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Punitive Damages and French Public Policy


When asked whether French law admits punitive damages, Professor Durry, a prominent French academic, responded: "No, No, and No!; three times No! But..."1 These few words seem to pretty much illustrate where French law stood several years ago regarding punitive damages. In French legal terminology, one generally opposes "punitive damages" to "compensatory damages." Compensatory damages repair the victim's injury, as if he or she had incurred no loss at all. They are sometimes just symbolic or token sums. In this school of thought, the indemnification must in no way be enrichment for the victim. Contrary to compensatory damages, punitive damages are outrageous sums awarded in excess of compensatory damages to punish a party for outrageous conduct.
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hal-00325829 , version 1 (30-09-2008)


  • HAL Id : hal-00325829 , version 1


Georges Cavalier. Punitive Damages and French Public Policy. Lyon Symposium, Oct 2007, Lyon, France. ⟨hal-00325829⟩


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