TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, December 21, 2007

Punitive Damages, Due Process & Jury Instructions

Anthony Franze and I have posted our forthcoming article on SSRN, "Instructing Juries on Punitive Damages:  Due Process Revisted After Philip Morris USA v. Williams."   From the abstract:

In this article, the authors consider the due process implications on punitive damages jury instructions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Philip Morris USA v. Williams. In particular, the authors survey and categorize the model punitive damages jury instructions in every state and explain how most model instructions fail to reflect the substantive due process limits on punitive damages, and indeed, often direct juries to consider unconstitutional factors in imposing awards. The authors then navigate the complex waters of the Supreme Court's recent punitive damages jurisprudence and identify how juries should be instructed to properly perform the difficult and controversial task of punishing and deterring defendants through the imposition of monetary awards.


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