TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dead Men Can't Be Sued for Punitive Damages

The Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed its long standing rule (dating back to 1884) prohibiting punitive damages claims against deceased individuals.  The court reasoned that awarding punitive damages against an estate does not serve the purposes of punitive damages, which the court identified as (1) punishment, (2) specific deterrence, and (3) general deterrence.  Iowa's decision follows the majority rule on this issue.  (The opinion helpfully includes footnotes and citations discussing the majority/minority breakdown).

A copy of the court's opinion is here. The Des Moines Register has full coverage.

Thanks to How Appealing for the info.


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