November 23, 2012

Los Angeles jury awards $7.7M in punitive damages to former "The Price is Right" model; try to guess the final award without going over

The Associated Press reports that a Los Angeles jury has awarded $777,000 in compensatory damages and $7.7 million in punitive damages in an employment discrimination suit brought by a former model on "The Price is Right."  The plaintiff, Brandi Cochran, claims she was not permitted to return to work on the show after she took maternity leave.  The defendant, Freemantle Media, contends the trial judge erroneously excluded evidence that over 40 percent of the models on the show have been pregnant.

Given the size of the compensatory damages and the high punitive-to-compensatory ratio, this award is not likely to survive through posttrial motions and an appeal.  Our readers are invited to guess the final amount of the punitive damages award, without going over.