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Inc. v. Gore BMW of North America - Significance, Three "indicums Of Excessiveness", Punitive Damages Running Wild

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Petitioner

BMW of North America, Inc.

Respondent

Dr. Ira Gore, Jr.

Petitioner's Claim

That a $2 million punitive damages award imposed on it by an Alabama jury was grossly excessive, and violated the company's rights to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Michael C. Quillen, Samuel M. Hill

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Andrew L. Frey, Evan M. Tager

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas

Place

Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 May 1996

Decision

That the punitive damages award was grossly excessive, and therefore exceeded the constitutional limit.

Related Cases

  • Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Haslip, 499 U.S. 1 (1991).
  • TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp., 509 U.S. 443, 454 (1993).
  • Yates v. BMW of North America, 642 So. 2d 937 (1993).
  • Honda Motor Co. v. Oberg, 512 U.S. 415 (1994).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.

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