Suing for Punitive Damages in Long Beach
In Long Beach, 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 Long Beach, 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 Long Beach, 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 Long Beach, California
Generally personal injury cases in Long Beach, 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 Long Beach, California.
In Long Beach, 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 Long Beach, 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.
Nonetheless, in Long Beach, California, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled various times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.
In general, punitive damages in Long Beach, California cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in California have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.
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The law of Long Beach, California doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are necessary before punitive damages can be authorized. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are various situations where they might be awarded.
If you are located in Long Beach, California, and are immersed in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with a Long Beach, California civil litigation attorney
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Life in Long BeachLong Beach, California is best known as "the LBC" by rap and pop music fans. Long Beach is actually the 7th largest city in California with just under 500,000 residents. Recently, Long Beach was named the "Aquatic Capital of the Nation" because the Port of Long Beach is one of the world's largest container ports and plays a substantial part in the global economy. The City of Long Beach is does not only revolve around the port. Many oil, aircraft, automobile, electronics, and home furnishings manufacturing plants are located in Long Beach. The city has seen an influx of new residents since the aerospace and other technology industries have begun to boom. In fact, Boeing produces DC-8s, DC-9s, DC-10s, MD-11s, C-17s, and the Boeing 717 all from their Long Beach production plants. Boeing is the second largest employer in Long Beach in front of California State University Long Beach and behind the Log Beach Unified School District.
Long Beach has obviously made production and transportation one of the cornerstones of the economy so you shouldn't be surprised to find the bevy of ports, busses, airports, freeways, highways and bike paths that have been masterfully incorporated into the city's design. Long Beach announced its vision to become the most bicycle friendly city and has really followed through. The city has identified traffic routes and destinations and created bike routes that are convenient and illustrated on the Long Beach City Bike Map for tourists and locals alike.