INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - 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.