Thursday, September 8, 2011

maybe you already know this but

If you sue someone and win, the jury can award special damages (economic, out of pocket, loss of wages) or general damages ( pain and sufering) or punative damages (to punish the defendant who knew his product would damage people but made a business decision to go ahead with the program and risk hurting a few people.) Then along the state legislatures who have decided that someone who was injured might deserve some amount of award of damage, but punative damages are too much for one individual so that individual gets say $50K and the remaining 100M goes to the state government.

This pisses me off. Totally.


Stu said...

I think the code you are looking for is this one (for Utah anyway)

Specifically 78B-8-201 (3 a ii) (not sure how to actually cite this... should have paid attention in my college writing course)

(3) (a) In any case where punitive damages are awarded, the court shall enter judgment as follows:
(i) for the first $50,000, judgment shall be in favor of the injured party; and
(ii) any amount in excess of $50,000 shall be divided equally between the state and the injured party, and judgment to each entered accordingly.

There's more further on in the code about those caps, but I think it's mostly about the order in which money is divvied out.

Back to the question at hand. Your teacher was wrong (or talking about other states). That is unless I'm misunderstanding what exactly "... judgement to each entered accordingly" means.

Stu said...

ah, here's a link to that instead: