November 27, 2019

Court of Appeal affirms $640,000 punitive damages award (Callahan v. Ami Adini & Associates)

In this unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal (Fourth District, Division One) affirms a punitive damages award that is roughly equal to the amount of compensatory damages. In theory, even a one-to-one ratio can be constitutionally excessive, if for example the reprehensibility of the defendant's conduct is extremely low (which is what the defendant argued here).  In practice, however, we rarely ever see a California appellate court reducing an award as excessive when the ratio is already one to one.