Alec A. Beech


A majority of jurisdictions in the United States have determined, either statutorily or judicially, that punitive damages cannot be imposed against deceased tortfeasors. However, a recent Ohio appellate court held to the contrary. In Whetstone v. Binner, the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals adopted the minority view when it held that punitive damages could be imposed against a decedent’s estate. This Comment takes the position that Whetstone was incorrectly decided. Specifically, this Comment argues that the longstanding purposes of punitive damages are not furthered when such damages are imposed against estates and that Ohio law supports this conclusion.