The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief urging the Eighth Circuit to reverse a district court decision upholding a $2.75 million punitive damages award.
The brief argues that the district court erred by including above-market prejudgment interest in the denominator when calculating the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages. Above-market prejudgment interest overstates the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff and already serves a punitive function. The brief also explains that the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages should not exceed 1:1 when, as here, compensatory damages are substantial and the conduct is not particularly reprehensible relative to the conduct in other punitive damages cases.
The brief was filed jointly with the American Tort Reform Association and the American Insurance Association.
Evan M. Tager and Carl J. Summers of Mayer Brown LLP served as counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.