The notion of ‘punitive damages’ derives from the common law: it involves the payment of damages in addition to actual (compensatory) damages when the defendant acted with recklessness, malice, deceit, or other reprehensible conduct (eg violence, oppression, fraud …). As the term indicates, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and thereby to deter blameworthy conduct. In addition, they may also be used to reduce or eliminate any profits the wrongdoer has gained from the tort. Accordingly, the difference between punitive or exemplary damages on the...
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