In Valladares v. Madera Quality Nut, a Madera County, California judge drastically reduced a jury's punitive damages award in favor of two plaintiffs. The jury had returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs' disability claims, with an award of $200,000 in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages. Letting the compensatory damages award stand, the judge ruled that the verdict was "clearly excessive under constitutional standards." The judge's ruling reduced the ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages from 100:1 to approximately 6:1, which the judge found was the maximum ratio supported by the facts.
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