March 17, 2013

Louisiana appellate court increases jury's punitive damages award

Last week, the Louisiana Court of Appeal issued this opinion (Rachal v. Brouillette) increasing a jury's award of punitive damages against a drunk driver from $100,000 to $500,000.  This opinion caught our eye because the idea of an appellate court increasing a jury's award of punitive damages is literally unheard of in California.  Sometimes a California appellate court will disagree with a trial court's decision to reduce a jury's award, and will reinstate all or part of the original award.  But a California court would never increase the punitive damages above what the jury awarded.

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