Supreme Court’s own analysis, meaning that an insurer’s bad-faith failure to pay benefits could subject it to the loss of a whole year’s profit. If the insurer has fair notice that under the regulatory scheme it could lose an entire year’s profits for acting in bad faith, then it’s fair to notice that a punitive award for acting in bad faith could even be significant. it’s unlikely that an attempted court would allow you to argue that the exemplary damages should be a year’s profits, but on appeal, this argument falls squarely within the constitutionality assessment.
Jury instructions or check CACI California Civil Jury Instructions over the internet.
Because of these nuances, the jury instructions during an exemplary damages case are far more important. there’s no point trying to bop around the issues. Take them head-on and tell the jury they can’t award any amount of exemplary damages to reimburse the state or others who are harmed. But also tell them that they will take that harm into consideration and choose the reprehensibility of the conduct which is that the most vital factor.
If you think that you’ve got an honest shot at going to the exemplary damages, you ought to even be bound to instruct the jury that non-economic damages should not include any punitive aspect, so as to avoid the issues thereon issue from the State Farm decision.
Look at the proposed jury instructions quoted within the footnotes within the Exxon Valdez decision. They were developed by the court before State Farm was decided, but anticipated many of the problems and supplied an honest guide.
Once you’ve got the instructions, use them with the jury proactively and take the wind out of the defense’s arguments.
Obviously, the constitutionality issues surrounding exemplary damages jurisprudence are troubling and complicated- But if you a minimum of establish the evidentiary record during the trial of your bad faith case and assure that the jury is correctly instructed, you’ll set the stage for keeping the exemplary damages on appeal.
- The defense perspective of catastrophic-injury cases
- The service of a catastrophic injury case
The first issue involves the service of a catastrophic-injury matter. Essentially, the timing of service greatly impacts the response to the Complaint Timing is critical therein a plaintiff could also be ready to delay service, making it harder for the defendant to reply to the Complaint.
For instance, if there’s a court that pushes all cases for an attempt within a year, services are often effectively delayed for 60 days. With the 75-day summary-judgment statute, a defense lawyer must be cognizant of the timing from the outset. A catastrophic case must be skilled immediately, not only with a responsive pleading but also with discovery, so as to spot the character and scope of the claimed damages. Moreover, unique to the catastrophic case is that there must be an excellent emphasis on damage discovery; Typically, defense attorneys will specialize in the liability phase and delay discovery on damages. But with a catastrophic case, damages must be a primary focus of the immediate investigation. Any delay on damage discovery can impair the defense position on the case.