Indiana Supreme Court Considers Punitive Damage Cap

 Monday, December 17, 2012

 Insurance Journal

A top state attorney defended Indiana’s punitive damages law on Dec. 13 against claims that it renders trials meaningless by forcing judges to reduce awards in lawsuits without telling jurors. Solicitor General Thomas Fisher asked the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a Marion County judge’s decision that found the law treads on judicial independence and violates the right to trial by jury guaranteed in the state constitution. The judge refused to reduce a $150,000 punitive damages award to a man who claimed his uncle, a Roman Catholic priest, sexually abused him when he was 17. The judge had told jurors they could consider the priest’s “reprehensible conduct” when they decided on damages.