while punitive damages were originally awarded in cases of malicious and
unprecedented, though ultimately reduced, punitive damages award in the
evidence," to obtain punitive damages.,(S Moreover, in most states,
punitive damages were subject to a statutory cap--a fixed upper limit or
legislatures banned punitive damages generally, or in certain types of
statutes, providing that a certain percentage of any punitive damages
A jury's assessment of the extent of a plaintiff's injury is essentially a factual determination, whereas its imposition of punitive damages is an expression of its moral condemnation.
Choice of Law and Punitive Damages in American Courts
Punitive damages doctrine becomes complicated when courts apply foreign substantive law.
The salient question, then, is whether and to what degree modern punitive damages map on to Judge Cardozo's conception of penal laws.
This Part applies Cardozo's articulation of the penal exception to the doctrine of punitive damages and argues that punitive damages are penal in the choice-of-law sense.
There are two problems with applying the Loucks articulation of the penal exception to punitive damages. First, the Massachusetts statute at issue in Loucks was arguably a punitive damages statute, (71) and Judge Cardozo, speaking for the New York court, ruled that it was not penal.