Monday, February 27, 2006
The Rhode Island punitives argument will be today. With most of the relevant conduct a long time ago (like many toxic tort cases), it's going to be challenging proof, I imagine, and hard to connect up the damages sought with anything that resembles the current defendants. Such an old case puts into question the value of punishment (though the deterrent effect presumably has as much force as it ever does). Much like the asbestos litigation, it's a good example (as was the underlying trial), too, of the difficulties of putting on an old case.