Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company
Year 2012
Court Court of Appeal of California, Second District, Division Three
Case Number BC405280
  • Punitive Damages
  • California

United Policyholders brief opposed common laws limiting the amount of punitive damages a policyholder can recover to the amount of their standard damages multiplied by a number less than ten. Instead, UP argued that the trier of fact is in the best position to determine this number based on the facts of each case. UP pointed out that mandatory low multipliers reduce the effect punitive damages have on an insurer’s bottom line, creating an economic incentive to deny low damage claims on a large scale. UP emphasized that the goal of punitive damages should be to make wrongful conduct economically infeasible, not a manageable cost of doing business.