Attorney at Law since 1986

Florida Circuit Civil Mediator & Qualified Arbitrator

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Punitive damages are damages that punish the wrong doer for intentional or bad conduct. A typical example in a car crash case would be if the other driver is drunk, a jury might hold that driver responsible for punitive or punishment damages because they elected to drink and get behind the wheel.

When you shift the focus to a nursing home, however, you have to be able to show under Florida law that the licensee of the nursing home, that the corporate entity that runs the show, did something directly to harm the resident, which is very seldom the case, or actually agreed or acquiesced in the conduct of the employees that was egregious. If you can prove that there was in fact some ratification of bad conduct by a nursing home licensee entity, you may be able to obtain punitive damages. The legislature in 2003 made the standard very high, and in the absence of actual malice, it’s tough to get punitive damages in a nursing home case.