November 30, 2010

Turman v. Turning Point: order striking punitive damages claim affirmed

We have observed that California defendants sometimes overlook the possibility of moving to strike punitive damages claims at the pleading stage.  In this unpublished opinion, the defendant filed such a motion, the trial court granted it, and the California Court of Appeal (Sixth Appellate District) affirmed. The court did so even though it awarded the plaintiff a new trial on her compensatory damages claim, on the ground that no substantial evidence supported the jury's defense verdict (you don't see that one every day).

UPDATE:  Here's another unpublished opinion issued by the Sixth District on the same day, affirming an order granting a motion to strike punitive damages: Foresta v. Board of Directors of Homestead Park.  We've only seen a few California opinions like this during the three years since this blog was launched, so it's quite surprising to see the same court issue two on the same day.