The Appellate Strategist

The Appellate Strategist

Insights on appellate issues, trial consultations, and evaluating appeals

Category Archives: Punitive Damages

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No Punitive Damages Awards by Human Rights Commission, Illinois Supreme Court Rules

Posted in Illinois, Punitive Damages
Late last week, in a unanimous opinion by Justice Rita Garman, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the Cook County Commission on Human Rights lacks any authority to award punitive damages. Our detailed summary of the facts and administrative and lower court rulings in Crittenden v. Cook County Commission on Human Rights is here. Our report on … Continue Reading

Can the Cook County Commission on Human Rights Award Punitive Damages?

Posted in Illinois, Punitive Damages
Our previews of the new civil cases granted review at the end of the Illinois Supreme Court’s November term conclude with Crittenden v. Cook County Commission on Human Rights [pdf]. Crittenden involves a question of administrative law which, depending on the breadth of the Court’s ultimate decision, could have broad implications: when can an administrative board … Continue Reading

Will Justice Stevens’ Retirement Make A Difference In The Supreme Court’s Approach To Punitive Damages?

Posted in Federal, Punitive Damages, Supreme Court Vacancy
Justice John Paul Stevens has been tagged by many as a “liberal.” Appellate Strategist does not propose to debate that general proposition here. Rather, it’s time to begin assessing what effect his absence might have on the growing body of Supreme Court jurisprudence that has been cutting back, a little at a time, on the blockbuster punitive … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court’s New Punitive Damages Opinion Signals Trial Judges on When and How to Cut Such Awards Under State Law

Posted in Illinois, Punitive Damages
Today, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a punitive damage award that had been drastically reduced by the trial judge, and cut still more by the intermediate appellate court, to slightly over $80,000, or 1:1.  The State high court affirmed the punitives as reduced to 1:1.  This may sound like just another case applying the Campbell … Continue Reading

New California Bill Would Cap Punitive Damages at Three Times Compensatories, Outright Bar Punitives Retroactively in Product-Warning Cases

Posted in California, Punitive Damages
CAPPING AT THREE.  AB2740, a new version of an old bill pending in the California State Legislature, would cap the amount of punitive damages available in California to a flat three times the jury’s award of compensatory damages. AB2740 The previous version died in Committee.  The new iteration (tacked onto a National Guard bill, of all … Continue Reading

“Cutting-Edge” Law: Another California Court Trims a 7-Figure Punitive Damages Award Down to Size

Posted in California, Insurance, Punitive Damages
Add yet another appellate opinion to the growing list of California courts that have cut punitive damage awards on constitutional excessiveness grounds. In this one, Amerigraphics, the jury awarded $3 million in punitive damages in an insurance bad faith case.  The trial court cut that number  to $1.7 million, but according to the California Court … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Will Release Two New Civil Opinions on Thursday

Posted in Illinois, Punitive Damages
The Illinois Supreme Court announced this afternoon that it will release seven opinions [pdf] on the morning of Thursday, April 15th, including two civil cases: No. 106511, Carter v. SSC Odin Operating Company, LLC, which presents the issue of whether the clauses of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act invalidating any contractual provision limiting a resident’s … Continue Reading

California: Cutting Back On Punitive Damages Against Insurers?

Posted in Insurance, Punitive Damages
With a recent employment decision, the California Supreme Court has handed insurance companies a compelling new argument, potentially limiting their exposure to punitive damages in bad faith cases. The question is: when is an insurance company subject to punitive damages for the acts of an employee/ adjuster in connection with the handling of a single … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Civil Issues Pending: Intentional Torts

Posted in Punitive Damages, Texas
[UPDATED THROUGH APRIL 1, 2010] Conversion, Punitive Damages. Does probative evidence support the finding that defendant stole 13 cattle? Did evidence support finding that defendant acted with malice under the “clear and convincing standard?” Is award of over $1 million in punitive damages constitutionally excessive in case involving theft of cattle worth approximately $5,000? Bennett v. … Continue Reading

Why File A Post-Trial Motion?

Posted in Key Posts, Punitive Damages
1. Snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. A new trial motion gives the trial judge a chance to cut the jury’s punitive verdict, eliminate it altogether, or grant a new trial. A successful motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) – known as JMOL in federal court – lets the trial judge declare the … Continue Reading