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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 15-1406

In an appeal of sanctions awarded by the district court when defendant's bad faith behavior was discovered after the settlement of an underlying product liability suit, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming the full award--which represented the entire sum plaintiffs had spent in legal fees and costs since the moment, early in the litigation, when defendant made its first dishonest discovery response--is reversed where, when a federal court exercises its inherent authority to sanction bad-faith conduct by ordering a litigant to pay the other side's legal fees, the award is limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct--or put another way, to the fees that party would not have incurred but for the bad faith.

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2017/04/18




  • United States Supreme Court