Application of Campbell In California – 2
In Johnson v. Ford Motor Co., 113 P.3d 82, 35 Cal.4th 1191, 29 Cal. Rptr.3d 401 (Cal. 06/16/2005), the California Supreme Court concluded that an award of $10 million was constitutionally excessive where the plaintiff’s actual damages for odometer fraud involving the sale of a used car was less than $18,000. Unlike the issue in Simon, where the focus was on the potential profits lost by the plaintiff as the result of the defendant’s fraudulent conduct, the issue in Johnson was whether injuries suffered by parties other than the plaintiff could appropriately be considered. The Court rejected the plaintiff’s contention that a punitive damages award could be justified based upon the disgorgement of profits earned by Ford throughout its entire course of conduct towards other consumers.
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