Suing for Punitive Damages in St. Cloud

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Litigation Lawyers in St. Cloud

In St. Cloud, 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 St. Cloud, 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. Alternatively, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

It's important to note that courts in St. Cloud, Minnesota 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 St. Cloud, Minnesota

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in St. Cloud, Minnesota 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 St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Punitive damages in St. Cloud, Minnesota are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in St. Cloud, Minnesota will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

It's important to note that in St. Cloud, Minnesota, 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.

In St. Cloud, Minnesota, punitive damage awards are normally (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Minnesota, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a St. Cloud, Minnesota Attorney Help?

In St. Cloud, Minnesota, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you are engaged in a case in St. Cloud, Minnesota that you believe might entitle you to punitive damages, a lot of money could be at stake. Thus, if you want to pursue your legal remedies, you should see a St. Cloud, Minnesota civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in St. Cloud

With close to 70,000 residents, Saint Cloud, Minnesota is the largest city in Minnesota's central region. Saint Cloud is named after St. Cloud, France and has some charming French restaurants and culture paying homage to its namesake. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the picturesque city has a lot to offer residents and visitors. St. Cloud is just over an hour drive from Minneapolis and St. Paul, and an easy city to access from all around. St. Cloud islocated in three counties: Stearns County, Benton County, and Sherburne County and is also considered one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Minnesota. Comprising a total area of 30.9 miles, St. Cloud has over ninety parks within its city limits. St. Cloud also has thirty undeveloped small islands, which make for popular canoe and kayak adventures. As a city on the rise, it is no wonder that there is such a wonderful lawyer community in St. Cloud. St. Cloud lawyers are highly skilled in a range of practice areas, and available to help their neighbor with any issue he or she may be dealing with. The legal community in St. Cloud is growing as fast as the city itself, and it is a great time to use this resource!

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