Encyclopedia > Punitive damages

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Punitive damages

Punitive damages are damages awarded to a successful plaintiff in a civil action[?], over and above the amount of compensatory damages[?], to:

  1. punish the conduct of the civil defendant[?];
  2. deter the civil defendant from committing the invidious act again; and
  3. deter others from doing the same thing.

Generally, punitive damages are only awarded for egregiously invidious and wilful actions, not for mere carelessness or negligence.

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