Law360, New York (June 26, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, which set a 1:1 ratio for punitive damages to compensatory damages, is only binding under federal maritime law. Still, many observers say the order will be influential in cutting damages in other types of cases as well.
The high court had previously not been able to rule on exact limits for punitive damage awards because the court was confined to determining constitutional due process violations in past cases under state law.
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