Court upholds Indiana’s limit on civil damages

  • Comments
  • Print

The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the state law limiting punitive damages awarded in civil lawsuits and directs most of that money to a state victims fund.

The court ruled 5-0 that the limit still applied, even in a case involving child sexual abuse by a priest. Tuesday's decision overturned a Marion County judge's ruling that awarded the victim more than the state maximum.

In 2008, a jury awarded the victim $150,000 in punitive damages, and the county judge upheld it, saying the limit violated separation of powers and jury rights. The state appealed the following year.

Indiana law limits punitive damages to three times the amount of damage covering actual loss or $50,000. Seventy-five percent of punitive damages go to a state victim compensation fund.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.