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Thread: Texas Jury Awards Man $1.3 Million

  1. #41
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    In my state, as I understand it (this is not my area), a civil case goes to jury unless the parties stipulate to bench, because both have the right to a jury if desired.
    Used to be here we had to formally request a jury, but the courts seem to default to jury unless the parties stipulate to a bench trial.

  2. #42
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    That makes little sense, considering this is an offense by the public, i.e., its agents. The money would go from the public to the public, and it is obviously not punitive to the public for the public to keep the money. The point is that the public is being punished* for the acts of its agents, and it is not being punished unless it is deprived of the money. A tort victims' compensation fund, to make up the difference in compensatory damages when an award exceeds available funds (i.e., insufficient insurance, or a defendant is otherwise judgment-proof), is acceptable IMO because the public is not really keeping the money while still being held for a public benefit. But the plaintiff should get some or all of those damages, as part of the punishment against the defendant(s), precisely because the offense in a civil case was against the plaintiff, not the public. (If the offense was against the public, then either the state would be the plaintiff - which was not the case - or the state would pursue criminal charges against the individual defendants, which is an entirely separate proceeding.)

    * The agents' punishments are different, unless they are responsible for some of the punitive damages as well.
    How is it possible punitive damages will be awarded, but there are no arrests and prosecutions of the cops involved, and no action against their supervisors for negligent hiring, training and supervision?

    Don't like all this public money being spent? Then stand with BLM against police brutality.

  3. #43
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    That makes little sense, considering this is an offense by the public, i.e., its agents. The money would go from the public to the public, and it is obviously not punitive to the public for the public to keep the money. The point is that the public is being punished* for the acts of its agents, and it is not being punished unless it is deprived of the money. A tort victims' compensation fund, to make up the difference in compensatory damages when an award exceeds available funds (i.e., insufficient insurance, or a defendant is otherwise judgment-proof), is acceptable IMO because the public is not really keeping the money while still being held for a public benefit. But the plaintiff should get some or all of those damages, as part of the punishment against the defendant(s), precisely because the offense in a civil case was against the plaintiff, not the public. (If the offense was against the public, then either the state would be the plaintiff - which was not the case - or the state would pursue criminal charges against the individual defendants, which is an entirely separate proceeding.)

    * The agents' punishments are different, unless they are responsible for some of the punitive damages as well.
    Do like the idea of a "tort victims compensation fund". To restore victims for actual damages they were not able to collect elsewhere.

    Still disagree on enriching the plaintiff with the punitive element of the damages.

  4. #44
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    Do like the idea of a "tort victims compensation fund". To restore victims for actual damages they were not able to collect elsewhere.

    Still disagree on enriching the plaintiff with the punitive element of the damages.
    No. Tort victims should not be deprived of full compensation by crappy state laws, usually for the protection of medical professionals.

    If punitive damages are diverted to a public purpose, the public agency that tortiously injured that citizen will not be adequately deterred from doing it again.

  5. #45
    Moderator jacobfitcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otto Throttle View Post
    The cops deserve jail, the victim deserves to be made whole, no one deserves a jackpot payoff.
    His fucking rights were violated on a major scale. He was fucking well slandered. Those POS cops abused their power.

    He deserves every penny.
    Thanks from Madeline

  6. #46
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobfitcher View Post
    His fucking rights were violated on a major scale. He was fucking well slandered. Those POS cops abused their power.

    He deserves every penny.
    And he was terrorized. He could not know until he was released that he would succeed at proving he was innocent.

    There needs to be a reinvestigation of the cases of other prisoners sent up on the testimony of these liars.
    Thanks from Ian Jeffrey

  7. #47
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    No. Tort victims should not be deprived of full compensation by crappy state laws, usually for the protection of medical professionals.

    If punitive damages are diverted to a public purpose
    , the public agency that tortiously injured that citizen will not be adequately deterred from doing it again.
    Am supporting going to the "victims compensation fund" as opposed to going back into the public coffers.

    As for the "deterring impact" of the punishment. You have any examples of how well that has been working out.....??

  8. #48
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Used to be here we had to formally request a jury, but the courts seem to default to jury unless the parties stipulate to a bench trial.
    I think here you have to indicate "jury trial requested" in the caption, but it can always be waived later, anyway, so it is practically pro forma.
    Thanks from Wonderer

  9. #49
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    How is it possible punitive damages will be awarded, but there are no arrests and prosecutions of the cops involved, and no action against their supervisors for negligent hiring, training and supervision?
    How is it possible? Because punitive damages are awarded under standards of civil law, while (successful) prosecutions require a higher standard. Plus, they just generally do not like prosecuting police officers.

    Supervisors ... well, the department just got sued and an award made, so the time to make those claims (if they were not included already) would have been in the lawsuit just concluded. But those things are harder to prove.
    Thanks from Wonderer

  10. #50
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    Still disagree on enriching the plaintiff with the punitive element of the damages.
    What is the difference to you (or anyone else)? Punitive damages - which are rather difficult to prove, by the way - are an essential element of intentional torts, especially in cases like these. It is not about "enriching the plaintiff," but punishing the defendant(s), and part of that punishment should be watching the plaintiff walk out of there with $1.3M (or whatever amount, which I agree seems low here) of their money. Otherwise, Madeline may be right ... they may not be adequately deterred simply by saying, "well, at least it just goes to the tort fund to compensate for the underinsured," or some sort of feel-good reaction. Punitive damages is the court telling the defendant, "you give him $1M because you are a bad person who behaved shamefully," and telling him in public. It has to sting as badly as possible.

    Prosecutions should, of course, follow (in this case, at least), but that is an entirely separate matter.

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