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Litigation

Empirical legal studies

Cornell University Law School

2001

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Damage Awards In Perspective: Behind The Headline-Grabbing Awards In Exxon Valdez And Engle, Theodore Eisenberg Jan 2001

Damage Awards In Perspective: Behind The Headline-Grabbing Awards In Exxon Valdez And Engle, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Large punitive damages awards in tobacco litigation, the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, and other cases dominate the public perceptions about damages. These large awards and the mass of compensatory awards can be best understood in relation to other awards. In fact, total awards in tried contract cases have risen faster than tort awards. In the highly visible world of large punitive damages awards, the Exxon Valdez award fits well within the traditional pattern of punitive awards. The largest punitive award, that against the tobacco industry in Engle, is best understood against the background of the tobacco industry's national …