For a defendant to be liable for punitive damages, the plaintiff has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that certain specified conduct was committed with malice, oppression or fraud by officers, directors or managing agents.
- Malice 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 means despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person’s rights.
- Fraud 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.
Source: December 16, 2014 – Autozone’s Predicament: A $185 Million Punitive Damage Award | Publications | News & Events | Baker Donelso