How to recover Punitive Damages in California Civ. Code 3294

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“Back attorney steve augered. We are talking in this video about three ways to get get to punitive damages in california. This is under california civil code section. 3294 okay when you re a plaintiff in a lawsuit.

Let s say a negligence lawsuit. Which is like a personal injury. Action or a financial elder abuse action or something like a right of publicity claim any came it could be any claim you re seeking as a plaintiff to maximize your damages. One way you plaintiffs typically try to do this is through seeking punitive damages.

Now this is where you re asking the jury or if it s a judge sitting in the case to award. The punitive damages. The maximum amount you can get because you have been injured now. How do you get there in first of all in what is punitive damages.

Let s talk about that real quick before we jump on punitive damages are damages that are designed to punish a defendant who s a bad actors designed to punish and deter those are the key words you want to remember punish. A bad actor and deter them from future conduct..

Now it could be an individual. It could be a company you could be suing officers and directors. But you re trying to send a message that this should never ever happen again punitive damages is the way to award and compensate for that now under the california civil code. This is in your state court cases.

There s three ways to get there under the civil code. One is fraud now in whenever you re showing fraud and even for that matter punitive damages. You re looking for that clear and convincing evidence clear and convincing evidence of fraud in intentional misrepresentation. Saying.

Things that simply are true false statements of facts things that are designed to trick you no one had a client. One time that said he tricked me he tricked me he tricked me and that was your intentional misrepresentation. That s what we were talking about another way to get fraud is concealment of a material. Fact one way they talk about that is like a car you go into a car dealership and they re rolling back the odometer they re concealing the truth things like that could be sufficient to get you punitive damages.

And intending to cause harm. So you re having these false statements or material emissions..

That were intended to cause harm. Okay. That s one way to get their fraud. Okay now as we say with fraud.

You gotta alleged in your complaint with specificity you want to be very specific what your grounds are for the fraud. Okay. So that s fraud. Malice is the second way a second way to get punitive damages in california.

Is to show a to allege and to show and prove malice by the defendant or defendants. This what is malice malice is an intent to cause injury. This is malicious okay. This is somebody is just being malicious as it says here despicable acts of a defendant.

What is despicable things are that are despised by reasonable people what s a reasonable person tell it to the jury. Hopefully they agree with you so despicable acts of a defendant despised by reasonable people and malice willing and knowing disregard of the rights or safety of another so despicable acts knowing and knowing in willful disregards of the rights or the safety of another okay so lots of things can be malicious..

You know things that are extreme and outrageous things where you just go holy cow. Who would do that to another person that s malicious that s what you re looking for now. The final way number three here actually it s number two in my chart. But is oppression oppression.

What is that it s again despicable conduct of a defendant. Which causes cruel and unjust hardship. In knowing disregard of the rights of others so that may seem similar to malice and may seem malicious. As you know the word oppressing you re oppressing somebody you re just squashing them and turning them into not even a human being anymore.

And causing cruel and unjust hardship. Okay. So that s a quick and dirty overview. This is general information not legal advice.

But this is information about punitive damages. If you have those facts in a complaint and you can allege them sure allege them..

But you also need to go forth and prove it the burden of proof is always on the plaintiff in a punitive damage action. Now one more thing. I ll say is what amount could it be it could be any amount a jury could award fifty million dollars. But that doesn t mean that it s gonna hold up on appeal.

If you get too high of a damage award. A defendant may argue that that violates due process take it up on appeal and that could be reduced on appeal. So the general rule to go by is that punitive damages should bear some relation to the actual loss. But then again you have jury verdicts all over the place in in dollar amounts so as a plaintiff plaintiff always shoots for the moon okay hope that s helpful have a great day if you like this video.

Give me a thumbs up keeps me going give me some comments down below feel free to share this video on your social media sites thanks for listen you got my website down there attorney steve. ” ..

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