• Why is Nickerson Important to the Evaluation and Settlement of Bad Faith Cases?
  • August 22, 2016 | Author: Gary A. Hamblet
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, the Supreme Court of California held that a post-verdict award of attorney fees as damages pursuant to Brandt v. Superior Court (1985) 37 Cal.3d 813 may be included in the calculation of the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages for the purposes of determining whether an award of punitive damages exceeds the constitutional maximum of 10-to-1. The Supreme Court determined that Brandt fees may be considered part of the compensatory damages in evaluating the constitutionality of the punitive award regardless of whether those fees are determined during trial (by the jury) or in connection with a post-trial motion (by the Court).