TORTS, RAILROAD & PUNITIVE DAMAGES / Montana Supreme Court breathes life into 32-year-old precedent on punitive damages against a railroad: “Evidence collateral to all other issues in the case nevertheless may be admissible to prove punitive damages”

Runkle v. Burlington Northern, 2013 WL 6740153 (Supreme Court of Montana, 1980). Free copy available here.

Why raise this old case here? The Montana Supreme Court last week issued an opinion in a tort case in which it relied on Runkle v. Burlington Northern for two key propositions of what sort of evidence ought to be admitted on the question of punitive damages against a company or other party who has harmed persons or property (a “tortfeasor”). McEwen v. MCR, LLC, 2012 WL 6740153 (Supreme Court of Montana, December 31, 2012). Free copy available here. Continue reading