The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated the jury's verdict today in a case against Chrysler, taken away by a judge who held the evidence of breach of warranty insufficient.

     For years, Chrysler had put a electrical control module into its engines as a space-saving feature. It failed with regularity because of the engine's heat and the distance the current had to travel to get to the pump. The plaintiffs' previous Chrysler kept failing for that reason after less than a year. Chrysler assured them that the new model had fixed the problem, but it didn't. They sued.

     A jury ruled in their favor, awarding compensatory and punitive damages. The judge, however, found the evidence that Chrysler had notice of the problem to be insufficient and entered judgment for the defendant.

     Today, the Ninth Circuit held the judge was wrong, that the evidence was sufficient, and that the jury's compensatory damage verdict had to be reinstated. As for punitive damages, because the judge used the wrong standard in evaluating the compensatory damages, the Court ordered him to use the correct one in evaluating whether evidence supported the punitive damages.

     The decision comes on a day in which CCL's Robert S. Peck, who briefed the case, also argued a case in the Eleventh Circuit, as well as filed briefs in courts in West Virginia and California.