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Punitives-Measure of Damages Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Punitives-Measure of Damages Cases

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Punitives-Measure of Damages. For more information on punitive damages see the pages on Wikipedia.

Punitives-Measure of Damages-Statutes

See Va. Code § 8.01-38.1 imposing cap of $350,000.

Punitives-Measure of Damages-Cases

2014 Coalson v. Canchola, 287 Va. 242, 754 S.E.2d 525.
Compensatory award of $5,600.00 and punitive award of $100,000.00 is not excessive.

2011 Condominium Services, Inc. v. First Owners’ Ass’n., 281 Va. 561, 709 S.E.2d 163.
Punitive award in this conversion case was upheld. Total award was $275,000, which was two and a half times the compensatory award. Although defendant may have been experiencing financial difficulties, that evidence was not presented at trial and therefore cannot be considered now as to excessiveness of punitive award.

1996 Poulston v. Rock, 251 Va. 254, 467 S.E.2d 479.
Defamation case where $10,000 compensatory and $25,000 punitive were awarded. Punitive constituted 13% of defendant’s assets. Punitive damages can be awarded in defamation per se cases even in absence of any award of compensatory damages. As such punitive award is reasonable.

1995 Williams v. Garraghty, 249 Va. 224, 455 S.E.2d 209.
Defamation action. The reviewing court in punitive damage claim must make independent review of record to determine if evidence is sufficient to support finding of New York Times actual malice by clear and convincing evidence. Evidence in this case did meet that standard. Punitive award in this case was found to be excessive and was reduced based upon income level of defendant.

1994 Hamilton Dev. Co. v. Broad Rock Club, 248 Va. 40, 445 S.E.2d 140.
Although evidence was conflicting there was credible evidence to support jury’s conclusion that defendant had intentionally and knowingly trespassed on plaintiff’s property, cleared it of trees and removed both timber and soil. Punitive damages may be awarded where there is misconduct or actual malice or such recklessness or negligence as to evince conscious disregard of rights of others. Jury verdict in this case was supported by evidence. Compensatory award in this case was $20,000.00 and punitive award $200,000.00. Based upon income of defendant and amount of money received in distributions by two principals this verdict was not such as to shock conscience of court. Trial court properly admitted evidence of financial condition of defendant as to issue of punitive damages.

1988 Philip Morris, Inc. v. Emerson, 235 Va. 380, 368 S.E.2d 268.
Punitives-measure of damages:Compensatory damages of $30,000 and punitive damages of $200,000 for first plaintiff. For second plaintiff, compensatory damages of $7,620 and punitive damages of $50,000. Punitive awards were not excessive.

1985 The Gazette, Inc. v. Harris, 229 Va. 1, 325 S.E.2d 713.
Punitive damages must bear some reasonable relation to actual damages. Factors to consider in defamation case such as this are: (1) physical manifestations of emotional distress; (2) substantial reduction of plaintiff’s standing among his associates.

1972 National Ass’n of Letter Carriers v. Austin, 213 Va. 377, 192 S.E.2d 737.
Punitives-measure of damages:Defamation case. There is no fixed standard for measuring exemplary or punitive damages. Amount of award is largely for jury. On evidence, compensatory damages of $10,000 and punitive damages of $45,000 not excessive.

1956 Worrie v. Boze, 198 Va. 533, 95 S.E.2d 192.
Punitives-measure of damages:There is no fixed standard for award of punitive damages, and amount is largely matter within discretion of jury.

1953 United Constr. Workers v. Laburnum, 194 Va. 872, 75 S.E.2d 694.
Punitives-measure of damages:There is no fixed standard for measurement of punitive damages, and amount of award is largely matter within discretion of jury.

1953 Zedd v. Jenkins, 194 Va. 704, 74 S.E.2d 791.
Punitives-measure of damages:General rule is that finding of compensatory damages is prerequisite to award of punitive damages.

 

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Punitives-Measure of Damages Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

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