Example of Punitive Damages Cases In Arizona

In Arizona, "punitive damages are awarded only 'in the most egregious of cases,'" where it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant engaged in "'reprehensible conduct' and acted 'with an evil mind.'" Medasys Acquisition Corp. v. SDMS, P.C., 203 Ariz. 420, 424, P 17, 55 P.3d 763, 767 (2002) (quoting Linthicum v. Nationwide Life Ins. Co., 150 Ariz. 326, 331-32, 723 P.2d 675, 680-81 (1986)); see also Hyatt Regency Phoenix Hotel Co. v. Winston & Strawn, 184 Ariz. 120, 132, 907 P.2d 506, 518 (App. 1995) ("To recover punitive damages, a plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant engaged in aggravated and outrageous conduct with an evil mind."). Thus, the critical inquiry is whether an award of punitive damages "is appropriate to penalize a party for 'outwardly aggravated, outrageous, malicious, or fraudulent conduct' that is coupled with an 'evil mind.'" Medasys, 203 Ariz. at 424, P 18, 55 P.3d at 767 (quoting Linthicum, 150 Ariz. at 331, 723 P.2d at 680). "A defendant acts with the requisite evil mind when he intends to injure or defraud, or deliberately interferes with the rights of others, 'consciously disregarding the unjustifiable substantial risk of significant harm to them.'" Hyatt Regency, 184 Ariz. at 132, 907 P.2d at 518. Punitive damages may be imposed in aiding and abetting and breach-of-fiduciary duty cases. Rodgers v. Bryan, 82 Ariz. 143, 151, 309 P.2d 773, 778 (1957) (aiding and abetting); Rhue v. Dawson, 173 Ariz. 220, 232, 841 P.2d 215, 227 (App. 1992) (breach of fiduciary duty). Moreover, "a jury's decision to award punitive damages should be affirmed if any reasonable evidence exists to support it." Filasky v. Preferred Risk Mut. Ins. Co., 152 Ariz. 591, 599, 734 P.2d 76, 84 (1987).