Suing for Punitive Damages in Cleveland

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Litigation Lawyers in Cleveland

The civil litigation system in Cleveland, 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, 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. Rather, these "punitive damages," as they are called, are meant to punish and deter wrongdoing.

In Cleveland, 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, Ohio

Personal injury litigation doesn't normally carry with it the possibility of punitive damages in Cleveland, Ohio, because generally 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, Ohio.

Punitive Damages in Cleveland, Ohio are only awarded in cases where the actions of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Cleveland, 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 critical to know that punitive damages in Cleveland, 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.

In general, punitive damages in Cleveland, Ohio cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Ohio have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Cleveland, Ohio Attorney Help?

In Cleveland, Ohio, judges and juries have a good deal of leeway in deciding if they want to grant punitive damages, so there are a nearly-unlimited number of situations that can lead to a punitive damage award.

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

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Life in Cleveland

Cleveland, or "The Forest City," is the county seat of Cuyahoga County and best known for playing host to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As the State of Ohio's second largest city, Cleveland's economy is highly reliant upon its central position and convenient access to local ports, waterways, and rail lines. The Cuyahoga River, Lake Eerie, as well as the Ohio and Eerie Canals make up the main access routes by ship. Cleveland is a major producer and exporter of steel and other mass produced goods. The recent upturn in the Cleveland technology companies has attracted new major employers like Applied Industrial Technologies, KeyCorp, and the Glenn Research Center.

A few other notable businesses located in Cleveland include Sherwin Williams Company, NASA, and Forest City Enterprises. There are also a number of notable medical facilities like the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic is ranked in the best U.S. hospitals by U.S. News World Report. The American Public Transportation Association named the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority the best mass transit system in the United States. Guns n' Roses star Steven Addler, Price is Right host Drew Carey, Tracy Chapman, director Wes Craven, rapper Kid Cudi, author Toni Morrison, and gold medalist Jesse Owens are all Cleveland natives. Needless to say, it's a diverse city. One way the diversity has positively manifested is with the local cuisine. Cleveland plays host to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world. Chef Michael Symon who was named a Food Network Iron Chef.

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