punitive damages

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punitive damages

See damages.

punitive damages

Damages awarded in an amount intended to punish the defendant for the egregious nature of the tort. The defendant’s actions must be willful and wanton, and the damages are not based on the plaintiff’s actual monetary loss.
See also: damages

punitive damages

damages awarded by the court, in addition to damages awarded as compensation for loss, as a punishment to the guilty party and an assuagement to the suffering party.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fourth, because an award of punitive damages lies within the province of a jury, allowing a court to award punitive damages would deprive a defendant of his or her state-guaranteed right to a jury trial before punishment is imposed.
918 (1989), a leading securities case, the Fifth Circuit recognized "deterrent damages" could properly be awarded under the deterrent policies of the securities laws even though numerous cases hold that punitive damages may not be awarded under the "actual damages" language in Exchange Act [section] 28.
None of the arguments against the availability of punitive damages in equity provides a sound basis for denying such relief in Florida.
7) In this Part, however, I argue that under the prevailing logic of deterrence, posthumous punitive damages should actually serve general deterrence.
To the potential wrongdoer who expects to survive following the tort, (10) the minority rule can use posthumous punitive damages to send a clear signal that the misconduct will trigger enhanced liability.
Why, then, do courts insist that punitive damages do not deter when the tortfeasor is deceased?
In Exxon, the Supreme Court noted that punitive damages,
society, punitive damages should serve as a mechanism instituting
222) Punitive damages, however, shift their focus away from this
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, the Supreme Court of Oregon disallowed punitive damages where the defendants (a medical resident and supervising staff physician) were judged to be negligent for performing a circumcision without parental authorization, but did not act in an aggravated disregard for their professional duties.
Other court decisions have upheld punitive damages in medical malpractice actions.
One important practical point: Punitive damages may not be a covered benefit in some professional liability insurance policies (for example, Medical Insurance Exchange of California), which means the practitioner's personal assets may then be at risk.