July 2, 2008
Sebok on Exxon Decision
In his latest FindLaw column, Tony Sebok discusses the Supreme Court's punitive damages decision, Exxon v. Baker. Sebok points out that the Ninth Circuit's punitive to compensatory ratio was already within the presumptive "single digit" ratio set by State Farm. Sebok criticizes the Court's rejection of the Ninth Circuit's award as well as the Court's 1:1 ratio solution as "ad hoc." Sebok also makes some interesting points about the voting blocs in Exxon:
BMW’s majority, led by Justice Stevens, included Justices Kennedy, Souter and Breyer. These four were part of the majority in State Farm. But now look at the majority in Exxon: Souter, Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas. Stevens and Breyer joined the dissent.
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