Gen X at 40

Canada's Favorite Blog

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Hans -

What about punitive damages?

Alan -

We don't give them out so much and to that degree: "The award is justified, not because it is appropriate to punish the defendant or enrich the plaintiff, but because it will serve the purpose or function of restoring the plaintiff as nearly as possible to his pre-accident state." <p>Hey - you have the scarlet letters...did you sleep through that day in law school? Were you down the tav...again?<p>I was reading one site that indicated it was US juries as well as a lack of a cellar statement on capping punatives which has led the US away from the rest of the common law legal systems.

Hans -

Um, its just that your research seems, um, more up to date than mine, ahem. i guess i was just trying to ascertain if that's where the problem is: that Canada doesn't do that (anymore) but the US (Jim the Hammer et al.) has made a cottage industry of it. i.e. the only way to "punish" big corporations like McDonald's for negligently making their coffee too hot is to award the little old lady who got her thighs scalded hundreds of millions of dollars. On the other hand, have the Canadian courts totally done away with the concept of punitive damages? Again, just checking for the most, um, up to date research. I mean, you know, I may have missed a class or 2, due to the flu or something.

Alan -

I think there is a need in Canada to have an outrageous aspect to the event in Canada. There was a case out of rural Wilberforce Township, Ontario where Pilot Insurance denied a claim in a house fire alleging arson. In that case there was outrageousness due to a failure, I believe, to share information during discovery. And even in that landmark ruling it was only one million CND. But notice that the Supremes restored a <i>jury</i> ruling on punatives.