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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.
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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.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


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.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The trauma cap is also still preferable in most cases without significant economic damages: For example, if a 66 year old retiree dies as a result of a physician's negligence but incurred $42,000 in medical bills and $10,000 in funeral bills, the maximum allowable potential verdict under the non-trauma cap would be $704,815.22 (the inflation-adjusted non-economic damages cap plus 100% of economic damages).
(147) Using three primary data sources plus three supplemental sources discussed in the Appendix, we looked at how well noneconomic damages could be predicted by economic damages and at how the ratio of noneconomic damages to economic damages changed as the magnitude of the economic damages awarded by juries increased.
Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present a simple epidemiological model for assessing economic damage, which is applicable to any event or natural disaster.
The Fifth Circuit is not alone in interpreting Robins Dry Dock to provide a bright line rule barring recovery for economic damages absent physical damage to a proprietary interest.
The purpose of the discussion below is to provide a brief overview of how economic damages are computed for individuals.
The law expressly provided that economic damages awarded as a result of medical malpractice arbitration are to be reduced in only two ways.
Other reforms, such as a reasonable ceiling on noneconomic damages and full compensation for economic damages, are also needed to preserve Pennsylvanians' access to health care, he said.
Last month, the jury ordered the tobacco company to pay Bullock pounds 487,000 in economic damages and pounds 65,000 for pain and suffering.
4600, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act, caps noneconomic damages at $250,000 and limits punitive damages to twice the amount of economic damages warded or $250,000, whichever is greater.
HR 4600, the HEALTH Act, caps noneconomic damages at $250,000 and limits punitive damages to twice the amount of economic damages awarded, or $250,000, whichever is greater.
Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.), patients can sue federally governed managed care plans in state or federal court for unlimited economic damages, but damages for pain and suffering are limited to $1.5 million.
This bill would have capped non-economic damages at $500,000 in federal court and economic damages would have been unlimited.

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