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“Punitive Damages in Mass Tort Cases: Discovery and Trial Strategies,” InsideCounsel

August 10, 2015
Joseph J. Welter

“As in house counsel, one of the least enviable tasks is having to report to a company’s board of directors and shareholders that the company is at substantial risk of being hit with punitive damages in litigation, which in many instances are substantial, not covered by insurance, and may require the company to retain punitive damage counsel to monitor the case,” writes Joseph J. Welter, Co-Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Toxic Tort practice group.

“The plaintiffs’ bar is well aware of the impact of such a claim and uses it as leverage to demand exponentially inflated values in litigated matters. In the mass tort arena where the company may have hundreds or perhaps thousands of claims, the risk of punitive damages has the potential to bankrupt the company. This is precisely why developing a comprehensive strategy and managing the punitive damage aspect of these cases is essential.”

In this article, Joe explores the significant ways in which a punitive damages claim impacts a case, particularly in the mass tort setting, along with keys to effectively defending against punitive damage claims and abating these risks at the outset.