What are punitive damages? Simply stated, punitive damages are a monetary award given to a plaintiff for the sole purpose of punishing a defendant for wrongful acts. They are not awarded in every case; acting maliciously or having an intentional disregard for the rights of the plaintiff are reasons for such an award. Gross negligence is a factor.
Punitive damage awards are above and separate from normal compensatory damages a plaintiff receives such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. (more…)