Suing for Punitive Damages in Cleveland Heights

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Litigation Lawyers in Cleveland Heights

The civil litigation system in Cleveland Heights, Ohio is designed to provide compensation for persons who are injured because of the unlawful conduct of others. It is not much concerned with punishing or deterring wrongdoers.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 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.

In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases. This is because the civil litigation system highly disfavors giving money to plaintiffs in amounts disproportionate to the injuries they have suffered. Nonetheless, 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 Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Personal injury litigation doesn't usually carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, because mostly personal injury cases stem from harm that was caused accidentally, not deliberately. Accidental harm is not enough to warrant an award of punitive damages in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Punitive Damages in Cleveland Heights, Ohio are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.

It's essential to know that punitive damages in Cleveland Heights, Ohio 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 sustained by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government acquiring property from the defendant without due process of law.

Generally, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Ohio have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Cleveland Heights, Ohio Attorney Help?

In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, there are a basically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and are involved in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of funds from the person or company that injured you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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Life in Cleveland Heights

Cleveland Heights, Ohio is a suburb of the larger city of Cleveland, the second-largest city in Ohio. It has a population of about 41,000 people, and is situated in Cuyahoga County.

Cleveland heights is mostly residential, and serves as a "bedroom community" for people who work in Cleveland, but want to live in the more quiet and spacious suburbs. Cleveland Heights has a thriving arts community, boasting galleries, theaters, art studios, and more. This makes it especially attractive for younger professionals who are beginning to settle down, but still want to live in a somewhat-cosmopolitan environment, and have easy access to a large city and all the trappings it entails. The city also has several swimming pools, outdoor markets, and an iceskating rink, for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Cleveland Heights, Ohio also has an attractive downtown shopping area, much of which is walkable. Cleveland Heights has a low crime rate for the region, and a relatively high median family income, compared with surrounding communities.

All in all, Cleveland Heights, Ohio is a good place to raise a family, especially if you or your partner work in Cleveland, but don't want to live in the heart of a major urban area.

There are plenty of Cleveland Heights, Ohio lawyers who can help you with whatever legal problem the average person is likely to face. And with the larger city of Cleveland very close by, your selection of lawyers in Cleveland Heights, Ohio is hard to beat.

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