One of the most abusive elements of civil litigation has been the assigning of millions and even billions of dollars in “punitive” or “exemplary” damages to a verdict. These add-on damage awards have no relation to harm done – they are assigned after all actual damages have been determined. Actual damages can include monetary losses as well as pain and suffering, lost future wages, loss of companionship, etc.
Arbitrary punitive damages can be so large as to bankrupt a company or an individual. The U.S. Supreme Court and many states have worked to limit punitive damages, but they remain a problem in Pennsylvania.
If Pennsylvania workers and their families want to see a strong job base in our state, limiting punitive damages in court verdicts would go a long way to encouraging employers to stay in Pennsylvania and invest in more jobs here.