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(From Agence France Presse)
The US Supreme Court, in a decision hailed as a major victory for businesses, has moved to limit the amount of punitive damages awarded in liability lawsuits.
The court ruled 6-3 Monday that a 145 million dollar punitive judgment against State Farm Insurance Co. was excessive because it was out of proportion to the one million dollars in actual damages in a mishandled insurance claim.
The ruling, said some business leaders, sets a new standard that shields businesses from so-called "runaway" jury awards intended to punish companies in liability cases.
"This is a serious setback for class action trial lawyers …