Punitive or Exemplary:
Punitive damages are awarded when the jury finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendants actions or conduct was done with willful and conscious disregard for the safety of the plaintiff and others. These types of damages are intended to punish the defendant. Key factors in winning punitive damages are the reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct, the wealth of the defendant, and the statutory limits on the amount of damages allowed. Examples are intentional log violations, driving over hours, and rushed delivery. These types of damages may also be awarded against an employer for the act of an employee, when it is found to be the basis for the punitive damages. If an employer acts in a managerial capacity where the degree of discretion allowed the employee to make discussions in a way that the employee’s decision would in the end determine the business policy of the employer. For example if the employer is a corporation, the advance knowledge and conscious disregard, authorization and sanction must be on the part of an officer, director or managing agent of the corporation like corporate misconduct warrants punitive damages.
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