The Appellate Group

doTERRA v. Kruger

doTERRA v. Kruger, 2021 UT 24 (Pearce, J.) (Himonas, J. concurring, J. Petersen joining)


Kruger applied ClaryCalm before tanning and afterward suffered second and third degree burns. doTerra was aware that ClaryCalm caused sun sensitivity, but its label insisted “Does not cause sun sensitivity.” The district court allowed Kruger to seek punitive damages, and doTerra filed an interlocutory appeal. The Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding:

  • The district did not err when it allowed Kruger to seek punitive damages. Her preinjury waiver of punitive damages as a doTerra distributor was not clear and unequivocal. But the contract was also not one of adhesion, as the district court stated.
  • Concurrence: The public policy underlying the legislature’s decision to prohibit contractually insuring against punitive damages applies equally to contractual waiver of punitive damages. The fact that there exists no statute expressly prohibiting waiver of punitive damages is of no moment.

Read the full court opinion