Punitive Damages against Corporations in Virginia

Corporations can be Liable for Punitive Damages in Virginia.

Punitive damages may be awarded against a corporation for the wrongful conduct of its agent or
employee if the corporation engaged in, authorized or ratified the wrongful conduct.

To subject a corporate employer to punitive damages liability on the basis that the corporate employer itself engaged in the wrongful acts of its agent or employee, the agent or employee must be in a sufficiently high position to be a managing agent within the corporate structure.

In reaching the decision whether Defendant was a managing agent of the corporation, one may consider any of the following; (1) whether he had authority to speak and act independently of higher corporate authority; (2) whether he was a supervisor with broad discretionary powers who exercised substantial discretion authority in the corporation.

Egan v. Butler, 290 Va. 62 (2015)

 

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