Jacque v. Steenberg Homes, Inc.

653 N.W. 2d 154 (1997)

Facts

Jacque (P) owned property. Steenberg (D) sold a mobile home to P' neighbor. D determined that the easiest way to deliver the home was through P's land. The only other alternative was a private road that was covered in seven feet of snow and contained a sharp curve, which would require extra difficulty for D in the delivery process. D asked P a number of times to move the home across P's land. P refused, and when the day of delivery came, P noticed the home sitting near his property. P refused access once again. D decided that they would ignore P's command and haul the home across P's land. P called the Sheriff and D was given a citation. P then sued D in tort. D moved for a directed verdict. The jury awarded P $1 in nominal damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. The Court set aside the award because the Court reasoned that Wisconsin law did not allow a punitive damage award unless the jury also awarded compensatory damages.