February 20, 2014

California Supreme Court leaves Pfeifer v. John Crane on the books

Last October we reported on the Court of Appeal's published opinion in Pfeifer v. John Crane, which affirmed a $14.5 million punitive damages award.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied two requests to depublish the opinion.  The defendant, John Crane, had submitted one of those requests. The other was a combined submission on behalf of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada.

In our prior post, we suggested the Supreme Court might grant John Crane's petition for review and hold this case pending the disposition of Webb v. Special Electric, another case involving the "sophisticated purchaser" defense.  John Crane, however, asked to withdraw its petition for review. The Supreme Court granted that request as part of its order yesterday, so Pfeifer remains good law.  But the Supreme Court will have the last say on the sophisticated purchaser issue when it issues its opinion in Webb.