December 30, 2009

"Depecage, Punitive Damages, and Mass Torts"

Jim Beck at Drug and Device Law has an interesting post about choice of law issues in mass tort cases involving claims for punitive damages. Beck suggests that the law of the defendant's home state should govern the punitive damages issues, even if the law of a different forum (e.g., the place of injury) governs the plaintiff's entitlement to compensatory damages. It's an interesting concept that I have not seen explored elsewhere. Beck cites an Indiana opinion that rejected the concept, but that shouldn't stop parties from raising this issue in other jurisdictions.