The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards

American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming

Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-33

65 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2009

See all articles by Alison F. Del Rossi

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

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 19, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: punitives, punitive damages, blockbuster awards, compensatory damages, damages ratio, Exxon

JEL Classification: K40, K10

Suggested Citation

Del Rossi, Alison F. and Viscusi, W. Kip, The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards (October 19, 2009). American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1516007

Alison F. Del Rossi

Saint Lawrence University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Romoda Drive
Canton, NY 13617
United States

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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