Suing for Punitive Damages in Livermore

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Litigation Lawyers in Livermore

In Livermore, California, the civil litigation system is mainly concerned with compensating the victims of wrongdoing, rather than punishing the wrongdoers, or casting moral blame upon them.

There is a major exception to this rule, however. In limited situations, courts in Livermore, California will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff damages which are not directly tied to any harm sustained by the plaintiff. Rather, these damages, which are known as "punitive damages", are meant to punish the wrongdoer, and serve as a deterrent.

In Livermore, California, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system highly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. Nonetheless, in some cases, the conduct of the defendant is so reprehensible, that simply punishing the defendant is a worthy goal, and this interest outweighs the preference against giving civil plaintiffs financial windfalls.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Livermore, California

Generally personal injury cases in Livermore, California do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Livermore, California.

In Livermore, California, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are usually only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so reckless or deplorable that punishment of the defendant is warranted. Acts such as battery, fraud, and defamation (in some cases) are usually considered sufficient in Livermore, California to justify punitive damages. In deciding whether to award punitive damages, and how much to award, the two most important factors the court looks at will be the level of immorality of the act, as well as the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant's conduct.

There are limits on punitive damages in Livermore, California. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Livermore, California is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in California have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will decide them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are occasionally upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a certain case.

How Can a Livermore, California Attorney Help?

In Livermore, California, there are a large variety of situations in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you have been harmed in Livermore, California and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not delay to consult a civil litigation attorney in Livermore, California.

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Life in Livermore

Livermore, California is a city in Alameda County. Its population is about 81,000 people. Livermore is located in the Eastern outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is generally considered to be on the border between the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Livermore, California's history of human habitation dates back several thousand years, with the Ohlone tribe of Native Americans inhabiting the area for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. The first European settlements of the Livermore area arrived in the 1770s, when the Spanish established a strong military and missionary presence in the area. After the discovery of gold in California, Livermore became a popular "first day" stopping point for prospectors arriving via San Francisco.

Modernly, Livermore, California is home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which, in association with the University of California system and the Department of Energy, carries out cutting-edge scientific research, particularly in the area of nuclear energy.

This facility, besides employing large numbers of engineers and scientists, also employ several attorneys who handle things like employee relations and intellectual property.

If you need a lawyer in Livermore, California, for whatever reason, it's very likely that there's a Livermore, California attorney who can help you with whatever legal problems you might be facing.

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