Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Garrity v. Lyle Stuart, Inc. case brief

Garrity v. Lyle Stuart, Inc. case brief summary
353 N.E.2d 793 (1976)

Defendant publishing company appealed from an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department (New York), which affirmed a judgment of the lower court that confirmed an arbitration award granting plaintiff author compensatory and punitive damages in her breach of contract action.

The author and the publishing company entered into a contract that contained an arbitration clause. A dispute arose and the matter was heard before arbitrators. The arbitrators awarded compensatory and punitive damages to the author even though the contract did not contain any punitive damages language.

The lower court confirmed the award, the appellate division affirmed, and the publishing company appealed.

The court modified the award and eliminated the punitive damages portion by indicating that the power to award punitive damages was reserved for the courts.

The order of the appellate division was modified to vacate the award of punitive damages and otherwise affirmed.

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