Tennessee Supreme Court

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July 24, 2008

The Tennessee Supreme Court rejected NCLC’s argument that compliance with relevant governmental standards should bar the recovery of punitive damages. The court instead held that, although compliance with federal regulations creates a rebuttable presumption that a product design is not reckless, the plaintiffs in this case rebutted that presumption and punitive damages were therefore appropriate.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief addressing punitive damages and compliance with federal standards

September 05, 2007

NCLC urged the Tennessee Supreme Court to affirm the intermediate appellate court’s determination that punitive damages are not available where the defendant complied with relevant governmental standards. In its brief, NCLC argued that DaimlerChrysler complied with all relevant federal safety standards and therefore could not have exhibited the requisite wantonness which would support the award of punitive damages. NCLC made clear that its argument did not address liability for compensatory damages but rather the imposition of punitive damages where the relevant federal agency has blessed the design.

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