Punitive Damages for Breach of Contract California

Punitive Damages for Breach of Contract in California: What You Need to Know

Breach of contract is a serious issue that can have serious consequences. When one party fails to perform their obligations as outlined in a contract, the other party can suffer significant financial losses and other damages. In California, the law allows for punitive damages when a breach of contract occurs. Here is what you need to know about punitive damages for breach of contract in California.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are a type of compensation awarded to the injured party in a civil lawsuit. Unlike compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate for actual financial losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their actions. Punitive damages are awarded above and beyond any compensatory damages that may be awarded in the case.

What is a breach of contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform their obligations under a contract. This can include failing to deliver goods or services as promised, failing to pay for goods or services received, or violating any other terms outlined in the contract. When a breach of contract occurs, the injured party may file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their losses.

When are punitive damages awarded for breach of contract in California?

In California, punitive damages can be awarded for breach of contract in certain circumstances. To be eligible for punitive damages, the breach of contract must be accompanied by some kind of wrongdoing or bad faith on the part of the breaching party. This can include fraud, intentional misrepresentation, or other acts of malice or oppression. The injured party must also be able to prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the breach.

How are punitive damages calculated in California?

In California, there is no set formula for calculating punitive damages. The amount of punitive damages awarded can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case. Factors that may be considered when determining the amount of punitive damages include the severity of the wrongdoing, the financial resources of the wrongdoer, and the degree of harm suffered by the injured party.


Punitive damages for breach of contract in California are intended to punish wrongdoers for their actions and provide a deterrent against future breaches of contract. If you have suffered financial losses as a result of a breach of contract accompanied by wrongdoing or bad faith on the part of the other party, you may be eligible for punitive damages. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in breach of contract cases can help you determine your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.