Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1127691
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (340)



 


 



Two Worlds Collide: How the Supreme Court's Recent Punitive Damages Decisions Affect Class Actions


Sheila B. Scheuerman


Charleston School of Law


Baylor Law Review, 2008

Abstract:     
This article examines the intersection between two controversial areas of the law - punitive damages and class actions - and argues that the Supreme Court's recent jurisprudence clarifying the due process limits on punitive damages has broad implications on the procedural laws governing the types of cases that can properly be certified as a class action. Specifically, the article discusses the Supreme Court's evolving approach to punitive damages from one that considered the harm a defendant's conduct caused to society as a whole to one that now focuses almost exclusively on the harm to the specific individual bringing the lawsuit. This shift, which recently culminated in the Court's 2007 decision in Philip Morris USA v. Williams, constitutionally requires that the amount of a punitive damages award relate to the amount of harm suffered by the party bringing the suit. That requirement is at odds with class action practices that treat punitive damages as a common, class-wide issue and that have allowed juries to assess a punitive damages award before evaluating the harm to the individual class members. The article argues, therefore, that where injuries are not uniform among class members, punitive damages cannot be pursued as a class-wide remedy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

Keywords: punitive damages, Philip Morris v. Williams, State Farm v. Campbell, class actions

JEL Classification: K10, K13, K40, K41, K42

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 1, 2008 ; Last revised: April 16, 2009

Suggested Citation

Scheuerman, Sheila B., Two Worlds Collide: How the Supreme Court's Recent Punitive Damages Decisions Affect Class Actions. Baylor Law Review, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1127691

Contact Information

Sheila B. Scheuerman (Contact Author)
Charleston School of Law ( email )
Charleston, SC 29402
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,645
Downloads: 216
Download Rank: 58,473
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  340

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.469 seconds