Good Riddance To Lotto Jury Awards

Hooray for common sense. The Supreme Court decision striking down a $2 million punitive damages award to an Alabama doctor who sued BMW for a retouched paint job on his new 535i sedan is a welcome blow for reason. The original jury awarded $4 million for a $4,000 boo-boo, and it wasn't alone in its punitive madness. Two years ago, a jury awarded a woman $2.7 million in punitive damages for spilling hot coffee from a McDonald's in her lap in a moving car. A man received $50 million in punitive damages from Mercury Finance Co. for a $1,000 discrepancy in a used-car loan. This kind of irresponsible behavior erodes faith in the jury system. It doesn't do much to help the business climate either.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.