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330 N D St, Ste 542, San Bernardino, CA 92401

“The right to a punitive (“exemplary”) damages award in California is strictly statutory. “In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppressionfraud or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.”

“Malice” for punitive damages purposes means “conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff OR despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” “Oppression” for purposes of a punitives award means “despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights.” “Fraud” for purposes of a punitives award means “an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury.”

Notwithstanding the authority of Civ.C. § 3294, and whether or not the facts might otherwise support a § 3294 punitives award, in certain tort cases punitive damages simply are not awardable as a matter of law.”

[California Practice Guide: Personal Injury [certain citations omitted]]


Post Author: lawofficesofjamesrdickinson