They are the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's conduct; the ratio between the plaintiff's compensatory damages
and the amount of punitive damages; and the difference between the punitive award and the civil or criminal sanctions that could be imposed for comparable misconduct.
6 million in compensatory damages
and $145 million in punitive damages.
In England and Wales, punitive, or exemplary, damages are available only for oppressive, arbitrary, or unconstitutional action by government servants; injuries designed by the defendant to yield a larger profit than the likely cost of compensatory damages
, and conduct for which punitive damages are expressly authorized by statute.
In short, the rule that a higher ratio may be appropriate where a non-economic injury is difficult to value or detect applies only to cases in which a small or nominal amount of compensatory damages
has been awarded.
A Kentucky jury found Chrysler and Charles Clark each 50 percent at fault and returned a verdict of $471,258 in compensatory damages
and $3 million in punitive damages.
Turner, senior vice president and general counsel for Texaco, says judges, rather than juries, should set the amount of punitive damages, so awards would be based on "logic," not "emotion," and he believes punitive awards should not exceed compensatory damages
In Campbell, the Supreme Court suggested a "single-digit" standard, with punitive damages generally less than 10 times the amount of compensatory damages
, which were set at $1 million in the Campbell case.
But in some instances compensatory damages
undervalue the actual harm--for example, in wrongful-death or injury cases where tort "reform" statutes cap damages.
When a lawyer's malpractice causes a plaintiff to lose a claim for punitive damages, do those damages constitute compensatory damages
in a later suit against the attorney?
25 million award of punitive damages against Philip Morris reduced to $9 million-six times her compensatory damages
Cambell, handed down on April 7, the court has forbidden juries' applying state law to punish defendants for out-of-state conduct or for torts against non-plaintiffs; established a presumption, in cases involving substantial compensatory damages
, that a 1-to-1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages
sets the outer limit of reasonableness; and severely restricted the ability of plaintiffs to justify large awards based on potential harm to others.
2) For instance, past service and current wages may be a factor in valuing either tort and tortlike compensatory damages
or contract and property rights, yet these payments ate not wages.