Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall

Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Damage caps apply if you kill someone, not if you download songs

In some states, the most this kid would be liable for if he paralyzed someone is $250k. 

Tenenbaum argued the $675,000 award violates his due process rights because it’s not tied to the injury he caused. He estimates that to be no more than $450, or the cost of 30 albums.

Source: Court upholds $675,000 verdict against Boston student who illegally shared songs online - The Washington Post

Let’s see: Actual harm = $450 dollars.  Verdict = $675,000 dollars.  That’s a multiple of 1,500:1 for damages.  Seems to me that I recall a conservative Supreme Court declaring that only in rare circumstances should punitive damages exceed a single digit multiple of actual damages.

Have I mentioned that I’m now very cynical about the law?