BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559, 4 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a State from imposing a " 'grossly excessive' " punishment on a tortfeasor. TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp., 509 U. S. 443, 454 (1993) (and cases cited). The wrongdoing involved in this case was the decision by a national distributor of automobiles not to advise its dealers, and hence their customers, of predelivery damage to new cars when the cost of repair amounted to less than 3 percent of the car's suggested retail price. The question presented

et al. by Irving H. Greines, Robin Meadow, Barbara W. Ravitz, and Robert A. Olson; for the Life Insurance Company of Georgia et al. by Theodore B. Olson, Larry L. Simms, Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., John K. Bush, Theodore J. Fischkin, and Marcus Bergh; for the National Association of Manufacturers by Carter G. Phillips and Jan Amundson; for the New England Council et al. by Stephen S. Ostrach; for Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation by Charles Fried, Michael W. Schwartz, and Karen I. Ward; for Owens-Illinois, Inc., by Griffin B. Bell and David L. Gray; for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America by Andrew T. Berry; for the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc., et al. by Malcolm E. Wheeler; for the TIG Insurance Company by Ellis J. Horvitz, Barry R. Levy, Frederic D. Cohen, and Mitchell C. Tilner; and for the Washington Legal Foundation et al. by Arvin Maskin, Steven Alan Reiss, Katherine Oberlies, Daniel J. Popeo, and Paul D. Kamenar.

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association by Russell J. Drake; for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America by Jeffrey Robert White, Cheryl Flax-Davidson, and Larry S. Stewart; and for the National Association of Securities and Commercial Law Attorneys by Kevin P. Roddy, James P. Solimano, Steve W. Berman, and Jonathan W. Cuneo.

Briefs of amici curiae were filed for CBS, Inc., et al. by P. Cameron DeVore, Marshall J. Nelson, Douglas P. Jacobs, Jonathan E. Thackeray, John C. Fontaine, Cristina L. Mendoza, William A. Niese, Karlene Goller, Susan Weiner, Richard M. Schmidt, Jr., R. Bruce Rich, Slade R. Metcalf, Jane E. Kirtley, Bruce W. Sanford, and Henry S. Hoberman; for Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, P. C., by Leslie A. Brueckner and Arthur H. Bryant; for Richard L. Blatt et al. by Mr. Blatt, pro se, and Robert W. Hammesfahr, pro se; for James D. A. Boyle et al. by Arthur F. McEvoy III, pro se; and for Law and Economics Scholars et al. by Mark M. Hager, pro se.

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