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A Blog about Real Estate, How it Can Be Damaged, and Disputes Over its Transfer

This blog is a personal blog written to discuss legal issues affecting Georgia property, and how it is damaged, transferred, and fought over. I write this partly to keep abreast of the law, and partly to offer a forum for my writing. In order to find content, I often analyze Georgia Supreme Court decisions. I try to update this blog as I can, but writing is a time consuming process.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Punitive Damages Accompany Awards of Attorneys Fees

Another interesting twist to the opinion in Kitchin v. Reidelberger, A11A0459, 2011 WL 2641280 (Ga. Ct. App. July 7, 2011), was that it emphasized the law that the standard for an award of punitive damages in a nuisance case is very similar to the standard for an award of attorneys' fees to the claimant.

In Kitchin, supra, the jury had initially failed to award punitive damages when awarding the property owners their attorneys' fees in the case. The trial court then sent the jury back out to reconsider whether punitive damages should be awarded. The Court of Appeals upheld this procedure.

The case is significant in its outcome in that it shows that whenever attorneys' fees are awarded in a case of damages to land, punitive damages are also an available form of relief to the injured property owner. Accordingly, both attorneys' fees and punitive damages are a proper form of damages in a flooding, storm water, or other nuisance case.

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