Under an automobile liability policy, the defendant insurer paid the plaintiff, on his judgment against the insured, the amount of compensatory damages recovered for injuries. The insurer refused, however, to pay the additional sum awarded as double damages under a statute providing that the court in its discretion might award double or treble damages where the injury was caused by a violation of certain statutory rules of the road. By the terms of the policy defendant insurance company agreed to pay "all sums which the insured shall become obligated to pay by reason of liability imposed upon him by law for damages . . . because of bodily injury." Plaintiff sued insurer, who demurred to the complaint on the ground that the sum sought to be recovered was a penalty. The demurrer was overruled and defendant appealed. Held, the demurrer should be sustained. The allowance of double damages is an imposition of a penalty rather than a recovery of punitive damages and hence the liability is not "for damages because of bodily injury." Tedesco v. Maryland Casualty Co., (Conn. 1941) 18 A. (2d) 357.
Alfred I. Rothman,
INSURANCE - PUBLIC LIABILITY POLICY - LIABILITY OF INSURER FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND PENALTIES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol40/iss1/19