Exemplary damages

Claims for exemplary damages fall outside the ACC scheme because their purpose is to punish a wrongdoer as opposed to compensating a victim.

The claim needs to be brought by the person who has suffered the injury.  No claim for exemplary damages can be brought where the person has died. 

Exemplary damages in New Zealand arise in cases involving outrageous conduct. Claimants prefer to issue proceedings in the civil arena rather than appearing in the criminal court as the civil process enables the person harmed to retain control of proceedings and have their own lawyers there to represent them. Antonia has been successful in many cases involving sexual assaults (including historic child and sexual abuse) and domestic violence.

Cases where exemplary damages are sought tends to be lengthy and expensive.  They are often filed in the High Court and usually involve expert medical evidence. There are time limits and legal advice should be obtained promptly.

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