Last updated: 4/13/2015
35.01. Punitive-Exemplary Damages-Willful and Wanton ConductStart Your Free Trial $ 11.99
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35.01 Punitive/Exemplary Damages--Willful and Wanton Conduct In addition to compensatory damages, the law permits you under certain circumstances to award punitive damages. If you find that [name of defendant]'s conduct was [fraudulent] [intentional] [willful and wanton] and proximately caused [injury] [damage] to the plaintiff, and if you believe that justice and the public good require it, you may award an amount of money which will punish [name of defendant] and discourage [it/him/her] and others from similar conduct. In arriving at your decision as to the amount of punitive damages, you should consider the following three questions. The first question is the most important to determine the amount of punitive damages: 1. How reprehensible was [name of defendant]'s conduct? On this subject, you should consider the following: a) The facts and circumstances of defendant's conduct; b) The [financial] vulnerability of the plaintiff; c) The duration of the misconduct; d) The frequency of defendant's misconduct; e) Whether the harm was physical as opposed to economic; f) Whether defendant tried to conceal the misconduct; [g) [other]] 2. 3. What actual and potential harm did defendant's conduct cause to the plaintiff in this case? What amount of money is necessary to punish defendant and discourage defendant and others from future wrongful conduct [in light of defendant's financial condition]? [In assessing the amount of punitive damages, you may not consider defendant's similar conduct in jurisdictions where such conduct was lawful when it was committed.] The amount of punitive damages must be reasonable [and in proportion to the actual and potential harm suffered by the plaintiff]. Instruction approved January 2007.