"Punitive Damages After State Farm v. Campbell: The First Year"

January 1, 2004
Document: "Punitive Damages After State Farm v. Campbell: The First Year"

By David Rapoport and Keith Jacobson

Presented at the 2004 American Bar Association Aviation Litigation Section Meeting in New York City, this article analyzes the constitutional implications and limits of awarding punitive damages. While state courts are allowed to award punitive damages to redress egregious and intentional injuries inflicted by defendants, that ability was redefined by the United States Supreme Court in State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co. v. Campbell. The Court held that state punitive damage awards cannot be arbitrarily excessive and must comport with the constitutional constraints of the Due Process Clause. The authors explore the methods imposed by the Court in awarding punitive damages, and also discuss how the states have very differently interpreted and implemented those guidelines.

Publication information presented at the American Bar Association Aviation Litigation Section Meeting, New York, New York, 2004.