Suing for Punitive Damages in Gloucester

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Litigation Lawyers in Gloucester

In Gloucester, Massachusetts, civil litigation serves the main purpose of compensating individuals who have been victims of wrongdoing, and not meting out punishment, vengeance, or moral judgment.

This basic principle is subject to an significant exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Gloucester, Massachusetts will order a defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum of money which is not calculated based on actual harm the plaintiff has suffered. These are called "punitive damages" and serve the purpose of punishing and deterring wrongdoing.

Punitive Damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts are not awarded easily, because the civil justice system usually disfavors giving plaintiffs financial windfalls not directly related to compensating them for their injuries. They are usually only awarded when the conduct of the defendant is morally reprehensible, and far worse than simple carelessness.

Conduct that can give rise to punitive damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Typically personal injury cases in Gloucester, Massachusetts involve injuries that the defendant did not intend to cause, but was still at fault in causing them (through negligence, for instance). In Gloucester, Massachusetts, this is not enough to justify the award of punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts are not authorized in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's behavior was so deplorable and deliberate (but not necessarily criminal) that punishment is warranted. Fraud, battery, conversion (theft) and other intentional, insidious acts are usually required before punitive damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts will be considered. Moreover, in deciding how much to award in punitive damages, a court will consider 2 main factors: the insidious nature of the defendant's conduct, and the actual harm that the plaintiff suffered as a result.

You should be cognizant of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that there are constitutional limits on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages can't be too disproportionate to the actual damages that the plaintiff has suffered. Appeals courts have found that excessive punitive damage awards violate the defendant's right to due process, by depriving them of considerable amounts of property.

Punitive damages in Gloucester, Massachusetts typically cannot surpass 10 times the amount of actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. Nonetheless, this is just a guideline, and not a strict rule. Courts in Massachusetts have found larger punitive damage awards to be perfectly valid, and smaller ones to be invalid. This will be strongly dependent on the facts of each case.

How Can a Gloucester, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

In Gloucester, Massachusetts, there are a practically unlimited number of situtations in which punitive damages can be awarded.

If you have been hurt in Gloucester, Massachusetts and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not delay to consult a civil litigation attorney in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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Life in Gloucester

Gloucester, Massachusetts is a city located on Cape Ann, in Essex County. According to a 2007 Census estimate, its population is approximately 30,000 people. The area now known as Gloucester was first reached by British settlers in the 1620s. The town of Gloucester was so named in the 1640s (or that's when the first known written reference to the name exists) from a town of the same name en England. The town, thanks to its once-abundant supply of lumber, and its proximity to the ocean, used to be an important shipbuilding center. Though this industry has largely moved elsewhere, it is still an important part of the town's history and culture. It was also once a very important center for commercial fishing, and fishing is still an important component of the local economy. The architecture of Gloucester is quite beautiful, with many sections of the town comprised almost entirely of 100+ year old buildings, giving it the idyllic look distinctive to New England. There are also plenty of lawyers in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts who can handle whatever legal problem you might find yourself facing. New England is home to several exceptional law schools, and, by extension, many exceptional lawyers. If you have a legal issue, a Gloucester, Massachusetts lawyer can help.

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