In Reply to: Re: OT - no z3 - help required from US lawyer posted by wizzard on October 23, 2000 at 12:14:30:
This is not correct. Punitive damages are not available, generally speaking, in your run of the mill negligence case. Only compensatory damages (damages intended to compensate the individual for their injuries) are available in these cases. In order to warrant punitive damages, there would either have to be a specific statutory basis or the plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant acted intentionally or with willful disregard for the Plaintiff's safety. The Defendant's actions generally have to be "shocking to the conscience" to merit punitive damages in a negligence case. From the facts described here, I doubt that punitive damages would even be discussed, much less awarded. But again, without the specific facts, I can't render a final analysis or provide specific legal advice.