Punitive Damages Attorney's Fees

News & Analysis as of

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...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

Governor Baker Approves First Major Overhaul of Massachusetts’ Public Records Law

Massachusetts has its first significant update of its Public Records Law since the 1970s with promises of swifter responses and real consequences including attorney’s fees for failures to comply. In August 2015, we...more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2016

Last year the General Assembly enacted legislation prohibiting all public and private sector employers from disciplining an employee for “discussing the amount of his or her wages [or] inquiring about the wages of another...more

California Supreme Court Holds That Brandt Fees Awarded Post-Trial By A Court Must Be Included In Denominator Of...

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., holding that so-called Brandt fees should be treated as compensatory damages when calculating the ratio of...more

Insurance – Bad Faith – Punitive Damages

Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company - California Supreme Court (June 9, 2016) - Absent special justification, ratios of punitive damages to compensatory damages that greatly exceed 9 or 10 to 1...more

Brandt Fees Increase Allowable Punitive Damages Whether Fees are Awarded by Judge or Jury

In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (No. S213873, filed 6/9/16), the California Supreme Court ruled that in an insurance bad faith case an award of attorney’s fees under Brandt v. Superior Court (1985) 37 Cal.3d 813,...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

Massachusetts Legislature Overhauls Public Records Law

Last week the Massachusetts Legislature adopted significant changes to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. These changes apply to all state agencies and municipalities and in theory are designed to improve the disclosure of...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

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

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

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

Federal Circuit Reverses Punitive Exceptional Case Fee Award as Improperly Enhanced

On January 22, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Lumen View Technology LLC v. FindTheBest.com (Dkt. No. 15-1275), in which it vacated and remanded the lower court’s award of enhanced attorney fees under 35...more

California Updates Data Security Laws

Why it matters - The first state to enact data breach notification legislation, California has now updated Civil Code Section 1798.82 with three new bills signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Specifically, Senate...more

Avoiding Class Action Litigation Under Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a growing source of class action litigation, due to the high potential penalties that it provides for very technical violations. The statute imposes conditions, among other things, on...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

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

New CT Law Bars “Pay Secrecy”

On July 2, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 15-196, entitled An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.  The new law is intended to end pay secrecy, and specifically bars employers...more

West Virginia Supreme Court Of Appeals’ Refusal To Review Punitive Award For Excessiveness Under Due Process Clause Warrants...

As readers of this blog and litigants and their attorneys in punitive damages cases well know, the U.S. Supreme Court gets the final say on matters of constitutional interpretation, including the due-process requirements for...more

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award

Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine for approximately 11 months claimed she was sexually harassed, retaliated against, subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress and was constructively terminated from...more

Attorneys’ Fees and Prosecuting Bad Faith/UTPA Cases

Attorneys who litigate common law bad faith and Unfair Trade Practices Act claims are well aware that insureds who substantially prevail in an underlying contract action for insurance proceeds are entitled to an award 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

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

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