Some days its frustrating. This morning was one of those days. We work hard for our clients and sometimes there's not much we can do. Our client got hurt in a wreck, but for reasons which I can't go into here, we had to accept a greatly reduced rate in settlement. The only reason she got any … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened to Compassion and Mercy?
Now we all know, in some detail, what the United States Supreme Court said about punitive damages in State Farm v. Campbell. So what? Is it important to you and me? Can anyone, with a straight face, seriously be upset that a jury verdict for punitive damages of $145 million was reduced to over $9 … [Read more...] about But, What Do I Think?
Just last week a Polson jury found that two Missoula teenagers died in a head-on wreck because the Hyundai Tiburon they were driving contained a defective steering knuckle. I don't usually blog about verdicts for the sake of blogging about verdicts -- but this one ties in with what we've been … [Read more...] about Olson v Hyundai Motor Co.
(To see the first two parts of this post, click here and here). The United States Supreme Court accepted the writ to review the Utah Supreme Court's ruling that the Campbell's $145 million punitive damages verdict was constitutional. And then held that it was not. (See the majority opinion … [Read more...] about State Farm v. Campbell, Part 3
In Part 1, I gave you the facts for the underlying case. In summary, Campbell was at-fault for causing a wreck which seriously injured Slusher and killed Ospital. State Farm -- Campbell's auto insurance -- took the case all the way to trial. In so doing, it exposed the Campbells to a $135 k … [Read more...] about State Farm v. Campbell, Part 2
Since I’ve spent the last couple weeks (here and here) talking in generalities about punitive damages, I thought I’d talk specifically about State Farm v. Campbell today. Campbell started off with a tragic, yet common, car wreck. Campbell was driving his car in Utah and decided to pass 6 vehicles … [Read more...] about State Farm v. Campbell, Part 1
The Montana Attorney General filed his notice on April 22 that he will intervene in the Butte Local Development Group v. Masters Group International appeal, to defend the constitutionality of Montana's punitive damages cap. In my last post on the Montana punitive damages cap, I said I trusted a … [Read more...] about Punitive Damages…Even with No Montana Cap, There are Parameters
You might have heard about the huge Butte jury verdict a couple months ago. Over $52 million, to be more precise. The award was against Comerica, a bank. Essentially, a start-up business was given promises by a bank that reneged on its promises. Several times. I'm not an expert on this jury … [Read more...] about Punitive Damages Caps — Are they Unconstitutional?