July 9, 2008

California Supreme Court Grants Review in Buell-Wilson v. Ford

The California Supreme Court has granted Ford's petition for review in Buell-Wilson v. Ford Motor Co. (See the Supreme Court's online docket.) As you'll recall, that's the case in which the California Court of Appeal reaffirmed a $55 million punitive damages award even after the US Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeal's prior opinion affirming the same award, and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of Philip Morris v. Williams (Williams II).

The California Supreme Court's online docket indicates that the merits briefing will be deferred pending the disposition of another case, but it doesn't identify the other case. We assume the other case is Philip Morris v. Williams (Williams III), currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, but it's possible the other case may be Roby v. McKesson, pending in the California Supreme Court. We'll provide an update when more information is available.

You can view our prior posts on Buell-Wilson here. You can also read Ford's petition for review, Buell-Wilson's answer to the petition, Ford's reply, and our amicus letter on behalf of the American Chemistry Council (in which we suggested that the Supreme Court should either grant review outright or grant review and hold the case pending the disposition of Roby).

UPDATE: (at 5:59 PM): The Supreme Court's online docket for Buell-Wilson has been updated to clarify that briefing in Buell-Wilson is deferred pending the disposition of Williams III.