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Judge's ruling on damages awarded in Dawe v. CUSA, CCPOA

Judge's ruling on damages awarded in Dawe v. CUSA, CCPOA

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Published by jon_ortiz
Judge Lawrence Karlton's ruling on whether the jury's damages awards were excessive.
Judge Lawrence Karlton's ruling on whether the jury's damages awards were excessive.

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Published by: jon_ortiz on Mar 22, 2011
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12345678910111213141516171819202122232425261UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIABRIAN DAWE; FLAT IRONMOUNTAIN ASSOCIATES, LLC,formerly known as FLATIRON MOUNTAIN ASSOCIATES,a Partnership,NO. CIV. S-07-1790 LKK/EFBPlaintiffs,v.O R D E RCORRECTIONS USA, a CaliforniaCorporation; CALIFORNIACORRECTIONAL PEACE OFFICERS'ASSOCIATION, a CaliforniaCorporation; JAMES BAIARDI,an individual; DONALD JOSEPHBAUMANN, an individual,Defendants./AND CONSOLIDATED ACTIONS &RELATED COUNTERCLAIMS/Defendants have moved for a new trial and renewed theirmotions for judgment as a matter of law. Only two questions raiseserious questions: (1) whether the punitive damage award isunconstitutionally excessive and violates defendants’ due process
Case 2:07-cv-01790-LKK-EFB Document 570 Filed 03/18/11 Page 1 of 11
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526The court only addresses whether the award must be remitted
to comport with due process. There is sufficient evidence in therecord from which the jury could have reasonably concluded thatdefendants’ conduct was reprehensible.The jury found in favor of FIMA, yet awarded no compensatory
damages.2rights and (2) whether FIMA’s verdict for intentional interference
with contract fails as a matter of law because CCPOA cannot beliable for interfering with the CUSA contract. The motions aredenied as to all other arguments.
I. Constitutionality of Punitive Damages Award 
After awarding plaintiffs significant compensatory damages,the jury also awarded plaintiffs very large punitive damages awardsfrom two of the four defendants. The court summarizes the relevantawards below:
Claim CompensatoryAwardPunitive Award Ratio of Punitive AwardtoCompensatoryAwardBrian Dawe’s(“Dawe”)Claims AgainstCorrectionsUSA (“CUSA”)Defamation $100,000 $25,000 0.25:1Flat IronMountainAssociates,LLC’s (“FIMA”)Claims AgainstCUSABreach of Contract$111,000Breach of theImpliedCovenant of Good Faithand Fair Dealing
Case 2:07-cv-01790-LKK-EFB Document 570 Filed 03/18/11 Page 2 of 11
1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526The verdict form headings indicated that the claim applied
to FIMA and Dawe’s claim for intentional interference withprospective economic relations. The jury, however, was only giventhe opportunity to choose between finding in favor of FIMA andagainst CUSA or finding in favor of CUSA and against FIMA. For thisreason, the court only considers this jury award as for FIMA.3
$1 $25,000 25,000:1TOTAL $111,001 $25,000 0.23:1Dawe andFIMA’s ClaimsAgainst CUSATOTAL(includingbreach of contractclaims)$211,001 $50,000 0.24:1TOTAL(excludingbreach of contractclaims)$100,001 $50,000 0.50:1Gary Harkins’(“Harkins”)Claims AgainstCUSABreach of Contract$6,000Defamation $28,000 $25,000 0.89:1FalseImprisonment$2,000 $10,000 5:1TOTAL(includingbreach of contract claim)$36,000 $35,000 0.97:1TOTAL(excludingbreach of contract claim)$30,000 $35,000 1.17:1
Case 2:07-cv-01790-LKK-EFB Document 570 Filed 03/18/11 Page 3 of 11

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