In their modern form, aggravated damages burst on the legal scene in 1964. Their nature is contestable. Commentators tend to argue that they compensate for losses associated with the plaintiff’s dignity. This paper argues that this view is both too narrow and too wide: too narrow because aggravated damages have not been limited to losses that can be so described; too wide because the view is based on the assumption that aggravated damages are an independent head of damage. Properly understood, aggravated damages are relevant in the assessment of damages, compensating for recoverable tangible or intangible losses that are incapable of objective monetary assessment and that have been increased by reason of the nature and circumstances of the defendant’s wrong. Their justification is the need to avoid the risk of under-compensation in such cases.
Michael Tilbury, Aggravated Damages, Current Legal Problems, https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuy003. Published: 14 September 2018.