SEOUL, June 15 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent survey has showed that 9 out of 10 Korean lawyers support a revision of the Korean legal system to allow for the implementation of punitive damages.
Punitive damages refer to a policy in which defendants are obliged to pay a greater amount of damages when general compensatory damages are deemed as offering inadequate compensation to a victim.
In the United States, punitive damages are often applied to corporate misconduct. With the ongoing investigations that are a part of Korea’s toxic sterilizer scandal, voices calling for the implementation of punitive damages are growing.
The survey was conducted by the Seoul Bar Association, with the participation of 1,545 lawyers from May 23 to June 12. The results showed that 91.7 percent (1,417) of the respondents assented to implementing punitive damages.
As to the size of the damages, 31.8 percent (492) replied ‘more than ten times the general damages’, 23.6 percent (364) said ‘ten times the general damages’, 18.6 percent (288) said ‘three times the general damages’, and 17.3 percent (268) said ‘five times the general damages’.
Among the lawyers supporting punitive damages, 55.9 percent (792) said ‘the policy should be implemented as a form of a special law that is exclusive to corporate environmental abuses and defective products’, and 38.5 percent (546) replied ‘the policy should be implemented for all areas of damages’.
The survey also revealed that 78.9 percent (1,219) of all lawyers agreed to implement a class action policy, in which claims are resolved for all victims in a single proceeding led by only a portion of the victims.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)