported that punitive damages had “expired and gone to meet their maker” when it comes to Jones Act seamen. As it...more

A Quick Look at Merrick Garland's Labor and Employment Record

On March 15, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States created...more

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Whistleblower’s Multi-Million Dollar Award

On March 2, 2016, an Illinois Appellate court upheld a jury verdict awarding over $3 million to Plaintiff James Crowley (Plaintiff) on his whistleblower retaliation claim under the Illinois State Official and Employee Ethics...more

New Jersey Legislative Update—What’s in the Works for New Jersey Employers

Since the beginning of 2016, the New Jersey Legislature has been busy introducing bills that would impose new requirements on New Jersey employers and employees....more

February Brings A Blizzard Of Punitive Damages Awards

The East Coast saw quite a bit of snow in February, but that is not the only kind of blizzard we have experienced this month. In fairly rapid succession, juries in three states imposed four multi-million dollar punitive...more

Bank Hit with Sanctions for Violation of the Automatic Stay

A recent case from the Western District of North Carolina, Statesville Division, reminds us all of the consequences for violating the automatic stay. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC apparently continued its efforts to collect a debt...more

Dave & Buster’s faces FCRA class action for alleged background check violations

Joseph Alvarez filed a class action against Dave & Buster’s restaurant chain earlier this year in Florida alleging that it used background checks for employment decisions without providing a copy of the report to the...more

California Court Of Appeal Bends Over Backwards To Uphold Substantial Punitive Award In Asbestos Case

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires procedural fairness in state trials, but that principle seems absent from a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a judgment against Kaiser Gypsum...more

Walmart Discrimination Case Makes Headline

Last month Walmart was hit, in headline making fashion, with a massive $31.2 million verdict in a New Hampshire disability and gender discrimination case. What makes this verdict particularly news-worthy is not only its...more

Retroactive Tax Law Provides Tax Benefits for Victims of Wrongful Incarceration

At the end of 2015, Congress eliminated some of the uncertainty regarding the tax treatment of damages for wrongful imprisonment. Newly enacted Internal Revenue Code section 139F provides that gross income does not include...more

Wright Medical Technology Files Brief In Support Of Post-Trial Motions In Hip Implant Case

A couple of months ago, we reported on a $10 million punitive verdict in the first hip implant case to go to trial against Wright Medical Technology. Last week, Wright Medical filed its opening brief in support of its...more

Jury Awards Over $31 Million To Former Wal-Mart Employee—But Wal-Mart Probably Won’t Have To Pay Most Of It

McPadden v. WalMart Stores East, L.P., No. 14-cv-475, awarded more than $31 million to a former Wal-Mart employee who had worked for the company as a pharmacist. The plaintiff sued for discrimination and retaliation after...more

Class Action Results in Hefty Bill: C$2-Million in Punitive Damages

In the recent decision Biondi c. Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301), the Superior Court of Quebec (Court) ordered the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (Union) to pay C$2-million in punitive...more

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