October 7, 2009

Ford Files Cert. Petition in Buell-Wilson

Ford has filed a petition for certiorari in Buell-Wilson v. Ford Motor Co., a case with a long procedural history that has already included one stop at the U.S. Supreme Court. (See the long list of related posts below.)

Ford's petition asks the court to clarify the standard for resolving a claim that a state punitive damages statute is unconstitutionally vague as applied to the facts of a particular case. Specifically, Ford argues that California's punitive damages statute (Civil Code section 3294) is unconstitutionally vague as applied to cases involving manufacturers whose products comply with applicable regulatory standards and industry customs.

Ford's approach is a bold one. The Supreme Court has never addressed an as-applied vagueness challenge to a punitive damages statute, as far as I know. But there's a first time for everything. If Ford can get cert. in this case, it could be the same kind of game-changing event as BMW v. Gore.

Related posts:

California Supreme Court Denies Request to Re-Publish Buell-Wilson

The Largest Punitive Damages Award to Survive Appeal in California?

Cal. Supreme Court Dismisses Review in Buell-Wilson v. Ford

Plaintiff Asks California Supreme Court to Dismiss Review in Buell-Wilson v. Ford

Buell-Wilson v. Ford: Two of the Three Issues Raised in the Petition are Not Dependent on the United States Supreme Court's Opinion in Williams III

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

Court of Appeal May Have Been Too Quick on the Trigger in Buell-Wilson Post-Opinion Order

Court of Appeal Denies Petition for Rehearing in Buell-Wilson v. Ford

Buell-Wilson v. Ford—Court of Appeal Says Ford Waived Due Process Protections Against Excessive Punitive Damages