1024px-Surgical_Instruments_01About a month ago, we reported on a Delaware trial court decision reducing a $75 million punitive award to $7.5 million in a transvaginal mesh case. Last week, in what we believe to be the first appellate decision in one of these cases, the Fourth Circuit upheld a verdict of $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages.

The decision in Cisson v. C.R. Bard, Inc. implicates a number of issues that may arise with some frequency in punitive damages cases.
Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Upholds $1.75 Million Punitive Damages Award In Transvaginal Mesh Case

As we have observed in a prior post, defendants in punitive damages cases often fail to develop evidence in mitigation of the amount of punitive damages, enabling the plaintiff to focus the jury on evidence about the defendant’s wealth and to argue—essentially with no resistance—that a substantial award of punitive damages will be necessary to change the defendant’s conduct in light of that wealth.

Hip ImplantBucking this trend, Wright Medical Technology and Wright Medical Group, the defendants in multidistrict litigation alleging defects in their hip implants, have developed evidence designed to persuade juries that large punitive awards would be unnecessary and counterproductive. In particular, the Wright Medical defendants have developed evidence about the various deleterious effects that a large punitive award might have.  They also have developed evidence relating to their good “corporate character.”


Continue Reading Federal District Court Issues Split Decision On Admissibility Of Evidence Bearing On Punitive Damages