Big Company on Big Company Violence

A landfill in Texas has received a $25.45 million jury award in its lawsuit against a waste company. The jury awarded $5.45 million in actual damages and $20 million in exemplary damages, finding that the waste management company had circulated false and defamatory statements about an Austin, Texas landfill thirteen years ago.

This case gets lumped in with “runaway” tort jury verdicts. Someone will soon use this in some statistical analysis to show that juries are out of control with these over-the-top damage and punitive awards.

I believe strongly in strict enforcement of the 55 m.p.h. speed limit for everyone except me. Large business and the Chamber of Commerce feel the same way. The mentality is that litigation is an overused tool by greedy lawyers to solve all differences except those disputes where they’re really mad themselves.

We are all hypocrites to one degree or another. But I am always amazed at how big business is not even a little self conscious about its own self-leniency for its own litigiousness.