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Action Marine, Inc. v. Continental Carbon, Inc.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20066
Nos. No. 06-11311, (11th Cir., 03/21/2007)

The court affirmed a lower court decision denying a manufacturing plant's post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law in a case involving the plant's alleged emission of "carbon black" into the air that darkened property owners' property. After a 10-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the property owners on all claims and determined that the plant's actions warranted punitive damages. The evidence was sufficient to reasonably infer that carbon black was a cause-in-fact of the alleged discoloration and that the plant acted with the mental state required by Georgia law to prove the property owners' claims and lift Georgia's statutory cap on punitive damages awards. In addition, the compensatory damages awarded to one of the property owners were not improper, and the punitive damages award was not unconstitutionally excessive.