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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 ?
1995) (arguing that difficulty in proving special damages for invasion of privacy should not preclude recovery).
an avenue for evading California's special damages requirements.
I first describe the closed-claims data employed in this article and present evidence on the overall observed relationship between general and special damages in "The IRC Closed-Claim Data.
Special damages refer to all out of pocket expenses incurred because of the injuries.
The sums already agreed included pounds 2,400 for a missing gold cigarette case, pounds 1,000 for missing Tibetan coins, pounds 150,000 for reducing the value of Mr Rowland's archive when personal letters were copied and pounds 100,000 special damages.
56] The purchase agreement at issue provided that in the event of a default by the developer, the purchaser could elect to terminate the contract and receive a refund of the deposit, or pursue any other remedies available to it at law or in equity, excluding, however, consequential or special damages.
They are each demanding $50,000 in general damages, $50,000 in special damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.
Although the plaintiffs did not have any lost wages or other special damages, the jury returned a verdict of $750,000.
General, compensatory and special damages, punitive and exemplary damages, interest at the highest legal rate, attorneys fees, and reimbursement of all Burns' legal costs, including expert witness fees are requested by Burns' attorneys and a jury trial is requested.
No details were revealed, but as part of Georgina Brosnan's claim the court heard she had been seeking [euro]49,000 loss of earnings and [euro]63,500 in special damages.
Suit seeks declaration that defendant's conversion of Washington Avenue to a public parking area is an impermissible violation of Cottage Grove ordinances and charter, and order for immediate reversal of said conversion; $675,000 general damages and $150,000 special damages.
Mahannah also filed suit against Johnson claiming the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver has caused him mental anguish and should pay general, punitive and special damages.

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