Suing for Punitive Damages in Stratford

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Litigation Lawyers in Stratford

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

This general principle is subject to an important exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Stratford, Connecticut will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

In Stratford, Connecticut, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system strongly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. However, 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 Stratford, Connecticut

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Stratford, Connecticut involve cases in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Stratford, Connecticut.

In Stratford, Connecticut, punitive damages are not awarded in most cases. They are normally only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Stratford, Connecticut 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.

It's necessary to note that in Stratford, Connecticut, punitive damages are not unlimited. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that punitive damages cannot be hugely disproportionate to the amount awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the actual injuries they suffered. If the punitive damages are extremely excessive, an appeals court might rule that they amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law, or a de facto criminal punishment, without affording the defendant the protections available in criminal cases.

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

How Can a Stratford, Connecticut Attorney Help?

In Stratford, Connecticut, there are a virtually unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you have been hurt in Stratford, Connecticut and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Stratford, Connecticut.

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Life in Stratford

With a population of about 50,000 people, Stratford is a relatively large town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It is also one of the oldest American cities, as it was founded all the way back in the year 1639. The town initially began as a utopian-style Puritan community. Eventually it changed to a more traditional colonial-style settlement. Today it continues to thrive as an excellent place for residence and business.

Stratford is probably best known for its historical heritage in military operations, in particular military aviation. One of the world's first commercial helicopters was developed in the city. Further, both Stratford Army Engine Plant and Silkorsky Aircraft are headquartered in Stratford. Residents and tourists take regular visits to the city's National Helicopter Museum.

Another defining mark of the city of Stratford is its presence in the theater and production industry. For many years Stratford's American Shakespeare Theatre was home to many Shakespearean productions and actor's performances. The theatre hosted such outstanding actors as Katharine Hepburn and Paul Newman.

Stratford lawyers assist their clients by filing at the Connecticut Superior Court located in Bridgepoint near Stratford. More advanced claims are heard at the Connecticut Appellate Court or Supreme Court, both located nearby in Hartford. Lawyers in Stratford, Connecticut typically hear a diverse array of legal claims.

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