Punitive damages are hard to get and harder to keep. Defendants have been pushing the evils of punitive damages for over two decades now, and the United States Supreme Court has placed certain limitations on the award of such damages.
So, the reasonably prudent plaintiff’s lawyer must give careful consideration about whether punitive damages should even be requested. The decision is a complicated one.
To get a better idea of where the defense will be coming from if you seek punitive damages, go to the 2005 Winter Edition of FDCC Quarterly, advance to page 73 and read the article entitled “Making the Most of Your Opportunities: State Farm – Based Litigation and Non-Litigation Strategies to Limit Corporate Liability for Punitive Damages.” This 16-page article is a nice roadmap of what you can expect from your adversary.