What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded in the event of wrongful conduct. They are subject to judicial review. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for wrongful actions, and serve as a deterrent to prevent similar occurrences in the future. While a punitive damage award is not always necessary in civil cases, they can help reduce the likelihood that a defendant will engage in future misconduct. Read on to learn more about this type of award.

Punitive damages are awarded based on the reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct

The reprehensibleness of the defendant’s conduct is measured by a series of factors. A court may award punitive damages based on the number of victims, extent of harm, and level of disregard for others. The more reprehensible the conduct, the higher the punitive damages. If a defendant’s behavior occurs more than once, he or she may receive a harsher sentence.

While it is possible to award a larger amount for a more reprehensible act, punitive damages should only be awarded if the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious. The law generally presumes that a compensatory award will make the plaintiff whole, and punitive damages should only be awarded when the defendant’s conduct is particularly reprehensible.

This case has important implications for public health policy. The Supreme Court in BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore found that excessive punitive damages may amount to arbitrary deprivation of property. Punitive damages must also be proportionate to compensatory damages, and must be based on the harmed plaintiff’s circumstances.

Since punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant, it is only appropriate to award them in cases where the tortfeasor has chosen to avoid liability or otherwise failed to compensate victims. Moreover, imposing enormous punitive damages can result in over-deterrence, price inflation, a lower quantity of goods bought, and a reduction in overall social welfare. Because punitive damages are not appropriate in many situations, the Supreme Court must drastically change its approach to punitive damages jurisprudence.

They are subject to judicial review

The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of whether punitive damages are subject to judicial review. In a 2001 decision, Cooper v. Leatherman, the Court ruled that punitive damages must be reviewed de novo, rather than using the abuse of discretion standard. Although the standard of review for punitive damages is deferential, the Supreme Court made clear that it will not overrule a jury award on constitutional grounds.

In about 5% of all personal injury verdicts, courts assess punitive damages in relation to compensatory damages. The Supreme Court has not assigned a specific test to assess punitive damages, but it has emphasized that courts should consider the reprehensibility of the defendant and whether the punitive-to-compensatory damage ratio is acceptable. Several cases have cited this case.

The decision in Haslip reflects the Supreme Court’s strong support for procedural limits on punitive damages. Justice Stevens has long supported procedural limits on punitive damages. In TXO, he supported a five-to-one ratio of punitive to compensatory damages. However, he was hesitant to draw a line between what is reasonable punitive damages and what is not.

In the case of Browning-Ferris, a jury awarded Kelco Disposal over $51,000 in compensatory damages and $6 million in punitive damages. Browning-Ferris Industries appealed the judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Second Circuit upheld the judgment on the grounds that the punitive damages were not excessive. Despite the majority’s ruling, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case.

In 2007, the Supreme Court decided Philip Morris USA v. Williams, holding that punitive damages cannot be awarded for conduct against non-parties. The case also discussed the uncertainty surrounding punitive damages jurisprudence. The decision further clarifies the existing procedural safeguards for punitive damages. It also clarifies that punitive damages do not include the costs of an appeal, if applicable.

When punitive damages are awarded, a jury must consider several factors. In particular, the culpability of the defendant should be considered. It is important to note that punitive damages can only be awarded when there is evidence that the principal deliberately engaged in reckless behavior. In this case, the jury must consider the culpability of the defendant, and whether the conduct was deliberate or motivated. The degree of culpability of the defendant must also be taken into account, because it may indicate culpability.

They set an example

Punitive damages can be used to punish an offender who repeatedly harms another. They can also serve as deterrents to other people from committing the same crime. These damages are not always easy to measure. However, they can be a powerful way to make large corporations take their actions more seriously. These types of damages are relatively uncommon. The recent Philip Morris USA v. Williams decision has set an example for punitive damages, as many companies will now pay them when they injure a person.

They reduce the likelihood of bad behavior repeating

In civil litigation, punitive damages are awarded to victims of bad behavior. These damages are designed to discourage repeat offenders and put victims in a better financial position. They are calculated according to a Book of Approved Jury Instructions. Punitive damages are often larger than the initial damages, but are not necessarily more expensive. Punitive damages are generally up to ten times higher than the original damages.