November 18, 2011

Los Angeles jury awards $65 million in punitive damages against hospital

California juries are in a giving mood when it comes to punitive damages lately.  On top of last week's mega-verdict against Ford, a jury in L.A awarded $65 million in punitive damages yesterday against the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, according to this report in the Contra Costa Times.  The plaintiff alleged she was sexually abused by a male nursing assistant at the hospital.

The compensatory damages award is $2.36 million, resulting a punitive-to-compensatory damages ratio of roughly 27.5 to one, which will be very difficult for the plaintiff to defend in post-trial motions and on appeal.  Not surprisingly, the article says the hospital is already planning to appeal.