AIG Domestic Claims, Inc. v. Hess Oil Co., Inc. (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Hess Oil Company asserted an unfair trade practices claim against two insurance companies. The jury returned a verdict against the insurance companies and awarded punitive damages. The circuit court, however, reduced the amount of the award by means of remittitur. The insurance companies appealed, contending that the trial court erred by giving conflicting jury instructions, introducing improper evidence of future remediation costs, and awarding punitive damages. Hess also appealed, challenging the court's reduction of its punitive damages award. The Supreme Court set aside the jury verdict and remanded for a new trial, holding that the trial court committed multiple errors, and the errors affected the jury's verdict in a manner prejudicial to the insurance companies.