A jury determined that Lloyd Industries terminated Ronald Watson’s employment based on his race and awarded Mr. Watson compensatory and punitive damages. Considering the reprehensibility of Lloyd Industries’ conduct, the ratio between the compensatory and punitive damages, and the statutory cap on damages under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the district court rejected Lloyd Industries’ argument that a punitive damages award was improper, but reduced the punitive damages award to an amount five times the compensatory damages. On appeal by Lloyd Industries, the Third Circuit affirmed, holding that the reduced punitive damages award was constitutional.
Lloyd Industries filed a petition for certiorari, and Public Citizen served as co-counsel for Mr. Watson in the Supreme Court. Our brief in opposition to the petition explained that the decision below was consistent with the Supreme Court’s caselaw and correct and that Supreme Court review was not warranted. The Court denied the petition.