December 16, 2020

Supreme Court grants cert in punitive damages case, but declines to consider punitive damages issue (TransUnion v. Ramirez)

Today the Supreme Court granted a certiorari petition that raised two remedies issues, the second of which involves punitive damages:

1. Whether either Article III or Rule 23 permits a damages class action where the vast majority of the class suffered no actual injury, let alone an injury anything like what the class representative suffered. 

2. Whether a punitive damages award that is multiple times greater than an already-substantial classwide award of statutory damages, and is orders of magnitude larger than any actual proven injury, violates due process. 

However, the order granting certiorari expressly limits review to the first issue.  The Supreme Court has not considered the issue of excessive punitive damages since Exxon Shipping in 2008, and the justices apparently have no interest in revisiting that issue again anytime soon.

Hat tip: Rick Hasen