Punitive Damages Appeals

News & Analysis as of

Change in How SC Supreme Court Views Conspiracy Claims May be Coming

As our various courts decide cases, we watch to see if there are any trends that seem to be developing or whether a case signals that the courts are beginning to change how they view a particular issue or type of case. We've...more

Appeals Court Explains Punitive Damages Awards For Extreme Reprehensibility Or Unusually Small, Hard-To-Detect Or Hard-To-Measure...

In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (No. B234271A, filed 11/3/16), (“Nickerson II”) a California appeals court outlined the requirements for complying with the single-digit multiplier annunciated as a Constitutional...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

Ninth Circuit Substantially Reduces Punitive Award Against Walgreen

Things have been quiet in the world of punitive damages for the last few months, but two recent decisions substantially reducing punitive awards under the BMW/State Farm factors warrant mention. My colleague Miriam Nemetz...more

New Jersey Court Ruling Raises Price Of Employment Discrimination

Supreme Court Decision Impacts Potential Emotional Distress Damages - On September 19, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a jury’s award of $1.4 million in emotional distress damages to two Hispanic brothers who...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Punitives Slashed in Wyoming Carbon Monoxide Case

In a case closely watched by tort reformers, a federal appeals court has whittled a $25.5 million punitive damages award to $1.95 million in a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit in Wyoming. Reversing much of the lower...more

Maryland Court of Special Appeals Reaffirms Heightened Standard for Recovering Punitive Damages

On June 1, 2016, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion in 1st Team Fitness, LLC, et al. v. Francesco Illiano, No. 0136, Sept. Term 2015 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Jun. 1, 2016) reaffirming Maryland’s heightened...more

Bad Faith Attorneys’ Fees Are Compensatory Damages in Determining Cap On Punitive Damages

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., __ Cal.4th ___ (2016) that the attorneys’ fees awarded to a veteran who sued for benefits under a “hospital stay” policy should be...more

Court Affirms Finding Of Informal Fiduciary Relationship Between Step-Mother and Step-Son Based On Decision To Not Resuscitate...

In Shearer v. Shearer, Corrine and John were married from 1990 until 2008. No. 12-14-00302-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5685 (Tex. App.—Tyler May 27, 2016, no pet. history). John became ill in 2009 and was admitted to a hospital...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

Kentucky Supreme Court Sets Forth Helpful Principles On Liability For Punitive Damages

Cases in which an appellate court holds that a state’s standard for punitive liability was not satisfied even though there was sufficient evidence to support liability for the underlying causes of action are regrettably rare....more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...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

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

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli Reporter - Summer 2015

- In this Issue: - Has Exposure to Punitive Damages Increased in Arizona? - The Different Warranties Covering A Contractor’s Work - The Frustrating EEOC Conciliation Process - Demanding Access to...more

Texas Supreme Court Limits Amount Of Supersedeas Bond In Decision With Possible Implications For Cases In Which Punitive Damages...

One of the biggest challenges confronting a defendant that has lost a large judgment is the need to file a supersedeas bond in order to prevent execution on the judgment during the pendency of the appeal. There are good...more

Mayer Brown Submits Amicus Brief For Chamber Of Commerce In Tenth Circuit Appeal Involving Excessive Punitive Damages

Although the Supreme Court’s modern due process cases have given lower courts a framework for deciding whether an award of punitive damages is excessive, some lower courts have been misapplying the Supreme Court’s guidance,...more

Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of...more

Practical Guidance on Application of Caps on Non-Economic Damages and Punitive Damages

In 2011, Tennessee joined a growing number of states that passed tort reform. In Particular Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-102 provides for caps on non-economic damages and Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-104 provides for...more

5th Circuit Blocks Punitive Damages in Maritime Case

In McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that punitive damages are not available to seamen under the Jones Act or under general maritime law. In those cases, recovery is...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

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

California Supreme Court Rules On Mixed Motive Defense To Discrimination Claims, But Large Verdicts Persist…

Wynona Harris, a bus driver for the City of Santa Monica (the City), alleged that she was fired because of her pregnancy in violation of the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

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