HOW MUCH ARE PUNITIVE DAMAGES WORTH?
In Ohio, the amount of punitive damages you can recover in a product liability case is calculated based on several factors, including:
- Likelihood that the product defect would cause harm
- How aware the at-fault party was of the problem or defect
- How long the error or defect continued to exist without being addressed or fixed
- How much profit the at-fault party made or would make due to the error or defect
- What the at-fault party did, or did not do, when they discovered the problem
- Whether the error was resolved or attempted to be resolved
- Whether the at-fault party tried to conceal the error or defect
- The at-fault party’s financial condition
According to Ohio code ORC 2315.21, there are limits to punitive damages that may be awarded, including:
- If the at-fault party is a small business or an individual, the award cannot exceed twice the amount of the compensatory damages, or 10 percent of the business’ or individual’s net worth at the time the negligence occurred – whichever amount is less. However, the amount of punitive damages cannot exceed $350,000.
- If the at-fault party is a large company, the award cannot be more than twice the amount of compensatory damages.
Your attorney will investigate these issues to determine how much the at-fault party knew about the defect and how long they waited before taking action to correct the error. Your attorney will carefully review these issues to determine the value of punitive damages.