Insurance Bad Faith and Punitive Damages by ProQuest


State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co v Campbell is best known for suggesting a constitutionally acceptable ratio (nine to one) of punitive damages to compensatory damages. This of course applies to all categories of punitive damage cases, not just insurance bad faith cases. The good news is that that ratio is being followed by state and federal courts throughout most of the country, and now there is a substantial body of law to corroborate that fact. This article discusses these aspects of the "good news" available to insurers in bad faith cases. It also suggests new tips and strategies available to insurers to prevent the issue of punitive damages from even going to a jury. If the issue does go to the jury, and the jury finds malice, fraud, or oppression, the article also discusses how the insurer can minimize the amount of punitive damages to a low ratio, perhaps even a one to one ratio.

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