SAKG Convinces Court of Appeals that Application of Punitive Damages Cap was Unconstitutional; Wins Reinstatement of Jury’s Full Punitives Award

After SAKG secured a jury award of over $6 million on behalf of its client, All Star Awards and Ad Specialties (including $5.5 million in punitive damages), the trial court cut punitive damages by roughly $3 million based on the limits imposed by RSMo. 510.265.1.  SAKG argued on appeal that this statutory cap violated All Star’s constitutional right to have a jury determine punitive damages. The Missouri Court of Appeals agreed and reinstated the jury’s full award. HALO Branded Solutions, which lost at trial, also appealed, arguing that All Star failed to make a submissible case on both actual and punitive damages. While HALO argued the matter was an “unremarkable, small-dollar business dispute” that did not merit punitive damages at all, the Court of Appeals strongly disagreed, stating: “Taking business from a small mom-and-pop awards and promotions shop with supposed cash-flow issues while its sales manager was still in its employ is the definition of evil motive and reckless indifference.” The case now returns to the trial court for further proceedings. A summary of the opinion is available here and the opinion is available here.

Brent Coverdale

Paula Brown

Andrew Lewis