While injury victims pursue personal injury lawsuits to obtain compensation for economic losses, pain and suffering, and other harm experienced because of careless or inattentive conduct, some forms of behavior merit a different form of damages. Unlike compensatory damages, exemplary or punitive damages serve the function of punishing a wrongdoer and discouraging recidivism. Although the amount awarded can be substantial, Florida law applies caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded and imposes a higher evidentiary standard. In this blog, our Miami personal injury attorneys review a recent court decision wherein a Florida appellate court made the task of pursuing punitive damages even more difficult.
In Persaud v. Cortes, et al, the plaintiff in a lawsuit involving a rear-end collision sued a drunk driver. The intoxicated motorist caused the driver of the vehicle struck from the rear to suffer serious injury while a passenger in the vehicle died. The estate of the decedent and injured driver filed a lawsuit seeking both compensatory and punitive damages against the alcohol-impaired driver. There was not much dispute regarding the fact the defendant was intoxicated since he had a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .32. Continue reading →