Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 128 Cal. App. 4th 648 (2005)

The jury awarded Dianne Gober and five other employees of Ralphs a total of $550,000 in compensatory damages and punitive damages in the amount of $30 million as a result of sexual harassment they suffered in the workplace. The trial court conditionally granted a new trial on the amount of punitive damages as to any plaintiff who did not consent to reduce the amount of punitive damages to a multiple of 15 times compensatory damages. The Court affirmed the trial court’s order granting a new trial on the appropriate amount of punitive damages to be awarded and provided guidance as to the type and character of evidence that the jury should consider during such a retrial. See also Bains v. ARCO, 405 F.3d 764 (9th Cir. 2005) (jury could consider breach of contract damages in assessing appropriate amount of punitive damages to award in case involving discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981).