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exemplary damages

definition of exemplary damages:

a money award over and above the amount sufficient to compensate a plaintiff for actual damages (compensatory damages). Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant's conduct is so outrageous, either through negligence or some intentional act, that an example should be set. Punitive damages serve to support public policy against socially harmful conduct. The plaintiff, enriched beyond his or her actual injuries, is really an incidental beneficiary.

exemplary damages, as it might be used:

The plaintiffs filed a suit against the owners seeking compensatory and exemplary damages for injuries inflicted upon plaintiff.

exemplary damages, in an example:

Agnes has health insurance through an unscrupulous company. Agnes makes her payments regularly and on time. One day her son is diagnosed with a common and treatable form of cancer. The insurance company denies the claim repeatedly until Agnes' son unnecessarily expires from the illness. Agnes hires a lawyer and brings suit against the company claiming bad faith, seeking exemplary damages.

exemplary damages may also be referred to as:

  • punitive damages
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