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Punitive Damages Claims in Environmental Tort Cases: Lessons From Johansen v. Combustion Engineering, Inc.

March 2000

Citation: 30 ELR 10196

Issue: 3

Author: Evan M. Tager

Claims for punitive damages in environmental tort cases raise a number of interesting state-law and constitutional issues. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had the occasion to address some of these issues in Johansen v. Combustion Engineering, Inc.1 This Dialogue discusses the aspects of the Johansen decision that have particular relevance in environmental cases and seeks to provide practitioners with some guidance as to how to approach these issues in future cases.2

The author is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer, Brown & Platt. He has litigated numerous punitive damages cases, including the one that is the subject of this Dialogue, and has written extensively on the topic. Mr. Tager expresses his appreciation to Richard Katskee for his insightful comments on a draft of this Dialogue.

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