BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore (U.S. Supreme Court)

A consumer sued BMW, receiving compensatory damages of $4,000 and a punitive award of $4 million, which the Alabama Supreme Court later reduced to $2 million. We argued that the $2 million punitive award was grossly excessive and therefore violated BMW’s constitutional right to due process. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, and in so doing established three “guideposts” for punitive awards—the reprehensibility of a defendant’s conduct, the ratio of compensatory to punitive damages, and the penalties for violating comparable laws—that have been foundational in punitive damages cases ever since.


Brief for Writ of Certiorari

Brief for Petitioner