The jury found for plaintiff on her sexual harassment claim but awarded no compensatory damages, ?one ?dollar ?in ?nominal ?damages, ?and $868,750 in punitive damages. ?The district court ordered? ?that? ?the? ?damages? ?be? ?reduced? ?to $300,000, the statutory cap under Title VII. ?The Defendant appealed on numerous grounds including a claim that the punitive damages were not? ?supported? ?by?? the? ?evidence? ?and? ?were excessive. The appellate court reduced the punitive damages award from $300,000 to $125,000. ?The majority noted that punitive damages must bear a reasonable relationship? to? compensatory damages.?? ?The ?previously? recognized ?highest ratio the court could find was 125,000 to 1 and the court held that was all due process would allow. Judge Hurwitz dissented from the reduction ?of ?the ?award.?? ?He ?opined ?that ?the statutory cap itself satisfies due process concerns, and rejected that standard is created by the highest ratio? ?previously? ?recognized.?????? ?This? ?case? ?is therefore analytically no different than if Title VII gave the trial court the power to impose a fine not to? ?exceed? ?$300,000? ?upon? ?finding?? egregious conduct.?? A defendant receiving a fine within the statutory limits could hardly complain of a due process violation because of the absence of notice.
State of Arizona v. ASARCO, — F.3d —- (9th? Cir. 10/24/2013) (O?Scannlain, Hurwitz and Singleton (D. Alaska))