Thomas v. HeardAnnotate this Case
Timothy Thomas appealed from judgments entered in favor of Randell Heard and Donna Heard and in favor of Laura Wells, as guardian ad litem and next friend of M.A., a minor. The Heards and Wells had separately sued Thomas alleging negligence and wantonness and seeking to recover damages for injuries the Heards and M.A. had suffered as the result of an automobile accident. Thomas argued that the jury's punitive-damages awards were excessive. The trial court denied Thomas's request for a remittitur without explaining its reasoning for doing so. On appeal, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the judgments as to the compensatory-damages awards but remanded the cases with instructions for the trial court to enter orders in compliance with Alabama law. The trial court reaffirmed the punitive-damages awards on remand. The only issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether the punitive-damages awards were, as Thomas contended, excessive. The Court concluded that they were not.