December 1, 2008

SCOTUS Declines to Review $100 Million Punitive Damages Award

The Associated Press is reporting (via The Wall Street Journal) that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Massey Energy Co.'s cert. petition in a case involving a $260 million jury verdict, including $100 million in punitive damages. The case involved a contract dispute between Massey Energy and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co. According to the story, Massey's cert. petition raised an issue regarding the failure of a West Virginia Supreme Court justice to recuse himself after making derogatory comments about Massey's CEO.

Ironically, the Supreme Court recently granted a cert. petition involving judicial disqualification and the West Virginia Supreme Court. Can you guess the name of the party who opposed cert. in that case? The party who allegedly benefited from a West Virginia Supreme Court justice's failure to recuse himself? You guessed it: Massey Energy.