Suing for Punitive Damages in Superior

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Litigation Lawyers in Superior

Civil litigation in Superior, Wisconsin is concerned almost always with extending financial redress to the victims of wrongdoing. It is not concerned with meting out punishment or moral judgment upon the wrongdoers.

Nonetheless, this general principle has a major exception. In rare cases, a Superior, Wisconsin judge or jury can award damages to the plaintiff that are not calculated by the actual losses sustained. Instead, they serve the purpose of punishing the defendant, and deterring others from wrongdoing. These are called "punitive damages."

Courts in Superior, Wisconsin 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 Superior, Wisconsin

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in Superior, Wisconsin involve instances in which the defendant did not intend to harm the plaintiff, but did so through carelessness. This is not enough to award punitive damages in Superior, Wisconsin.

In Superior, Wisconsin, 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 Superior, Wisconsin 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 important to note that in Superior, Wisconsin, 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.

In Superior, Wisconsin, 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 basic rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Wisconsin, 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 specific punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Superior, Wisconsin Attorney Help?

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

If you are immersed in a case in Superior, Wisconsin where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Superior, Wisconsin

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Life in Superior

Superior is the county seat for Douglas County, Washington. It has a population of about 27,000 and was founded as early as 1854. The city is known for its location at the west end of Lake Superior. It is also bordered by St. Louis Bay, Superior Bay, and two rivers.

As you can probably tell, water activities dominate the economy and culture of the city of Superior. One of the most popular tourist destinations is Barker's Island, which is the focal point of the city's recreation activities. The area includes a marina, a boat landing, swimming areas, and beaches. For many decades Superior has been the destination for boating and sailing vessels across the nation.

Superior also is known for its monuments and museums. The city has done well to preserve historic sea vessels such as the S.S. Meteor, built back in 1896. Further learning about American history can be had at the Fairlawn Museum.

Lawyers in Superior generally file legal claims at the Douglas County Circuit Court. In the city of Superior, some lawyers also participate in the local festivities, such as the annual Dragon Boat Festival.

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