The Supreme Court released its opinion in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-219, the landmark Exxon Valdez case, holding that the $2.5 billion punitive damages award is excessive as a matter of maritime law and that "a 1:1 ratio" of punitive to compensatory damages " is a fair upper limit" in maritime cases. What are the implications of this decision for due process challenges to punitive damages awards in the future? Evan Tager and Lauren Goldman, partners in Mayer Brown's Supreme Court & Appellate group with vast experience in punitive damages litigation, discussed the Exxon decision and its ramifications for future punitive damages cases during this webinar presentation. The discussion focused on:
- Will the Court's adoption of a presumptive 1:1 limit spill over into cases asserting that punitive awards are unconstitutionally excessive?
- How broad are the exceptions to the 1:1 presumption identified in the Court's opinion?
- Does the Court's opinion create a safe harbor for large punitive awards that are at or less than the amount of compensatory damages?