November 24, 2014

Court of Appeal re-issues Izell opinion without changing punitive damages analysis

Last week we noted that the Court of Appeal granted rehearing in Izell v. Union Carbide, the case in which the court had issued a published 2-1 decision upholding an $18 million punitive damages award.  On Friday afternoon the court re-issued its opinion, without making any changes to the punitive damages analysis.

The court modified its causation analysis and depublished the part of the opinion addressing allocation of fault, but none of that had any impact on the punitive damages award.  The majority stuck to their view that the defendant has no right to a new trial on punitive damages, to allow a jury re-assess the appropriate amount of punitive damages in relation to the dramatically reduced award of compensatory damages.  And Justice Kitching re-issued her dissent on that issue.  So the case is still teed up for review by the Supreme Court of California on that point.

Related posts:

Court of Appeal grants rehearing in Izell v. Union Carbide

Court of Appeal affirms $18 million in punitive damages; reduction of compensatory damages from $30 million to $6 million does not require retrial of punitive damages (Izell v. Union Carbide)