The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards
Alison F. Del Rossi
Saint Lawrence University - Department of Economics
W. Kip Viscusi
Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics
October 19, 2009
American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming
Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-33
This article investigates the determinants of the blockbuster punitive damages awards of at least $100 million. As of the end of 2008, there had been 100 such awards with an average value of $3.0 billion. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in State Farm v. Campbell suggested a single digit upper bound on the punitive damages/compensatory damages ratio, which reduced the annual number of blockbuster awards, the total annual value of blockbuster awards, and the punitive damages/compensatory damages ratio. Applying the 1:1 ratio from Exxon Shipping Co. et al. v. Baker et al. broadly would eliminate most of the blockbuster awards.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 65
Keywords: punitives, punitive damages, blockbuster awards, compensatory damages, damages ratio, Exxon
JEL Classification: K40, K10Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 2, 2009
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