The Current Challenges to Punitive Damages Awards

18 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009

See all articles by Margo E. K. Reder

Margo E. K. Reder

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: October 27, 1996


The author reviews the practice of awarding punitive damages and the consequences of such awards on the business community. Concerns over proportionality were raised where a punitive damages award was 500 times greater than the underlying compensatory damages award, and therefore the punitive award was so excessive as to violate the business's constitutional rights of due process. The Supreme Court was asked to rule on this award, and its decision ultimately raised many further questions in its aftermath, that still remain. The author recommends that there needs to be a closer balancing of the compensation for injury and punishment for egregious acts, along with business interests in a predictable legal environment, so that all parties are on notice as to expectations and precedent.

Suggested Citation

Reder, Margo E. K., The Current Challenges to Punitive Damages Awards (October 27, 1996). Business Law Review, Vol. 29, pp. 59-76, 1996 . Available at SSRN:

Margo E. K. Reder (Contact Author)

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617.552.0410 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics