"Punitive damages", a concept imported from the US legal system, can be seen in the Admivac case and Resolution 882/2017 issued by the Supreme Court of Justice. These examples incorporate punitive damages as a concept which is aimed at punishing the wrongdoer, to deter others from engaging in harmful conduct and/or the detriment of third parties. This concept is currently embedded within the concept of moral damages in the Mexican legal system.
A recently issued resolution sentenced an insurance company to pay a victim compensation for punitive damages, exclusive of moral damages. This judgment is interesting for three reasons: (i) this is one of the first instances where there is a direct obligation to pay a sum exclusively for punitive damages; (ii) the Court addresses the subject of the quantification of the judgment, which is controversial in itself, as the admissible and constitutionally valid quantification is unclear, and (iii) due to the nature of the insurance, the judgment was imposed against the insurance company, as a result of its "negligence" during the adjustment process and indemnification of the victim.
Even though the judgment referred to is not final, this judgment could be a symbolic case for the birth of the concept of punitive damages and its application in Mexico, as well as all that it entails.
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