Discovery Verifications May Bring Corporate Punitive Damages

Law360, New York (August 29, 2013, 1:22 PM EDT) -- Litigators defending corporations against punitive damages claims based on employee misconduct should be cautious when permitting employees to execute discovery verifications as an “officer,” “director” or “managing agent” because they may be held to have sufficient authority to ratify employee conduct for purposes of imposing punitive damages against the corporate employer.

Under California law, punitive damages may be assessed against a corporate defendant for the acts of a corporate employee only if an “officer, director or managing agent” authorized or ratified the misconduct:

An employer shall...
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