July 6, 2019

Ohio trial court reduces punitive damages against Oberlin from $33 million to $18.8 million

We previously reported on the punitive damages awarded against Oberlin college for libel, and the fight between the parties on how to apply Ohio's cap on punitive damages.  The trial court appears to have adopted the plaintiffs' argument that the cap, which limits punitive damages to twice the amount of compensatory damages, applies to the amount of compensatory damages awarded by the jury, not the amount of compensatory damages after reduction of those damages due to a separate cap on noneconomic damages.

As a result, the court has entered a judgment in the amount of $25 million.  The jury awarded $44.2 million and the college was seeking to have it reduced to $14.2 million.

View the judgment here (link courtesy of Legal Insurrection).