September 11, 2008

W. Va. Supreme Court Candidates Support Appellate Review of Punitive Damages

The Charleston Gazette contains this article about candidates running for election to the West Virginia Supreme Court: "Two Supreme Court Hopefuls Support Automatic Review of Punitive Damages."

Currently, defendants in West Virginia have no right to appellate review of punitive damages awards. All they can do is seek discretionary review by the West Virginia Supreme Court. As we observed in a prior post, the absence of a right to appeal raises due process questions.

The issue has been in the spotlight recently because the West Virginia Supreme Court declined to review a case involving $270 million in punitive damages and the Governor of West Virginia filed a controversial amicus brief asking the court to review a $196.2 million punitive damages award against DuPont.