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What Damages Can Be Recovered In A Civil RICO Lawsuit In Florida?


Racketeering is broadly defined as a type of organized criminal activity through which a perpetrator can make a profit through coordinated fraud, deceit, or other unlawful activities. There are federal and state RICO laws in place that make racketeering a serious criminal offense. Additionally, these statutes also allow affected victims to bring a civil RICO claim.

This raises an important question: How much compensation can be recovered through a civil RICO claim? The answer depends largely on the actual damage sustained by the plaintiff. Though, the treble damages provision of federal and Florida RICO laws makes a civil racketeering claim a powerful remedy. Here, our Miami RICO claims lawyer explains the damages you can recover.

Actual Damages is the Basis of Civil RICO Compensation 

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that actual damages serve as the foundation for civil RICO compensation. If you bring a civil RICO lawsuit—whether under federal law or Florida state law—you must carefully document the damages that you sustained due to the illicit racketeering activity on the part of the defendant(s). Your actual damages will be the basis of your compensation.

 Treble Damages: Three Times a Plaintiff’s Actual Losses

Federal and state civil RICO laws allow for the awarding of treble damages. The Legal Information Institute explains that treble damages are ”three times” the amount of the plaintiff’s actual damages. This makes a civil RICO lawsuit a potentially powerful remedy. For example, imagine that you suffered $25,000 in actual damages due to a racketeering scheme. You could file a civil RICO lawsuit to recover the $25,000 in actual losses. Additionally, you would be entitled to up to $50,000 in compensation for treble damages. Your recovery from actual damages would be worth three times your losses.

You Can Also Recover Compensation for Attorneys’ Fees and Legal Costs

 Finally, both federal RICO law and Florida RICO law allow for fee-shifting. A plaintiff that brings a successful civil RICO lawsuit may be entitled to recover compensation for reasonable attorneys’ fees and other court costs.

 Punitive Damages May Be Awarded in a Small Number of Civil RICO Claims 

Punitive damages are effectively a form of penalty compensation. They are not tied directly to specific losses suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, punitive compensation may be awarded to the victim (plaintiff) to punish especially egregious misconduct by the defendant. Punitive damages are not awarded in all successful civil RICO lawsuits. However, they may be granted in some situations.

 Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a South Florida Civil RICO Lawyer

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we have deep experience handling civil racketeering cases. If you have any questions about the damages that can be recovered through a civil RICO lawsuit, we are here as a resource. Call us now to set up your fully private case review. With legal office locations in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Wellington, we handle civil racketeering cases throughout South Florida.

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