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Punitive Damages Must Be Assessed Based On Compensatory Awards

Posted on Nov 8 2013

In a split decision released on November 5, 2013, a majority of the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled in Pate Estate v. Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (Township), 2013 ONCA 669 that when assessing punitive damage awards, trial judges must look to the total compensation and costs otherwise awarded. The majority decision, written by Justice Cronk and concurred by Justice Doherty (with Justice Lauwers dissenting), interpreted elements in the seminal Supreme Court decisions of Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Co., 2002 SCC 18, and Hill v.

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