Punitive Damages Reform: AB 307 (1989).
Limits punitive damages awards to $300,000, where the award for
Limits punitive damages awards to $300,000, where the award for compensatory damages is less than $100,000, and to three times the award for compensatory damages, where the award for compensatory damages is $100,000 or more. The reform does not apply to cases against a manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a defective product; an insurer who acts in bad faith; a person violating housing discrimination laws; a person involved in a case for damages caused by toxic, radioactive, or hazardous waste; or a person for defamation. Requires a plaintiff to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that a defendant acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice.” Requires the determination of awards for punitive damages to be made in a separate proceeding. Permits the admissibility of evidence of a defendant’s finances only during the proceeding for the determination of punitive damages.
This op-ed was originally published by Agri-Pulse. Mass tort litigation has become a multi-billion-dollar industry for trial lawyers over the past several decades as they’ve targeted everything from tobacco and […]
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