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Definition of Additur

The order made by a civil court to increase the compensation or damages which were awarded to the plaintiff in the court by a jury. It can also refer to the actual increase, the procedure, or the power of the court to make this order. It is generally done to keep the plaintiff from appealing the compensation amount.

Additur is not allowed in all legal systems, but if they are allowed, they are done by the judge who is assessing punitive damages if they feel the damages were not sufficient. The judge may decide to increase damages if the defendant?s actions were especially heinous, or they want to send a message to future defendants. At the end of the case the defendant is expected to pay the compensation amount, generally in a lump sum payment. If the defendant does not pay they may be compelled to pay through a wage garnishment. In the United States, for example, federal judges cannot issue an additur.

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