Suing for Punitive Damages in Puyallup

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Litigation Lawyers in Puyallup

Civil litigation in Puyallup, Washington is concerned almost exclusively with providing financial redress to the victims of wrongdoing. It is not concerned with meting out punishment or moral judgment upon the wrongdoers.

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

It's necessary to note that courts in Puyallup, Washington prefer not to grant punitive damages. This is because the civil justice system is designed primarily to compensate the victims of wrongdoing. However, there are some cases where the defendant's conduct was so immoral and evil that civil courts have an interest in making them pay additional 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 Puyallup, Washington

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Puyallup, Washington do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they normally involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Puyallup, Washington, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

In Puyallup, Washington, 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 Puyallup, Washington 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 necessary to know that punitive damages in Puyallup, Washington 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 suffered by the plaintiff. Grossly excessive punitive damage awards are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has held, because they amount to the government taking property from the defendant without due process of law.

In Puyallup, Washington, 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 Washington, 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 Puyallup, Washington Attorney Help?

In Puyallup, Washington, there are an essentially unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you live in Puyallup, Washington 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 money from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Puyallup, Washington.

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Life in Puyallup

Puyallup is a popular suburb just 5 miles east of Tacoma. The population of Puyallup has been on the steady rise and has reached 40,000. The name of the town comes from a local Native American tribe and means "generous." One reason for the name could be the fertile soil. Each year the locally grown daffodils, which are shipped world wide, are featured in the town's annual spring parade as well as the Daffodil Parade. The Daffodil Parade takes place in Tacoma, Puyallup, Orting, and Sumner each year and feature floats, local marching bands, veteran groups, and other clubs. The Puyallup Fair is the biggest annual state fair in Washington and one of the 10 largest in the country. It attracts over 1 million people every year. For the two weeks in September each year, local businesses "do the Puyallup" and show off their best products to all of the visitors.

If you visit the Puyallup Fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds you may notice the historical information on the grounds' interesting past. It was once used as a World War II internment camp for United States citizens or those of Japanese descent and was called "Camp Harmony." The Antique District is obviously known for its wide selection of antique shops that run along the Meridian Street. It's near the near the Arts Downtown Outdoor Gallery that rotates a selection of artwork appropriate for outdoor installation. Most regular shopping, like back to school, is done at the South Hill Mall that features a number of retail stores like JCPenny, Sears, Target, and Macy's. Puyallup is a booming city that is home to local lawyers. Puyallup lawyers know local courts and procedures so they can help you today.

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