After finding that UPS caused the State of New York to lose $9.5 million in tax revenue, the district court in this case imposed almost a quarter of a billion dollars in civil penalties. The district court also stated that it was increasing the civil penalty against UPS because the company’s attempts to dispute liability in court showed a failure to accept responsibility. The Chamber filed a brief explaining that the civil penalties award violated the substantive component of the Due Process Clause, which does not allow courts to impose civil penalties that are completely out of balance with the harm caused. The Chamber’s brief further explained that the district court violated the procedural component of the Due Process Clause by imposing heightened punishment on a party because it exercised its right to defend itself in court.
Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, Merritt E. McAlister, and Val Leppert of King & Spalding LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.