February 28, 2014

Ninth Circuit grants en banc rehearing to decide excessiveness of punitive damages in Title VII case (Arizona v. Asarco)

The Ninth Circuit has ordered en banc rehearing in Arizona v. Asarco, a Title VII sexual harassment case in which a jury awarded the plaintiff no actual damages, $1 in nominal damages, and $868,750 in punitive damages. 

The original panel decision, described in an earlier post, was split 2-1.  Judge O'Scannlain, writing for the majority, reduced the punitive damages to $125,000. Judge Hurwitz dissented, arguing that the award should be affirmed in full. 

Hat tip: Howard Bashman via Rick Hasen.