Maryland Court of Appeals Holds That A Plaintiff Seeking Punitive Damages Has No Obligation To Establish A Defendant's Ability To Pay
In Darcars Motors v. Silver Spring Inc. v. Borzym, No. 33, Sept. Term, 2003 (Md. Feb. 9, 2004), the Court reviewed a jury award for punitive damages against an automobile dealership, and concluded that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's finding on actual malice and that the plaintiff had no duty to present evidence of the dealership's financial condition in support of his pursuit of a punitive damages award.
The Court held that when called upon to decide the sufficiency of the evidence in support of an award of punitive damages, judges must consider that the claimant must prove "actual malice" by clear and convincing evidence.