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Hyundai America says that they plan to appeal the recent $248 million verdict against the company. The verdict came in light of a 2011 Montana car crash that killed two teenage boys. According to the allegations in the lawsuit, a defective “steering knuckle,” located on the tire portion area of the vehicle, caused the auto crash. The piece allegedly cracked, and caused the Hyundai to swerve into another vehicle. A woman in the other vehicle was also killed by the collision.
The Montana jury found that Hyundai acted with actual malice and caused the two deaths. They awarded the families $8 million in actual damages for their losses, as well as $240 million in punitive damages to punish the South Korea based car manufacturer.
Punitive damages, unlike traditional economic damages, are designed to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior. The monetary worth of the defendant is a factor that is considered in determining the amount of an appropriate punitive damage award.
The company says they plan on appealing the verdict, denying any liability in the crash.