Green Oil Co. v. Hornsby

In Green Oil Co. v. Hornsby, 539 So. 2d 218, 222 (Ala. 1989) the Court stated that "because the purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the wrongdoer and to deter the wrongdoer and others from committing similar wrongs in the future, the proper amount of punitive damages rests largely within the jury's discretion." The Court added that while "punitive damages need bear no particular relationship to the actual damages, they, nonetheless, must not exceed an amount that will accomplish society's goals of punishment and deterrence." Id. In Green Oil Co., we held that a court reviewing a punitive damages award should consider the following factors: Ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages: Here, the jury found that the evidence supported an award of $ 200,000 in compensatory damages, greater than the punitive-damages award of $ 150,000. Therefore, the ratio of compensatory to punitive damages does not require a reduction of the punitive damages.