Can a judge award punitive damages?

Can a judge award punitive damages?

Examples of punitive damages

It was proven that the defendant did not comply with the contract entered into through the Internet, since it failed to deliver the purchased item (a set of four chairs) and paid for it ($ 2,599 with a Mercado Pago card).

All this in order to have more evidence to establish an exemplary civil fine. Secondly, he argues that the amount of the sentence of $ 120,000 is insufficient and requests that the maximum allowed by the legislation in force be set.

In other grounds, it alleges that due to Frávega’s position in the market, the massiveness of the Cyber Monday event, the numerous complaints filed against it in administrative proceedings and the flagrant violation of consumers’ rights, the amount established does not discourage the repetition of acts such as those reproached in this case.

For the judges of Chamber II of the Civil and Commercial Court of the Judicial Department of Azul, the request for the performance of an accounting expertise in this new instance was formally inadmissible, as it was superfluous and unnecessary.

Punitive sanctions

Then, a brief relation will be made of the way in which the English and American jurisprudence have approached the subject of punitive damages, to later analyze the correspondence or not between them and the figure referred to by the First Chamber of our highest court.

The matter that gives rise to the subject matter of this paper is Amparo 30/2013 of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, resolved in session of February 26, 2014, under the presidency of Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea.

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Now, the judgment of Amparo directo 30/2013, the subject of this study, retaking the doctrine and the constant jurisprudence of the Court itself, conducts the study of the procedence of civil liability analyzing its three traditional elements, which are addressed as follows:

In addition to the above, from the facts considered as proven by the Supreme Court, it is observed that the defendant deployed a series of unlawful conduct due to negligence, which are synthesized as follows from page 72 of the judgment:

Punitive damages scjn

In this sense, the decision of the Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals of Mar del Plata that is being discussed leads us to analyze the issue in question, highlighting the need to introduce, through legislation, clear parameters (such as mathematical formulas) that facilitate the judicial work.

The same conclusion was reached by important doctrine when stating in the V Jornadas Sanjuaninas de Derecho Civil (May 2015) that compliance with the constitutional requirements of substantiation of judgments requires that the procedure used to arrive at a numerical result be made explicit, in a transparent and controllable manner (5).

In this sense, the new Civil and Commercial Code contains a rule (section 1746) that obliges the judge to follow certain parameters when quantifying compensations derived from injuries or permanent, physical or psychological, total or partial disability. In this regard, it has been said that “in view of the clarity of the directive, it would seem exotic -at least- to argue that the constitutional requirements of the grounds for the sentences are met without stating, in a standard formula, the quantitative bases (values of the variables provided by the rule) and the relationships that were taken into account to arrive at the result to be determined” (6) .

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Punitive damages and moral damages

Article 3 of Law 28449, by establishing that “The maximum monthly amount of severance, disability and survivors’ pensions of the pension system regulated by Decree Law 20530 is 2 Tax Units in force at the date of payment of the pension”, is interpreted to mean that each maximum monthly pension is equivalent to 2 Tax Units in force at the time the actual payment of each pension amount is made.

There is uncertainty as to which are the grounds for nullity that may be applied with respect to economic arbitration awards in labor matters, since there are three rules that refer to such grounds in a somewhat disorderly manner.

Indeed, Article 66 of the TUOLRCT establishes that the Arbitral Award can be challenged on the grounds of nullity and for establishing lesser rights than those recognized by law in favor of the workers.

Article 66.- The award, regardless of the type of arbitration body, is not subject to appeal and is binding on both parties. It may be challenged before the Labor Chamber of the Superior Court in the following cases: a) On the grounds of nullity. b) For establishing lesser rights than those provided by law in favor of the workers. The filing of an appeal does not prevent or postpone the enforcement of the arbitration award, unless otherwise decided by the competent judicial authority.

Can a judge award punitive damages?
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