Punitive Damages Cap In Texas
An award of exemplary damages must be reasonably proportionate to actual damages. See Alamo Nat'l Bank v. Kraus, 616 S.W.2d 908, 910 (Tex. 1981).
However, the amount of exemplary damages is largely within the discretion of the fact finder. See Campbell v. Salazar, 960 S.W.2d 719, 726 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1997, no writ); Stewart Title Guar. Co. v. Aiello, 911 S.W.2d 463, (Tex. App.-El Paso 1995, no writ).
However, section 41.008 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code places maximum limits on exemplary damages. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE 41.008 (Vernon 1997).
Exemplary damages may not exceed the greater of:
(a) two times the amount of economic damages plus an amount not to exceed $ 750,000; or (b) $ 200,000. See Id.
Further, in determining the reasonableness of an award of exemplary damages, the court should consider: (1) the nature of the wrong;
(2) the character of the conduct involved;
(3) the degree of culpability of the wrongdoer;
(4) the situation and sensibilities of the parties concerned;
(5) the extent to which such conduct offends a public sense of justice and propriety. See Kraus, 616 S.W.2d at 910; see also Transportation Ins. Co. v. Moriel, 879 S.W.2d 10, 16-17, 28, 29 and n. 26 (Tex. 1994).