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Arkansas Supreme Court declares punitive damages cap unconstitutional

Matthew Malamud

What began as a case about negligent contamination of the domestic long-grain rice supply with genetically modified rice ended with the Arkansas Supreme Court striking down a blanket cap on punitive damages. That cap was approved by the state’s general assembly in 2003, but the court concluded that the cap conflicts with a state constitutional prohibition on the general assembly’s ability to enact laws limiting the amount plaintiffs can recover for tortious acts.

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