Punitive damages constitute an award to an injured party above what is necessary to compensate for actual loss. This Article considers whether punitive damages are an effective means of promoting the goals of products liability law. Section I traces the use of punitive damages in products liability litigation from the early 1960's to the present time. Section II examines the traditional rationales for punitive damages and considers whether they are appropriate in the products liability context. Finally, Section III evaluates some of the measures that commentators have proposed to adapt more fully the concept of punitive damages to products liability litigation. Particular emphasis is given to the use of punitive damage class actions in design defect cases.
Richard C. Ausness, Retribution and Deterrence: The Role of Punitive Damages in Products Liability Litigation, 74 Ky. L.J. 1 (1985).