Instructing Juries on Punitive Damages: Due Process Revisited after Philip Morris v. Williams
65 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2007
In this article, the authors consider the due process implications on punitive damages jury instructions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Philip Morris USA v. Williams. In particular, the authors survey and categorize the model punitive damages jury instructions in every state and explain how most model instructions fail to reflect the substantive due process limits on punitive damages, and indeed, often direct juries to consider unconstitutional factors in imposing awards. The authors then navigate the complex waters of the Supreme Court's recent punitive damages jurisprudence and identify how juries should be instructed to properly perform the difficult and controversial task of punishing and deterring defendants through the imposition of monetary awards.
Keywords: punitive damages, jury instructions, due process, Philip Morris v. Williams
JEL Classification: K13, K19, K41, K42
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