The state Supreme Court affirmed a trial court's decision to award a couple $13 million in punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler Corp. The lawsuit said 8-month-old Joshua Flax was riding in the back seat of a 1998 Dodge Caravan in Nashville in 2001 when the vehicle was rear-ended, causing the front passenger seat to collapse and the passenger to strike him, fracturing his skull. In a 3-2 ruling filed Thursday, the court said the automaker acted recklessly and the award of punitive damages was not excessive. However, the court reversed a lower court's decision to also award the victim's mother $6 million in punitive damages for emotional distress. A jury initially awarded the couple $98 million in punitive damages.
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