Plaintiffs hoping for 10-figure payouts, think again.
Bloomberg: For the second time in the past three years, juries in 2008 issued no awards above that amount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. In 2007, there was one such verdict, for $1.5 billion. In the previous 14 years there was at least one billion-dollar verdict a year and a total of 26. Six cases produced awards of more than $5 billion each.
…The top 10 punitive awards against companies in 2008 totaled $960 million, down 30 per cent from 2007 and 63 per cent from 2006. The last U.S. verdict of just punitive damages of $1 billion or more against a company occurred in February 2004.
..State and federal limits on damages or claims, business interest campaign financing of conservative judges and U.S. Supreme Court decisions have combined to create the decline, said attorney Robert Cunningham, who represents plaintiffs in suits.
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