Suing for Punitive Damages in Beaverton

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Litigation Lawyers in Beaverton

In Beaverton, Oregon, civil litigation is not meant to punish wrongdoers, at least that is not its main 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 basic rule, however: in certain cases, a court in Beaverton, Oregon will award damages designed to punish the wrongdoer, and deter others from future wrongdoing. This practice is recognized as "punitive damages."

Courts in Beaverton, Oregon 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 Beaverton, Oregon

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

In Beaverton, Oregon, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme situations. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Beaverton, Oregon will consider many different factors. Normally, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

It's crucial to note that in Beaverton, Oregon, 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.

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

In Beaverton, Oregon, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Beaverton, Oregon and are immersed 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 harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Beaverton, Oregon.

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Life in Beaverton

Beaverton is a city in Washington County, Oregon. It is near Portland. In 2010, Money Magazine listed it as one of the "100 Best Places to Live" amongst the smaller cities in the United States.

Top employers include Reser's Fine Foods, Leupold Stevens, Nike, Inc., Phoenix Technologies, Linux Technology Center (IBM), Tektronix, Maxim Integrated Products, VeriWave, and Intel. The legal force also has a strong presence in Beaverton because many attorneys practice and reside here. These attorneys work in small firms or law offices and focus on providing their clients with excellent legal services.

Other reasons for recognition include the fact that in 2006, Beaverton's very own Murrayhill Little League baseball team was qualified for the 2006 Little League World Series. Also, in 2002, the city's little league softball team won second place in the Little League Softball World Series. Beaverton is also known to have one of the largest fencing clubs in the nation--Northwest Fencing Center.

Overall, Beaverton is an exciting place to live in or visit!

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