Punitive Law - Essay Example

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Controversial issues: Punitive damages Punitive damages is a very strong subject of debate and is conventionally looked at as one of the most controversial issues that call for alteration in the policies for better or worse. The status of punitive damages as fair, effective, excessive, constitutional and generous is frequently challenged…
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Punitive Law
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Download file to see previous pages There are three fundamental ways in which punitive damages promote justice. Firstly, punitive damages discourage an individual, agency or a company from cutting the corners or displaying gross negligence. Punitive damages provide the concerned parties with adequate incentives that they may utilize to produce such goods and services that are safe for their clients. When the vendors know that there is a possibility of implication of large monetary penalties against the production of defective goods and services, they tend to improve the quality of their work and thus, promote public safety. Secondly, punitive damages encapsulate a very important punishment function. Punitive damages tend to hold the individuals, agencies or companies accountable for their acts when they cause harm to individuals in the society either by gross negligence or intentionally. Punishment is essential in order to forbid people from committing the same crime in the future. Where there is accountability, there is responsibility and peace. Punitive damages impose larger awards upon the guilty in order to make them take the charge seriously and amend their ways accordingly. Thirdly, punitive damages assume a compensatory function. They play a big role in compensating for the intangible harms. Punitive damages are estimated with a view to providing the incentives that are required to commence the civil suits that are desirable for the society. In the circumstances when compensatory damages are not enough a reward for the promotion of commencement of legal action by the sufferer, and yet there is great need of admonishing the behavior of the defendant, incentives do the job well. Punitive damages serve the purpose by becoming the source of required incentive for the initiation of the action. Justice is thus, indirectly promoted as the people working against the public good are affected. Punitive damages not only encourage civil suits, but also promote socially desirable safety levels, and thus promote justice. This claim is grounded in the perception that levels of safety are not adequately generated by basing the safety decisions’ cost-benefit analysis upon the price needed to compensate the sufferer. Payment of punitive damages and the costs associated with the compensation of the sufferer gives rise to a cost-benefit analysis that is conducive for the generation of adequate levels of safety for the sufferer. Quite often, it so happens that the benefit given to the defendant as a result of the loss-causing incident does not weight equal to the harm that the plaintiff has caused. Therefore, if increase in the levels of safety has to be the reference for the establishment of justice, punitive damages play a big role in promoting justice in the society. Opponents of the punitive damages say that punitive damages should be terminated because they are too large for companies to bear particularly in the contemporary age of financial crisis. This is not a valid argument against punitive damages because if the amount of punishment is belittled, individuals, agencies and companies who are charged with the damages would not take the charges seriously and would continue with their unethical practices considering the charges, a necessary cost of running the business. Larger ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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