As used in this act:
"Actual malice" means an intentional wrongdoing in the sense of an evil-minded act.
"Clear and convincing evidence" means that standard of evidence which leaves no serious or substantial doubt about the correctness of the conclusions drawn from the evidence. It is a standard which requires more than a preponderence of evidence, but less than beyond a reasonable doubt, to draw a conclusion.
"Compensatory damages" means damages intended to make good the loss of an injured party, and no more. The term includes general and special damages and does not include nominal, exemplary or punitive damages.
"Defendant" means any party against whom punitive damages are sought.
"Nominal damages" are damages that are not designed to compensate a plaintiff and are less than $500.
"Plaintiff" means any party claiming punitive damages.
"Punitive damages" includes exemplary damages and means damages awarded against a party in a civil action because of aggravating circumstances in order to penalize and to provide additional deterrence against a defendant to discourage similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages do not include compensatory damages or nominal damages.
"Wanton and willful disregard" means a deliberate act or omission with knowledge of a high degree of probability of harm to another and reckless indifference to the consequences of such act or omission.
N.J.S. § 2A:15-5.10