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- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 9. Code of Civil Procedure
- Chapter 17. Civil Damages and Apportionment of Fault
- Section 20. Punitive Damages.
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. Noneconomic Damages.
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. [Renumbered as AS 09.65.210
AS 09.17.020. Punitive Damages.
- (a) In an action in which a claim of punitive damages is presented to the fact finder, the fact finder shall determine,
concurrently with all other issues presented, whether punitive damages shall be allowed by using the standards set out
in (b) of this section. If punitive damages are allowed, a separate proceeding under (c) of this section shall be
conducted before the same fact finder to determine the amount of punitive damages to be awarded.
- (b) The fact finder may make an award of punitive damages only if the plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence
that the defendant's conduct
- (1) was outrageous, including acts done with malice or bad motives; or
- (2) evidenced reckless indifference to the interest of another person.
- (c) At the separate proceeding to determine the amount of punitive damages to be awarded, the fact finder may consider
- (1) the likelihood at the time of the conduct that serious harm would arise from the defendant's conduct;
- (2) the degree of the defendant's awareness of the likelihood described in (1) of this subsection;
- (3) the amount of financial gain the defendant gained or expected to gain as a result of the defendant's conduct;
- (4) the duration of the conduct and any intentional concealment of the conduct;
- (5) the attitude and conduct of the defendant upon discovery of the conduct;
- (6) the financial condition of the defendant; and
- (7) the total deterrence of other damages and punishment imposed on the defendant as a result of the conduct, including
compensatory and punitive damages awards to persons in situations similar to those of the plaintiff and the severity of
the criminal penalties to which the defendant has been or may be subjected.
- (d) At the conclusion of the separate proceeding under (c) of this section, the fact finder shall determine the amount of
punitive damages to be awarded, and the court shall enter judgment for that amount.
- (e) Unless that evidence is relevant to another issue in the case, discovery of evidence that is relevant to the amount of
punitive damages to be determined under (c)(3) or (6) of this section may not be conducted until after the fact finder
has determined that an award of punitive damages is allowed under (a) and (b) of this section. The court may issue
orders as necessary, including directing the parties to have the information relevant to the amount of punitive damages
to be determined under (c)(3) or (6) of this section available for production immediately at the close of the initial
trial in order to minimize the delay between the initial trial and the separate proceeding to determine the amount of
- (f) Except as provided in (g) and (h) of this section, an award of punitive damages may not exceed the greater of
- (1) three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff in the action; or
- (2) the sum of $500,000.
- (g) Except as provided in (h) of this section, if the fact finder determines that the conduct proven under (b) of this
section was motivated by financial gain and the adverse consequences of the conduct were actually known by the
defendant or the person responsible for making policy decisions on behalf of the defendant, it may award an amount of
punitive damages not to exceed the greatest of
- (1) four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff in the action;
- (2) four times the aggregate amount of financial gain that the defendant received as a result of the defendant's
- (3) the sum of $7,000,000.
- (h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in an action against an employer to recover damages for an unlawful
employment practice prohibited by AS 18.80.220
, the amount of punitive damages awarded by the court or jury may not exceed
- (1) $200,000 if the employer has less than 100 employees in this state;
- (2) $300,000 if the employer has 100 or more but less than 200 employees in this state;
- (3) $400,000 if the employer has 200 or more but less than 500 employees in this state; and
- (4) $500,000 if the employer has 500 or more employees in this state.
- (i) Subsection (h) of this section may not be construed to allow an award of punitive damages against the state or a
person immune under another provision of law. In (h) of this section, "employees" means persons employed in each of 20
or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
- (j) If a person receives an award of punitive damages, the court shall require that 50 percent of the award be deposited
into the general fund of the state. This subsection does not grant the state the right to file or join a civil action
to recover punitive damages.
- (k) In a civil action in which an employer is determined to be vicariously liable for the act or omission of an employee,
punitive damages may not be awarded against the employer under principles of vicarious liability unless (1) the
employer or the employer's managerial agent (A) authorized the act or omission and the manner in which the act was
performed or omission occurred; or (B) ratified or approved the act or omission after the act or omission occurred; or
(2) the employee (A) was unfit to perform the act or avoid the omission and the employer or the employer's managerial
agent acted recklessly in employing or retaining the employee; or (B) was employed in a managerial capacity and was
acting within the scope of employment. In this subsection, "managerial agent" means a management level employee with
the stature and authority to exercise control, discretion, and independent judgment over a certain area of the
employer's business and with some power to set policy for the employer.
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