Walgreens Wins Cut Of Punitive Damages In Retaliation Case

Law360, Los Angeles (September 16, 2016, 10:05 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit axed more than two-thirds of a California federal jury's $1 million punitive damages award to a pharmacist who alleged Walgreen Co. fired him for reporting improper billing practices, finding on Friday the company's harm didn't justify the high award.

The jury had awarded ex-Walgreens pharmacist Sami Mitri $88,000 in economic damages and $1.15 million in punitive damages in August 2011 at his retaliation trial, but the ratio of economic damages to punitive damages — 13 to 1 — was too high, the panel found in Friday's ruling.

For one thing, the jury found that Walgreens did some harm by...

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