Bush Administration Judiciary Successful In Reducing Billion Dollar Punitive Damage Verdicts - A Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyer Weighs In
When George Bush took office 8 years ago, he made no secret of his disdain for trial lawyers and his preference for corporate interests. Eight years later, the economy is in distress, individuals’ rights have been violated and more unsafe products continue to flood the market causing catastrophic injuries and deaths. According to a Bloomberg news article published on January 8, 2009 “The billion dollar jury verdict has disappeared from U.S. court rooms. Because of changes in legal rulings, punitive damage verdicts can be thrown out if they exceed actual damages; therefore, the diminished threat of high punitive damages has benefited corporate defendants by taking away the incentive to settle out of court.
The U.S. Supreme Court has chipped away at punitive damages for several years, most recently with its decision in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case where it will replace a $2.5 billion punitive damage award with one for $570 million