How much punitive damages can I ask for on my complaint form?

Asked over 1 year ago - Milpitas, CA

A licensed construction company caused $15,000.00 of damages in my home, they were two months past the contract due date and lied about their qualifications, which is why I have so many damages and unfinished work.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. John Joseph O'Brien

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A complaint is not supposed to state the amount of punitive damages sought (if you state an amount, it's subject to a motion to strike).

    Also, it seems you're attempting to bring claims for breach of contract and fraud -- however, punitive damages are not available for breach of contract. You will have to establish fraud.

    The information/answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding your... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . None. You are permitted to allege the amount of actual damages ($15,000) in your prayer for damages in your complaint. However, you are not allowed to allege the amount of punitive damages you are seeking in your complaint.

    You also need to have a cause of action (other than just breach of contract) in order to be able to claim punitive or exemplary damages.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  3. Brandy Ann Peeples


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages (and i'm oversimplifying) are the economic damages you actually suffered as a result of the contractor causing damage in your home. Punitive damages are not generally available in breach of contract actions, but are available in certain types of tort actions. In most states, punitive damages are difficult to obtain and one attempting to seek punitive damages usually has to prove malice as part of the claim.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more
  4. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You apparently recognized you werent competent to do construction on your house. Why do you think you will be able to competently play lawyer in court? You should consult with a real estate or construction law atty.

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