Suing for Punitive Damages in Stockton
In Stockton, 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 circumstances, courts in Stockton, 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.
It's critical to note that courts in Stockton, California prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed mainly to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay further damages, going above and beyond what's needed to compensate the victim, in order to serve as a deterrent.
Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Stockton, California
Mostly personal injury cases in Stockton, California do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Instead, 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 Stockton, California.
Punitive damages in Stockton, California are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Stockton, California courts will consider several factors in considering whether or not to award punitive damages. For instance, the court might employ a sliding scale that weighs the immorality of the defendant's conduct against the actual harm that it caused to the plaintiff, and calculate damages accordingly.
You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Stockton, California. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of large amounts of property.
Punitive damages in Stockton, California usually cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in California have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.
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Stockton, California's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Therefore, it is impossible to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.
If you are involved in a case in Stockton, California that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. So, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a Stockton, California civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.
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Life in Stockton
Stockton is a major inland port city and the seat of San Joaquin County, California. It's position amid Central Valley farmland, Interstate 5 and California State Route 99 make it an ideal hub for transit. Stockton is much more than agriculture and shipping though. A number of telecommunication and manufacturing companies are located in Stockton. The city is also an ideal place for renewable energy companies whom the city has encouraged though economic incentive programs. Much of their focus focuses on developing alternative fuels for agricultural development.
The waterways, plains, and diverse landscape of Stockton makes it an ideal location for movie makers throughout the ages. "Cool Hand Luke," "Dead Man on Campus," "Flubber," "Fat City," as well as "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" are just a few classics filmed in Stockton. Stockton is a standout city nationally as well. It's received an "All-America City" and National Civic League award twice. The City of Stockton has emphasized safety through community programs and police presence in the past years. The city has also put emphasis on community partnerships like the Downtown Alliance that works to both decrease unemployment rates as well as keep the district busy and vibrant. Sunset Magazine even bestowed "Best Tree City" and "Best of the West Food Fest" awards upon Stockton. The University of the Pacific is located in Stockton with the second largest private university in the state, National University.