Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant’s deliberate wrongdoing or conscious disregard for the rights of others. (In re Hobbs v. Bateman Eichler Hill Richards, Inc. (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 174.) Mere negligence, even gross negligence, is not sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages. (Jackson v. Johnson (1992) 5 Cal.App. 4th 1350.) Most insurance policies automatically exclude coverage for damages caused by intentional acts of the insured. In addition, punitive damages are generally uninsurable in California as against public policy.
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