I read on https://www.npr.org/2022/06/01/1102118755/depp-heard-trial-verdict:

The seven-member jury found that Depp is entitled to $10 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages of $5 million. But, because Virginia state law limits punitive damages to $350,000, the actual amount to be awarded Depp is $10.35 millions.

Why would a jury award more punitive damages than what the law allows?

1 Answer 1


The jury isn't told what the law allows. They are told to come up with a number and if it exceeds what the law allows, the judge modifies it in response to post-judgment motions.

  • 5
    This is usually the case, but few states do allow for a jury to be instructed on damage caps before determining damages (Virginia isn't one of them). Jun 2, 2022 at 15:31
  • 6
    If a juror happened to know this externally (e.g. from reading this answer) would they be disqualified?
    – Tim
    Jun 2, 2022 at 15:39
  • 4
    @Tim possibly. It is one of the reasons that lawyers and spouses of lawyers are often removed for cause from jury pools (something that happened to my own wife earlier this year).
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 2, 2022 at 19:45
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – feetwet
    Jun 8, 2022 at 23:11

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