damages


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Related to damages: Consequential damages

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.

damages

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.

damages

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 ?
"The City also argues that individual damages are required to calculate compensatory damages.
RAWALPINDI -- The district administration has finalised the estimates of damage to private and public property during the Faizabad sit-in.
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Damascus, SANA -- The Industry Ministry estimated the value of direct and indirect damage to its establishments, companies, and, facilities due to terrorism from the beginning of the crisis up to June 2014 at around SYP 212.779 billion, around 99.426 of them from direct damage and around 113.352 from indirect damage.
Under the Copyright Act, an infringer is liable for either statutory damages or the copyright owner's actual damages plus the infringer's profits.
Of the total number of damages reported in 2009, nearly 60 percent had a known root cause, and the top causes were identified as follows:
Marrita Murphy challenged the constitutionality of taxing damages for nonphysical injuries.
Quakes that occurred between 1970 and 2005, the period in which damage estimates are considered to be most complete and accurate, today would trigger average annual damages exceeding $2.5 billion, Vranes estimates.--S.P.
When Hurricane Katrina came ashore last year in Mississippi, it left behind a path of unprecedented devastation and spawned a second tidal wave: one of litigation over the extent to which the damage was covered or excluded under standard homeowners policies.
In 1996, largely in response to plaintiffs in employment cases excluding emotional distress damages, Congress amended Sec.
In the first case involving a school district project, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's judgment awarding the contractor damages for extended site overhead, labor rate increases, loss of labor productivity, expenses for small tools and consumables, and for lost profit.
The parties began settlement discussions to determine the government's estimated actual damages; they also discussed trebling actual damages under the FCA.