Suing for Punitive Damages in Duluth

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Litigation Lawyers in Duluth

In Duluth, Minnesota, civil litigation serves the main purpose of compensating individuals who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Duluth, Minnesota, courts will, in fairly rare cases, require defendants to pay plaintiffs sums of money which aren't calculated by the actual harm and costs the plaintiff has incurred. Instead, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

Courts in Duluth, Minnesota do not authorize punitive damages in most cases. The civil litigation system is geared against authorizing financial windfalls to civil plaintiffs. But, there are rare cases, where the defendant has done something to the plaintiff that is so morally reprehensible, that society's interest in punishing the defendant and deterring comparable misconduct outweighs the civil justice system's preference against punitive damages.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Duluth, Minnesota

Mostly personal injury cases in Duluth, Minnesota involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for instance). In Duluth, Minnesota, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Duluth, Minnesota are only awarded in the most extreme cases. Fraud, theft, assault, battery, and other intentional, immoral acts are grounds for punitive damages. Duluth, Minnesota 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 Duluth, Minnesota. 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.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Duluth, Minnesota is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Minnesota 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 Duluth, Minnesota Attorney Help?

In Duluth, Minnesota, 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 are located in Duluth, Minnesota, and are involved 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 Duluth, Minnesota civil litigation attorney

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Life in Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota is the fourth-larges city in the state, with a population of about 85,000. It is the county seat of St. Louis County. It is located on the north shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

Various Native American tribes have lived in the area now known as Duluth for thousands of years. The first permanent European settlement of Duluth was established in 1852, and discovery of significant deposits of copper and iron led to a land rush, creating rapid population growth.

Around the same time, newly-build channels linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean allowed for large ships to access Duluth, further promoting economic growth.

During the first half of the 20th Century, Duluth, Minnesota underwent a major industrial boom, becoming an important center for steel manufacturing. However, by the 1970s, foreign competition began to seriously weaken the U.S. steel industry, leading to the closure of one of the major steel plants in the area.

More recently, Duluth, Minnesota has, with a good amount of success, transitioned into a tourism-based economy.

If you live in or near Duluth, Minnesota, chances are you can find a good lawyer for whatever legal problem you might have. Duluth, Minnesota lawyers are able to handle just about any case that walks through their door.

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