Statement from AAJ President Kathleen Flynn Peterson on Exxon v. Baker Supreme Court Decision

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Statement from AAJ President Kathleen Flynn Peterson on Exxon v. Baker Supreme Court Decision 

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2008

Contact: Ray De Lorenzi
202-965-3500 x369

"Today's Supreme Court decision reaffirms that judges and juries in maritime cases may hold wrongdoers accountable for egregious misconduct by permitting significant punitive damages to punish the company and deter its reoccurrence.

"The Court said that punitive damages may be capped through a ratio only in maritime cases that do not involve extraordinary misconduct by the corporation itself. Those in the business community who claim this decision stands for a generalized punitive damage limit are wrong, and the Court has made clear their decision applies only to maritime cases.

"In non-maritime cases, punitive damages need to reflect the enormity of the offense, and should not be capped at the same amount as the compensatory damages. Punitive damages serve an important function under state law to punish and deter egregious misconduct that must be decided on a case-by-case basis."

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