Punishment Enough?

In Pate v. Galway-Cavendish, a divided panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal took 240 paragraphs to reduce a punitive damage award from $550,000 to $450,000.  This was in circumstances where the defendant’s conduct was found to be “egregious, prolonged, and of great adverse impact.”  Why bother?  A likely answer is that the court is concerned about possible duplication of damages, including an important reminder of the fact that compensatory damages may themselves have the effect of achieving some or all of the “punishment” required in a given fact situation.