Today the Eighth Circuit revived a jury’s award of actual and punitive damages against Orkin Extermination for fraudulently representing the effectiveness of a termite treatment in the home of a Hawkeye State couple.  The district court tossed the award because, it concluded, evidence of Orkin’s net worth improperly affected the compensatory award of $138,000 and that the record didn’t support the finding of willful or wanton conduct necessary for awarding punitive damages.  The appeals court disagreed and ordered reinstatement of the $138,000 in actuals plus $276,000 in punies.  Schooley v. Orkin Extermination Co., Inc., No. 06-3326 (8th Cir. Sept. 19, 2007) (applying Iowa law).

Barry Barnett

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