July 10, 2008

Ted Frank Op-Ed in Wall Street Journal: "The Era of Big Punitive Damage Awards Is Not Over"

Ted Frank, a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and a frequent contributor to Overlawyered.com, has this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

The op-ed says that Exxon Shipping Co. did not foreclose the possibility of mega-punitive awards in future cases. That position is not likely to be very controversial. Everyone seems to agree that Exxon Shipping Co. is not binding authority for punitive damages awards under state law. While some state court judges may be influcenced by the Supreme Court's reasoning, they aren't bound by it, meaning that the judges who have been inclined to approve colossal awards in the past will feel free to continue doing so in the future.