November 30, 2011

Review denied in Bullock v. Philip Morris

The California Supreme Court has denied review in Bullock v. Philip Morris (again).   To recap, that's the case in which the majority opinion upheld a $13.8 million punitive damages award that was 16 times the compensatory damages award of $850,000.  Although the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed that the ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages should be low (or even one-to-one) when compensatory damages are substantial, the majority held that $850,000 is not "substantial" when compared to the wealth of the defendant.  Justice Kitching dissented, arguing the defendant's wealth has nothing to do with whether a compensatory damages award is "substantial."  It will be interesting to see whether the next appellate opinion follows the majority or the dissent.


Related posts:

Plaintiffs answer petition for review in Bullock, amici line up to support petition

Petition for review filed in Bullock v. Philip Morris

Bullock v. Philip Morris Court of Appeal opinion affirms 16:1 punitive damages award

L.A. Jury Awards $13.8 Million in Punitive Damages to Smoker's Daughter in Bullock Retrial

California Supreme Court Denies Review in Bullock v. Philip Morris

Parties in Bullock v. Philip Morris File Reply Briefs Supporting Petitions for Review

Answers to Petitions for Review in Bullock v. Philip Morris

Plaintiff Files Petition for Review in Bullock v. Philip Morris

Philip Morris Files Petition for Review in Bullock v. Philip Morris

More on Bullock v. Philip Morris: Curing Legal Error with a Remittitur?

More on Bullock v. Philip Morris

Bullock v. Philip Morris—California Court of Appeal Reverses $28 Million Punitive Damages Award