Supreme Court upholds $48 million verdict; strikes punitive damage cap | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Supreme Court upholds $48 million verdict; strikes punitive damage cap

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 9:28 AM

The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld a nearly $50 million verdict in Lonoke County for farmers who said they were damaged when genetically altered rice from the Bayer CropScience. contaminated their crops.

Importantly, the court upheld a finding that a statutory cap on punitive damages, which constituted $42 million of this $48 millionverdict, was unconstitutional. The decision was unanimous, except that Justice Karen Baker, in concurring with the decision, said there wasn't sufficient basis in the circuit court ruling to decide the issue of constitutionality of the statute.

Here's the opinion.

I don't think I venture too far out on a limb to say that rulings upholding $42 million punitive damage awards are the sorts of things that build enthusiasm in the business community to build war chests to elect dependably pro-business judges, as has happened in other states.

EVIDENCE: Sen. Gilbert Baker has already whipped out a statement decrying the decision. He's long been a front man for business interests, such as in anti-union efforts.

Tags: , , ,


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation