Aggravated damages may be awarded if a battery has
occurred in “humiliating or undignified circumstances”.58 These
damages are not awarded in addition to general damages.
Rather, general damages are assessed “taking into account any
aggravating features of the case and to that extent increasing
the amount awarded”.59 Like general damages, aggravated
damages are compensatory.
 In Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, the Supreme
Court of Canada expanded on the principles governing the award
of aggravated damages.60 Although these comments were made in
the context of a libel action, they are relevant in the circumstances
of this case. Writing for the unanimous court, Cory J. wrote that:
Aggravated damages may be awarded in circumstances where the defend-
ants’ conduct has been particularly high-handed or oppressive, thereby
increasing the plaintiff's humiliation and anxiety arising from the libellous
statement. The nature of these damages was aptly described by Robins J.A. in
Walker v. CFTO Ltd., supra, in these words at p. 111:
Where the defendant is guilty of insulting, high-handed, spiteful, mali-
cious or oppressive conduct which increases the mental distress — the
humiliation, indignation, anxiety, grief, fear and the like — suffered by
the plaintiff as a result of being defamed, the plaintiff may be entitled to
what has come to be known as “aggravated damages”.
These damages take into account the additional harm caused to the plaintiff’s feelings by the defendant’s outrageous and malicious conduct. Like general or special damages, they are compensatory in nature. Their assessment
requires consideration by the jury of the entire conduct of the defendant prior
to the publication of the libel and continuing through to the conclusion of the
trial. They represent the expression of natural indignation of right-thinking
people arising from the malicious conduct of the defendant.61
 Justice Cory went on to say that a court awarding aggravated damages must find that the defendant was “motivated by
actual malice, which increased the injury to the plaintiff, either
by spreading further afield the damage to the reputation of the
plaintiff, or by increasing the mental distress and humiliation of
58 Norberg v. Wynrib,  2 S.C.R. 226,  S.C.J. No. 60 (“Norberg v.
59 Norberg v. Wynrib, citing N. (J.L.) v. L. (A.M.),  M.J. No. 647,
47 C.C.L. T. 65 (Q.B.), at p. 71 C.C.L. T.
60 (1995), 24 O.R. (3d) 865,  2 S.C.R. 1130,  S.C.J. No. 64 (“Hill v.
Church of Scientology”).
61 Hill v. Church of Scientology, at paras. 188 and 189.
62 Hill v. Church of Scientology, at para. 190.