within an oil spill punitive damages regime, it is necessary to evaluate
235) Punitive damages, within the deterrence context, must function in
that oil spill punitive damages, as a deterrence mechanism, must
In order to achieve this end, oil spill punitive damages regimes
Nevertheless, as also discussed above, punitive
damages may still be sought in actions based on post-Sale accidents involving vehicles manufactured by Old GM to the extent the punitive
damages claims are premised on New GM action or inaction after it was on notice of information "inherited" by New GM, or information developed by New GM post-Sale.
Courts embracing the nonsurvivability rule have stated that the deterrent effect of punitive awards is watered down or becomes speculative when the deceased wrongdoer's estate is held liable instead of the wrongdoer herself.
Consider the deterrent message broadcast to potential tortfeasors when punitive damages are imposed against a deceased tortfeasor's estate, as happens under the regime adopted by the small minority of jurisdictions eschewing the nonsurvivability rule.
To the potential wrongdoer who expects to survive following the tort, (10) the minority rule can use posthumous punitive damages to send a clear signal that the misconduct will trigger enhanced liability.
Why, then, do courts insist that punitive damages do not deter when the tortfeasor is deceased?
In order to be awarded punitive damages, the plaintiff typically must prove that the defendant was grossly negligent, exhibiting wanton and reckless disregard of the risks.
Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are uncommon in medical malpractice actions.
The use of punitive damages is justified where there is a reckless, willful, or wanton disregard of the obvious risk of harm.