Suing for Punitive Damages in Youngstown

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Litigation Lawyers in Youngstown

In Youngstown, Ohio, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its primary purpose. Instead, it is designed to ensure that the victims of wrongdoing are given compensation for the harm they've suffered.

There is an exception to this general rule, however: in some cases, a court in Youngstown, Ohio will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."

In Youngstown, Ohio, 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 Youngstown, Ohio

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

Punitive Damages in Youngstown, Ohio are only awarded in cases where the actions of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Youngstown, 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.

There are limits on punitive damages in Youngstown, Ohio. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

In Youngstown, Ohio, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Ohio, 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 particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Youngstown, Ohio Attorney Help?

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

If you are immersed in a case in Youngstown, 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 Youngstown, Ohio civil litigation attorney as soon as possible.

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Life in Youngstown

Youngstown is a part of Mahoning County, Ohio. Some parts of it also fall in Trumbull County. It is near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland. Specifically it is ten miles west of Pennsylvania, between New York City and Chicago on Interstate 80.

With such a central, great location, residents and local businesses have access to the strong legal force in New York City, Chicago, and Pennsylvania. All these areas are home to top-tier firms that train excellent, ivy-league educated attorneys. Therefore, residents and local businesses have access to a legal force that includes the best-trained attorneys in the United States.

Popular attractions include Powers Auditorium, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Butler Institute of American Art, McDonough Museum of Art, Mill Creek Park, and the Ohio Historical Society.

Overall, Youngstown has a central location and provides its residents with a wonderful quality of life!

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