In some states, the most this kid would be liable for if he paralyzed someone is $250k. 

Tenenbaum argued the $675,000 award violates his due process rights because it’s not tied to the injury he caused. He estimates that to be no more than $450, or the cost of 30 albums.

Source: Court upholds $675,000 verdict against Boston student who illegally shared songs online – The Washington Post

Let’s see: Actual harm = $450 dollars.  Verdict = $675,000 dollars.  That’s a multiple of 1,500:1 for damages.  Seems to me that I recall a conservative Supreme Court declaring that only in rare circumstances should punitive damages exceed a single digit multiple of actual damages.

Have I mentioned that I’m now very cynical about the law?