Punishing Corporate Wrongdoers

By: Frank H. Bailey, Founder/Senior Partner

We all hear about criminal cases resulting in prison sentences or even the death penalty for the perpetrator, but what about corporations that kill or injure our friends or family members?  The civil justice system cannot imprison a corporation, but the civil justice system has created a way to punish corporate wrongdoers.  The civil justice system’s way of punishing corporate wrongdoers is by allowing a jury to assess punitive damages against the corporation for its culpable conduct.

In Arkansas, if a corporation knew or ought to have known, that its conduct would naturally and probably result in injury, and it continued that conduct in reckless disregard of the consequences, then a jury can punish that corporation with punitive damages in addition to compensation for the injuries.

In arriving at an amount of punitive damages, the jury can consider the financial condition of the corporation.  For an example, if a corporation was worth $20,000.00, an assessment of $200.00 would be one percent of that corporation’s net worth.  That might be enough to wake up the company and get the decision makers’ attention.  But, if a corporation was worth $200,000,000.00 it might take $20,000,000.00 to get that company’s attention, to wake up the company with the language the company understands:  money.

At Bailey and Oliver Law Firm we want to make our community…our country… safer for the average person.  Sometimes that takes an award of punitive damages to change a corporation’s behavior.  Call us at 479-202-5200 or come to see us if you know of a family that has been injured by a corporation that is reckless with the lives of others.  Our office is located just off I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas.  We serve all of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee.  We are like the old fashioned doctor, we make house calls and listen to our clients.

Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Suite 200, Rogers, AR  72758.