January 29, 2014

Defendants seek California Supreme Court review in Asahi v. Actelion

The defendants in Asahi Kasei Pharma v. Actelion Ltd. have petitioned the Supreme Court of California for review.  As we mentioned in a previous post, the Court of Appeal upheld a $30 million punitive damages award in that case, the third largest punitive damages award ever to survive appeal in California.

Aside from the enormity of the award, the case is notable because the plaintiff was a large corporation that obtained punitive damages against three individuals.  The individuals were officers of a corporate defendant that itself was not hit for punitive damages.  That scenario is highly unusual, if not unprecedented.  Many corporate officers would no doubt be surprised to learn that, when their company gets sued by a corporate competitor, they can end up being individually liable for millions in punitive damages.

You can track the Supreme Court's online docket here.

Related posts:

Court of Appeal affirms $30 million punitive damages award - the third largest to survive appeal in California (Asahi v. Actelion)