limitations on punitive damages has the potential to wreak economic havoc by driving corporation after corporation out of the marketplace and, in so doing, discouraging business investments. From the ethical perspective, the issue is important both as regards corporations and consumers. As far as corporations are concerned,
liability laws are intended to regulate corporate behavior and ensure responsibility for their products and towards their customers. The threat of punitive damages arguably contributes to greater ethical compliance where corporations are concerned. Where consumers are concerned, however, the ethics of the issue assumes a very different hue. This is because consumers are becoming increasingly litigation minded and, indeed, more and more are seeking to profit by suing corporations and from punitive damage awards. A cap or limitation on the amount of damages which can be rewarded will curtail this tendency and contribute to the re-affirmation of punitive damages as a regulatory mechanism designed to ensure corporate responsibility. Added to the aforementioned, the issue is of particular significance to me since my father and I have corporate business interests in the United States.
Even while recognizing that it is not a credible source which can possibly be included in this study, I commenced the research by accessing the Wikipedia website. The reason for doing so is that the said website provides concise overviews of topics, giving readers a sense of both sides of an argument. Reading through Corporate Liability and Punitive Damages on Wikipedia provided me with a good introduction to the topic and helped me identify possible search terms (Wikipedia, 2008).
Following Wikipedia, I logged onto Google and executed a search for “corporate liability punitive damages.” Close to a quarter of a million results were returned. One of these was an article linked to a website titled Palm Beach Bar (http://plambeachbar.org).