Delacroix v. Doncasters, Inc., 407 S.W.3d 13 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013)

The pilot and four sky-divers died in an airplane crash.  Their survivors joined in a claim against the manufacturer of an after-market engine part that had failed in flight and caused the crash.  A jury awarded the plaintiffs $20,000,000 for their actual loss and $28,000,000 as punitive damages.  The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict with respect to the punitive damage award.  Both sides appealed.  A panel of appellate court judges affirmed the judgment for punitive damages unanimously.  The panel affirmed the judgment with respect to punitive damages by a 2-1 vote.  The Court of Appeals granted the plaintiffs’ motion for en banc rehearing.  The full court reversed the judgment with respect to punitive damages and reinstated the $28,000,000 award.  The case subsequently was settled for $52,500,000.  Michael Gross was a member of the team that produced the appellants’ appellate briefs and rehearing documents.

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