In other to determine the amount of punitive damages to award, Missouri permits the jury to consider what the defendant’s net worth is. This is important because a punitive award of $1,000 may not be considered to be very much punishment to a person with a net worth of a ten million dollars.
Missouri statute also allows for the punitive damage part of the trial to be tried separately from the rest of the case.
Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the plaintiff.
Defendants that try to hide behind bankruptcy to avoid large Punitive damages awards will find that punitive damage awards are not dischargeable in bankruptcy provided the relevant cause of action was based upon willful and malicious actions. 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Contact RS Law to discuss punitive damages and how this may affect your case today. Personal injury lawsuits are a way to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions that caused you harm.