What is Statutory Damages?

Legal Definition
Statutory damages are a damage award in civil law, in which the amount awarded is stipulated within the statute rather than being calculated based on the degree of harm to the plaintiff. Lawmakers will provide for statutory damages for acts in which it is difficult to determine a precise value of the loss suffered by the victim. This could be because calculation of a value is impractical, such as in intellectual property cases where the volume of the infringement cannot be ascertained. It could also be because the nature of the injury is subjective, such as in cases of a violation of a person's rights. The award might serve not only as compensation but also for deterrence, and it is more likely to succeed in serving a deterrence function when the potential defendants are relatively sophisticated parties. Other functions that can be served by statutory damages include reducing administrative costs and clarifying the consequences of violating the law.

The amount of statutory damages can be set on a per-incident basis, such as in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which gives statutory damages of up to $1,000 for a violation of its provisions. Amounts could also be set per day, as in acts proscribing human-rights violations which might specify damages of $1,000 per day. The term also applies wherein damages are a multiple of what the legally entitled payment would have been in the matter, which would be typical for copyright or trademark infringement.

The principle of in pari delicto applies, preventing people from suing others for crimes in which they also participated.
-- Wikipedia