Punitive Damages Reform: HB 58 (1997).
Limits the award of punitive damages in most cases to
Limits the award of punitive damages in most cases to the greater of three times the award of compensatory damages or $500,000. Limits the award of punitive damages to the greater of four times compensatory damages, four times the aggregate amount of financial gain, or $7,000,000, when the defendant’s action is motivated by financial gain. Limits punitive damages in unlawful employment practices lawsuits to: $200,000, when the employer has less than 100 employees in the state; $300,000, when the employer has more than 100, but less than 200 employees in the state; $400,000, when the employer has more than 200, but less than 500 employees in the state; and $500,000, when the employer has more than 500 employees in the state. Requires a plaintiff to show by “clear and convincing” evidence that a defendant acted with “reckless indifference” or was engaged in “outrageous” conduct. Requires the determination of awards for punitive damages to be made in a separate proceeding. Requires that 50% of punitive damages awards be paid to the state treasury.
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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