What is the difference between treble damages and punitive damages?

Asked by: Kelly Littel  |  Last update: August 13, 2022
Score: 5/5 (63 votes)

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter future conduct. His or her actions must be intentional and outrageous. Treble damages are a type of punitive damages that triple the amount of compensatory damages and typically are allowed only by a statute.

What is the meaning of treble damages?

Treble damages is a term that indicates a statute exists to award a prevailing plaintiff up to three times actual or compensatory damages. For example, the False Claims Act allows the U.S. government to recover treble damages from defense contractors that knowingly submit false claims to defraud the government.

What is the difference between damages and punitive damages?

The compensatory damages awarded to plaintiffs are designed to give justice to them after being wronged. Punitive damages are designed to prevent others from being hurt by the same or similar actions.

What are some examples of punitive damages?

Some examples of personal injury claims that may lead to an award of punitive damages include:
  • Class actions where large numbers of people were injured, such as in a toxic oil spill;
  • Cases where the defendant's conduct was intentional;
  • Conduct resulting in severe bodily injury to the plaintiff;

What are the 3 types of damages?

Types of Damages
  • COMPENSATORY. Compensatory damages are generally the most identifiable and concrete type of damages. ...
  • GENERAL. General damages are sought in conjunction with compensatory damages. ...
  • PUNITIVE. Punitive damages are meant to punish a Defendant for particularly egregious conduct.

What's the difference between General vs. Special vs. Punitive Damages?

17 related questions found

What three 3 Things Must a court consider in reviewing punitive damages?

To ensure that unconstitutional punishment is not imposed in the form of punitive damages, the Court has set forth three "guideposts" for courts to consider in reviewing punitive damages awards: "(1) the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's misconduct; (2) the disparity between the actual or potential harm ...

What are punitive damages in a lawsuit?

Punitive damages are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court's discretion when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful. Punitive damages are normally not awarded in the context of a breach of contract claim.

Which is the best description of punitive damages?

Punitive damages are legal recompense that a defendant found guilty of committing a wrong or offense is ordered to pay on top of compensatory damages. They are awarded by a court of law not to compensate injured plaintiffs but to punish defendants whose conduct is considered grossly negligent or intentional.

What can cause punitive damages?

Under California Civil Code 3294, a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant in their case is guilty of: Oppression. Fraud, or. Malice.

How are punitive damages measured?

To determine the amount of punitive damages to award, the Book of Approved Jury Instructions (BAJI) states that the jury should consider: (1) The reprehensibility of the conduct of the defendant. (2) The defendant's financial condition and (3) the relationship to actual damages.

What are the four types of damages?

One of the most common remedies comes in the form of damages, or monetary awards, which are further broken down into four general categories.
  • Compensatory Damages. Compensatory damages (or “actual damages”) are specifically meant to make up for the plaintiff's losses. ...
  • Punitive Damages. ...
  • Liquidation Damages. ...
  • Nominal Damages.

What are the 5 types of damages?

There are six different types of damages: compensatory, incidental, consequential, nominal, liquidated, and (sometimes) punitive.

What are the 3 types of compensatory damages?

The three types of damages are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

What do you mean by treble?

Definition of treble

(Entry 1 of 3) 1a : the highest voice part in harmonic music : soprano. b : one that performs a treble part also : a member of a family of instruments having the highest range. c : a high-pitched or shrill voice, tone, or sound.

Are treble damages taxable?

The IRS requires any punitive damages to be reported as “Other Income” when filing for taxes. So the short answer is: Yes, punitive damages are considered as taxable income.

What does treble the amount mean?

If one thing is treble the size or amount of another thing, it is three times greater in size or amount.

How often are punitive damages awarded?

However, statistical studies by law professors and the Department of Justice have found that punitive damages are only awarded in two percent of civil cases which go to trial, and that the median punitive damage award is between $38,000 and $50,000.

What are caps on punitive damages?

CALIFORNIA California has no cap on either punitive or compensatory damages, and the collateral source rule applies.

What do most states use as a general guideline for punitive damages?

In most states, the jury is instructed to consider both objective and subjective factors. These factors include the reprehensibility of the defendant's misconduct, the amount of punitive damages that would deter the defendant based on the defendant's wealth, and the nature of the plaintiff's injury.

When an award of punitive damages is grossly excessive?

When an award of punitive damages is grossly excessive, it furthers no legitimate purpose and violates due process requirements. A person who wrongfully hurts another's good name or reputation orally may be liable for libel.

Does insurance cover punitive damage?

Usually, punitive damages are awarded only if there has been proof of intentional bad acts, and most insurance policies also exclude coverage for damages caused by intentional acts of the insured.

What is another term for punitive damages?

extra money that a court of law makes someone pay for causing harm to someone. Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages.

Why punitive damages are unconstitutional?

The Court's current framework for determining whether a challenged punitive damages award is constitutional finds its source in the fundamental notion that a "grossly excessive" damage award violates the Due Process Clause. The definition of what constitutes a grossly excessive award, however, has evolved over time.

When should you ask for punitive damages?

As such, punitive damages are usually reserved for cases where the defendant's conduct is beyond merely negligent or intentional; the conduct must be reckless, malicious, fraudulent, wanton, outrageous, or otherwise more deserving of punishment in the eyes of the judge or jury.

What factors does the court consider before awarding punitive damages?

“Punitive damages are triggered by conduct that may be described by such epithets as high-handed, malicious, vindictive, and oppressive. They are awarded where the court feels that the award of compensatory damages will not achieve sufficient deterrence and that the defendant's actions must be further punished.