The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards

64 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2009 Last revised: 20 Jul 2010

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

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Date Written: December 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.

Suggested Citation

Del Rossi, Alison F. and Viscusi, W. Kip, The Changing Landscape of Blockbuster Punitive Damages Awards (December 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15571. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1518764

Alison F. Del Rossi (Contact Author)

Saint Lawrence University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Romoda Drive
Canton, NY 13617
United States

W. Kip Viscusi

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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