Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A $300,000 Loss Turns Into $2.3 Million From Santa Clara Jury

The Memphis Business Journal headline tells the tale of the latest MDV, Jury orders FedEx to pay $2M in its follow up story on what a Santa Clara, California jury did in the punitive damage phase of a sexual harassment case brought by 2 employees. The jury had earlier awarded $300,000 and $30,000 to the two for compensatory damages.

In Texas state court, the defendant controls whether to ask for bifurcation of liability and punitive damages. Most defendants quickly came to the conclusion that given the choice, you were better with a jury that was mad at you (which if they get around to awarding punitive damages they almost certainly are) only having one bite at the apple.


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