Cases & Deals

First American Title Insurance successfully appeals majority of adverse jury verdict in largest damages award given in economic injury case in Ohio history

Client(s) First American Title Insurance Company

Jones Day is counsel for First American Title Insurance Company and its executive, James Magnuson, as appellate and retrial counsel after an adverse jury verdict in the amount of $43.2 million. This award, which includes punitive and compensatory damages, was one of the largest jury verdicts ever rendered in Ohio, and if upheld would have been the largest punitive award in an economic case in Ohio history. After oral arguments presented by Matt Kairis, the Sixth Circuit vacated the punitive damages award in its entirety, found punitive damages to be constitutionally unavailable, and reversed the compensatory award and remanded for a new trial on compensatory damages. Appellee Chicago Title filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court in November 2007. On January 22, 2008, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Now on remand on the issue of compensatory damages only (with the $32 million punitive award vacated), retrial is likely to occur in 2009.

Chicago Title Insurance Corporation v. James A. Magnuson; First American Title Insurance Company, 487 F. 3d 985, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 11883; 2007 FED App. 084P (6th Cir., May 21, 2007)