Are you aware of punitive damages? Do you know if they are excluded from your current insurance policy? Society Insurance recently released an article covering the basics of punitive damages and how not having the proper coverage can affect your business.
Society states that simply put, punitive damages are a monetary award given to a plaintiff for the sole purpose of punishing a defendant for wrongful acts. They are not awarded in every case; acting maliciously or having an intentional disregard for the rights of the plaintiff are reasons for such an award. Gross negligence is a factor.
Punitive damage awards are above and separate from normal compensatory damages a plaintiff receives such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
An article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel outlines a case in Wisconsin where a $100,000 award for punitive damages was upheld. It involved a restaurant customer finding hair in his steak that was put there intentionally by a cook. The lawsuit claimed the cook had done it before. The jury’s verdict was a punishment for the restaurant not taking corrective actions with the cook sooner.
Unfortunately for defendants, some insurance carriers have excluded punitive damages in their policies. To learn more about the proper coverage for your business, contact a knowledge broker at R&R.