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Punitive Damages - Which State's Law Applies?

September 2018 - DRI's For The Defense
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Eye-popping damages awards in personal injury actions against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are becoming all too common. Jury awards in the tens of millions of dollars have become almost routine—and every month seems to bring at least one nine-figure jury verdict in these cases. Punitive damages make up the biggest component of such awards by far. With manufacturers facing thousands of these suits and the very real possibility of punitive damages awards for each individual case brought to trial, the question of which state’s punitive damages law will apply can be of paramount importance. Will it be the law of the state in which the plaintiff brought the case, or the law of the defendant’s home state?

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