In Manekas v. Allied Discount Co., 6 Misc.2d 1079 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. July 8, 1957), the Court held: Where there has been a wrongful and willful taking or detention of property coupled with a malicious intention to deprive a party of his interest in the property, the plaintiff may not only recover actual damages sustained for conversion but, in addition, exemplary damages.
The purpose of an award for punitive or exemplary damages is not only to compensate for harm suffered by a plaintiff, but it may reflect punishment of the wrongdoer for the past event. It is also intended to deter a tort-feasor from a repetition of the wrongful act. Manekas, 6 Misc.2d at 1080.