The allowance of punitive damages in such cases may well be appropriate because of another reason, namely, to deter similar future conduct, the "incalculable cost" of which is well documented. 154.) The 4th U.S. Ct. App. California Civil Code Sections 3294 and 3295 control the standards by which punitive damages are awarded in California. California Civil Code 3294 allows for the collection of punitive damages – also called exemplary damages – in addition to compensatory damages during some personal injury claims. In such a scenario, punitive damages would be inappropriate because the defendant’s actions do not amount to malice, oppression or fraud. Davis v. Kiewit Pacific Co., No. However, plaintiffs pursuing damages from a wrongful death claim may be entitled to an award of punitive damages if the defendant is convicted of felony murder. Lackner v. Punitive damages in employment cases are meant to punish the errant employer and deter him as well as other employers from committing the same intentional and malicious discriminatory behavior. Oct. 8, 2013). A female construction worker who repeatedly complained about inadequate and unclean toilet facilities, and whose complaints were not addressed or remedied by her employer, could pursue her claim for punitive damages under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. This meets the requirements for an award of punitive damages under California law. Punitive damages are generally prohibited in California wrongful death cases. Not surprisingly, the employee couldn’t live up to the unrealistic performance plan and was later terminated. California Civil Code section 3294 provides the framework for recovery of punitive damages. We have been very successful in winning punitive damages in cases of reprehensible employer conduct and find that the very threat of a well-prepared punitive damages case can help in the settlement process. Civil Code § 3294(c). D062388 (Cal. Punitive Damages Against Employer or Principal for Conduct of a Specific Agent or Employee - Bifurcated Trial (First Phase) - Free Legal Information - Laws, Blogs, Legal Services and More Indeed, punitive damages are not even appropriate in cases where the defendant was grossly negligent or otherwise exhibited reckless conduct. Unlike other states, California does not place a limitation on how much can be awarded in punitive damages for a personal injury case. (E.g., Coulter, supra, p. Section 3294 expressly provides that punitive damages … Justia - California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2020) 3944. 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