Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Punitive Damages Decision

I don't usually use this space just to post news but I thought it worth pointing out that the Supreme Court today issued a remarkable ruling on punitive damages. In Philip Morris USA v. Williams the Court held that the due process clause forbids a state from including in the measure of punitive damages harm done to persons other than plaintiffs. Among other things, the case produced an interesting alignment. Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Souter, and Alito. The dissenters were Stevens, Scalia, Thomas, and Ginsburg. Discuss amongst yourselves.