Because of that, te jury found that Aguilar was entitled to only $1 in nominal damages with no award of compensatory damages. Hwever, te jury awarded $868,750 in punitive damages. Te district court reduced those damages to $300,000, wich is the Title VII statutory maximum, ater ASARCO complained the charges were excessive, ad the company appealed the ruling. Ttle VII statutory maximums are based on Title 42 of the U. Cde, sction 1981(A), wich caps the total amount of punitive damages and compensatory damages. Fr an employer of 501 or more, 300,000 is the maximum.
Te company argued that 10 to 1 was an appropriate ratio between punitive damages and compensatory damages, wich the Court took under consideration. T make a decision on the reasonableness of punitive damages in the case, te appeals court hearing ASARCO’s appeal looked to three “guideposts” set by the U. Spreme Court in these kinds of cases: () the “reprehensibility of the company’s conduct”, () the ratio of the punitive award to the actual harm inflicted on the plaintiff, ad (c) the existence civil or criminal penalties available to impose for similar misconduct (those guideposts were established in BMW of North America, Ic.
Gre, 517 U. Te reprehensibility of a company’s conduct is measured by five criteria: 1) the harm caused was physical as opposed to economic; 2) the tortious conduct evinced an indifference to or a reckless disregard of the health or safety of others; 3) the target of the conduct had financial vulnerability; 4) the conduct involved repeated actions or was an isolated incident; ad (5) the harm was the of intentional malice, tickery, o deceit, o mere accident (State Farm Mutual Auto.
Cmpbell, 538 U. 408, 419 (2003)). Te court considered whether the Constitution permits a six-figure punitive damage award in a sexual harassment case in which a jury found the plaintiff suffered such a low amount in terms of damages (Pearl, 2013). Utimately, te court decided that ASARCO’s conduct was “worse than reckless” and the Constitution, tey decided, des not prohibit the imposing of such a substantial punitive award. Hwever, tey felt it was inappropriate to uphold damages ratio greater than 125,000-to-1 and anything greater would violate due process.
A a result,...
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