Yesterday CalBizLit posted on Holdgrafer v. Unocal, wherein the Court of Appeal for the second district applied State Farm v. Campbell in reversing a punitive damages award. The trial court had allowed evidence of other bad acts, which the Court of Appeal ruled were too dissimilar.
The appellate firm of Horvitz & Levy represented Unocal in the case, and is certainly entitled to plaudits. Last night, in that firm's punitive damages blog California Punitive Damages - An Exemplary Blog, Horwitz's Jeremy Rosen quibbled with my characterization of the San Luis Obispo County judge as "conservative" for reducing the jury's punitive verdict from $10,000,000.76 (a cute nod to Unocal's former name, Union 76) to $5,000,000.
I guess I'm jaded by practicing in California's big cities, where we've seen a $50 million punitive damage award against UPS, a $28 billion punitive award against Phillip Morris and a $50 million punitive award against DaimlerChrysler. Pretty sad when a $5 million punitive judgment becomes, if not conservative, at least ho hum.