Definition - What does Treble Damages mean?
Treble damages refer to damages that are three times the amount of the value of the losses sustained. Judges are allowed to require defendants to pay treble damages in certain cases.
The purpose of treble damages is to punish defendants for certain acts, and to provide a negative incentive for similar acts to be committed in the future.
Justipedia explains Treble Damages
Treble damages can amount to significantly more than the actual damages and can put a real financial burden on the defendant. However, treble damages are typically only assigned to people who committed strong offenses. For example, a person who writes a bad check, or who does not pay rent, may be assigned treble damages. Also, people who violate federal anti-trust laws can also be required to pay treble damages.
Treble damages cannot be required for every civil case.