CEPA Punitive Damages Vacated Due to Faulty Jury Instruction

August 5, 2013 – In The News
New Jersey Law Journal

Francis Cook was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article "CEPA Punitive Damages Vacated Due to Faulty Jury Instruction." While the full text can be found in the August 5, 2013, issue of New Jersey Law Journal, a synopsis is noted below.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that jurors in whistleblower cases must be told upper management was involved in retaliatory action or acted with willful indifference before awarding punitive damages. The decision comes after failure to give such instruction resulted in the overturning of a $650,000 verdict that included $500,000 in punitive damages, in Longo v. Pleasure Productions, A-37-11.

Francis Cook, the representative for Pleasure Production’s parent company, says the court correctly followed precedent in overturning the award.

“The upper management charge is essential when attributing the imposition of punitive damages,” Cook said. “There has to be a causal connection between upper management and the egregious conduct.”