Monday, March 6, 2017

Punitive Damages

Below is a good summary of the current law on applying the punitive damages caps. 

“[P]roof of net worth is not required to award punitive damages. . . . [F]or a defendant to mitigate potential punitive damages, it is his responsibility to present proof of his net worth and financial condition.” Woodkrest Custom Homes Inc. v. Cooper, 108 So. 3d 460, 469 (¶¶41-42) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (citing C&C Trucking Co. v. Smith, 612 So. 2d 1092, 1102, 1105 (Miss. 1992)); accord Coleman & Coleman Enters., 106 So. 3d at 320 (¶33). Furthermore, the “evidence must be sufficient to enable the trial court to determine the defendant’s current net worth, according to generally accepted accounting principles.” In re Miss. Medicaid Pharm. Average Wholesale Price Litig. (“AWP Litig.”), 190 So. 3d 829, 846 (¶40) ( 2015) (opinion of Chandler, J., joined by Kitchens and King, JJ., affirming).

Here is one point I can take from the above.  From reading this, does this mean the Defendant must produce proof of their net worth in discovery or waive the issue?  The caselaw seems to say yes.  To me this looks like a landmine for Defendants potentially who keep opposing turning over this information in discovery or alternatively, produce nothing because no question requesting it was asked in discovery. 

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