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In the end, the judge rules in Amanda’s favor, awarding her compensatory damages (to compensate her for medical expenses and loss of income), in the amount of ,000.The court also admonishes the company, making it clear that the court’s opinion is that the company has negligently and recklessly risked people’s health.Origin 1970-75 Punitive damages, also known as “exemplary damages,” are a monetary amount awarded to a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit for the purpose of punishing the defendant, or to deter him from engaging in the same conduct in the future.Punitive damages are award in addition to any compensatory or other damages, increasing the plaintiff’s total award.

Compensatory damages, also known as “actual damages,” pay for such losses as damage to the plaintiff’s car in an accident, injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident, or money lost due to the defendant’s breach of contract.A judge will award punitive damages if he wishes to make an example of the defendant, or if he believes that compensatory damages are not enough to punish the defendant.For example: Tim is answering a text message while driving, when he suddenly slams into the back of a car that had stopped to allow children to cross the street.Amanda claims in her lawsuit that the company knew, or should have known, that the contents of the weight loss formula were likely to react badly with certain prescription medications, and that they should warn consumers.At trial, the company insists it has not broken any laws or regulations, and makes it clear it has no plans to pull the product off shelves, or to alter its advertising campaign.

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