Suing for Punitive Damages in Waterbury

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Litigation Lawyers in Waterbury

In Waterbury, 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 Waterbury, 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 Waterbury, 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 Waterbury, Connecticut

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Waterbury, 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 Waterbury, Connecticut.

In Waterbury, 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 Waterbury, 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 critical to know that punitive damages in Waterbury, Connecticut are subject to limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, more than once, that punitive damages can't be grossly disproportionate to the actual harm suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

Punitive damages in Waterbury, Connecticut typically cannot exceed 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Connecticut have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be highly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Waterbury, Connecticut Attorney Help?

Waterbury, Connecticut's courts have wide discretion in awarding punitive damages. Accordingly, it is unrealistic to comprehensively discuss all the situations in which punitive damages can arise.

If you are engaged in a case in Waterbury, Connecticut where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not hesitate to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Waterbury, Connecticut

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Life in Waterbury

Waterbury is located in New Haven County in the state of Connecticut. Waterbury, Connecticut has a population of about 111,000 and is noted for being the 5th largest city in the state.

Waterbury is commonly known as the "Brass City", due to its heavy production of brass throughout the decades. It was the leading producer of brassware in the U.S. during the early 20th century. In particular, Waterbury industries produced much of the brass casting and finishing in America. It is also a leading manufacturer of brass clocks and watches.

Currently, Waterbury, Connecticut offers numerous opportunities for residential housing, retail shopping, and employment. For example, the Brass Mill Center is a modern shopping complex that features nationally-known retail stores and restaurants. It also houses a cinema that shows feature films. Also, Main Street in Waterbury is an area dedicated to both historic preservation and downtown revitalization. It is host to a number of community events and business developments.

Waterbury Judicial District Courthouse is a major landmark in the city. Many Waterbury lawyers assist their clients by filing legal claims at the courthouse. Lawyers in Waterbury, Connecticut provide legal services in a diverse spectrum of legal fields.

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