Punitive Damages

GMSR has extensive experience in addressing the propriety of punitive damages awards, both in seeking preserve awards when they are adequately supported and in getting excessive awards reduced or eliminated.

CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court (2017) 11 Cal. App. 5th 1255

A truck driver allegedly caused an accident. Unbeknownst to his employer, he had a significant pre-employment history of alcohol and drug abuse and vehicle accidents. This was not discovered by a third-party which handled pre-employment screenings. The driver also had some minor accidents and speeding

Court of Appeal strikes punitive damage claim against employer of truck driver.

CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court, California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Four [published] Plaintiff sued the employer of a truck driver for negligent hiring/retention and sought punitive damages.  The trial court refused to strike the punitive damages allegations, but the Court of Appeal granted

Court of Appeal reverses quiet title summary judgment against GMSR’s client

Perez v. Wiesand (2015) 2015 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 3361 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven) [unpublished]. GMSR’s client was a defendant in a quiet title action between family members over ownership of two rental properties. A grandson successfully moved for summary judgment,

Wilson v. Southern Cal. Edison Co. (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 123

Court of Appeal reverses $4 million emotional distress judgment

O’Neil v. Crane Co. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 335

Leading the briefing and oral argument in a case watched nationwide, Laurie won a ruling foreclosing strict liability and negligence liability (in most circumstances) for a manufacturer that did not make or sell an injury-causing product foreseeably used with its own.

Aug 03, 2007 Related Cases
Pointe San Diego Residential Community, L.P. v. W.W.I. Properties, 2007 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 5649

Real estate dispute; reversal of punitive damage award in corporate derivative suit; only injured party can recover punitive damages; ratio of punitive to compensatory damages

Perez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, 2005 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 11757

Reduction of $25 million punitive damage award to $711,000 in insurance bad faith judgment in farm tractor accident

396 Investments, Inc. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 2005 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 4876

Reduction of $25 million punitive damage award to $1 million

Alexander v. Farmers Group, Inc., 2004 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 5685

Independent contractor claims for fraudulent inducement of employment barred by statute of limitations and parol evidence rule

Hanstad v. Truck Ins. Exchange, 2002 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 8605

$40 million punitive damages award reversed because trial court improperly usurped jury’s role in determining facts regarding managing agent’s ratification of tortious conduct

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