Top Court Curbs Damages

At a time when Congress and many state legislatures are battling over tort reforms that will limit damage awards, the U.S. Supreme Court moved on its own this month, issuing a decision intended to clarify the constitutional boundaries in such cases.

In State Farm v. Campbell, the high court ruled 6-3 that the $145 million punitive damage award issued in a Utah decision in which compensatory damages were $1 million was excessive, and that it violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

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