Minnesota Punitive Damages Attorney

While compensation damages are for injuries, punitive damages are a way to financially punish someone for their actions.  Punitive damages are legally defined as:

A defendant has acted with deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others if the defendant has knowledge of facts or intentionally disregards facts that create a high probability of injury to the rights or safety of others and: (1) deliberately proceeds to act in conscious or intentional disregard of the high degree of probability of injury to the rights or safety of others; or (2) deliberately proceeds to act with indifference to the high probability of injury to the rights or safety of others.

Because punitive damages are awarded above compensation damages, three reasons people seek punitive damages are:

  • to punish a person
  • to ensure the offence does not happen again
  • to discourage others from committing the offence

Why do judges award punitive damages?

Some reasons include:

  • the duration of misconduct and concealment, if any, of it and the defendant’s awareness of the hazard
  • the conduct and attitude of the defendant when discovering the misconduct
  • the degree of seriousness of hazard to the public from the defendant’s misconduct
  • the severity of criminal penalty the defendant may be subject to
  • as a result of the misconduct, the total effect of other punishment imposed upon the defendant, including compensation and punitive damages awarded to the plaintiff

Minnesota Statute § 549.20 states:

Punitive damages shall be awarded if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Defendant deliberately disregarded the safety of others.

At Tarshish Cody, our attorneys specialize in dog bite cases and we have assisted many clients receive the compensation they deserve from their dog bite case.  Contact us today on 612-808-8999 (or fill out the free Case Evaluation Form) to learn more about how we can help you.

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