Nineteenth-century debate on punitive damages has led to an apparently un- bridgeable gap between American and German concepts of damages. While the American system stayed dualistic, allowing compensatory damages and punitive damages, the German system has become monistic, exclusively allowing compensatory damages. The gap grew deeper as, in America, punitive damages awards skyrocketed, and in Germany the monistic system, reckoned under German public policy, has barred American punitive damages awards from enforcement. According to the author's opinion, recent develop towards capping punitive damages in America and towards awarding damages which are punitive in Germany may bridge this gap.
Punitive Damages in American and German Law – Tendencies towards Approximation of Apparently Irreconcilable Concepts,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol78/iss1/6