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Related to Special damages: general damages, exemplary damages


Money a jury gives to a party in a lawsuit to compensate for some injury. Damages may be divided into actual damages, which compensate for a real loss (such as the cost of repairing a car), and punitive damages, which penalize the other party. For example, a jury may require a defendant to pay $30,000 in actual damages to pay for the plaintiff's medical bills, and a further $100,000 to show how displeased the jury is with the defendant's actions.


money awarded by a court to a plaintiff who has suffered loss at the hands of the defendant as a result of breach of CONTRACT or a TORT committed by the defendant.


Compensation for an injury for which the law provides a remedy. Following are highlights of some of the law of damages as it relates to real property:

• The measure of damages to property is the difference in the value of the thing before the injury and after the injury. The cost to make repairs is usually not a valid measure of damages.

• Parties may not contractually agree to a penalty for default, such as late completion of a construction project. Penalties are illegal. Parties may, however, agree that the damages for default will be difficult to measure exactly, so they will agree to liquidated damages in a certain agreed-upon amount. This is the reasoning behind contracts that allow retention of the earnest money if the buyer defaults.

• In breach of contract cases, injured parties are required to take such actions as are reasonable to minimize their damages and will be denied any damages at all if they do not take such mitigation steps. If a tenant breaches a lease, the landlord must try to release the premises to another, and the value of any damages will be diminished by the value of the new lease.

• Consequential damages, which are damages not as a direct result of the wrong, but flowing from some of the consequences of the wrong, are recoverable only if the wrongdoer had some reason to know of the consequences. A person who allows something unsafe to remain on the premises (such as a wet floor) may be responsible for the injury to a guest who slips and falls. However, the person may not be liable for the consequential damages when the guest becomes addicted to pain medication.

• Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter future similar conduct. Because of the preponderance of multimillion-dollar punitive damage jury verdicts in recent years, the United States Supreme Court has recently held that excessive punitive damages are a violation of the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Constitution, and so may be reviewed in the federal court system and set aside even though the original lawsuit was brought in a state court system.

• Treble damages are allowed under many federal statutes rather than allowing the jury to calculate punitive damages.

• Damages received for personal bodily injury are not income and not taxable; other types of damages may be taxable depending on what they represent.

• Damages are recoverable for emotional distress. The addition of a claim for emotional dis- tress is often enough to trigger an insurance company defense of a lawsuit. Although there may not be insurance coverage for an award, it will pay for the lawyers.

References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to failing to properly plead a cause of action for legal malpractice, the broker also improperly included a separate cause of action for attorneys' fees under the wrongful act doctrine: "We conclude that this [the wrongful act doctrine] is a claim for damages, including special damages, for legal malpractice.
3d DCA 1959) ("Recovery may include special damages which are reasonably and necessarily incurred as a proximate result of the failure of the lessor or sublessor to perform his contract to make a lease or sublease, and such as should reasonably have been contemplated by the parties.
the requirement of proving special damages would render the statute
Courts should require evidence of the alleged non-pecuniary loss of reputation in simple conspiracy, whether as general or special damages.
General damage awards vary enormously conditional on a given level of special damages and, while general and special damages are positively correlated, the relationship is not linear.
Lowry's sought and the jury awarded a special copyright remedy known as special damages.
The report showed up to the end of March 31 this year it had 15 cases classed as ``certain'' for pay outs with general damages of over half a million and special damages of more than pounds 1m.
This reconceptualization would justify awarding special damages for medical costs and any punitive damages to the child, but would forbid recovery of general damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Slander in contrast was only treated as a criminal offense when special damages were claimed for imputing to the victim a crime or loathsome disease, or disparaging his or her trade.
Generally, special damages (direct economic loss) must be proven unless the defamation is "on its face.
Ms Stratton was also awarded special damages, bringing the total award payable to her up to pounds 12,888.
In support of a claim for special damages for loss of earnings roofer, Mr T, submitted a letter from his employer.

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