Suing for Punitive Damages in Peabody

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Litigation Lawyers in Peabody

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

This general principle is subject to an important exception, however. There are cases where a judge in Peabody, 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 Peabody, Massachusetts are not awarded lightly, because the civil justice system typically 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 Peabody, Massachusetts

A majority of personal injury litigation actions in Peabody, Massachusetts do not involve the possibility of punitive damages, because they normally involve injuries where the defendant is at fault for the harm caused, but did not intend to do any harm. In Peabody, Massachusetts, accidental harm may be enough to award the plaintiff compensatory damages, but it is not enough for punitive damages.

Punitive damages in Peabody, Massachusetts are not granted in many cases. They are only awarded when the defendant's actions 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 Peabody, Massachusetts will be considered. Additionally, 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.

However, in Peabody, Massachusetts, the law places limits on punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times that punitive damages cannot be grossly disproportionate to the evil nature of the conduct, and the injuries that the defendant suffered. If they are disproportionate, punitive damages might be considered a deprivation of the defendant's right to due process of law.

In Peabody, Massachusetts, punitive damage awards are usually (but not always) capped at 10 times the amount awarded in compensatory damages. Remember, however, that this is just a general rule of thumb, and is not completely rigid. In Massachusetts, appeals courts have a good deal of discretion in deciding if a punitive damage award is valid or invalid. Much larger awards have been upheld, and smaller awards have been overturned. The validity of a particular punitive damage award will depend heavily on the facts of each case.

How Can a Peabody, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

The law of Peabody, Massachusetts doesn't lay out many strict conditions which are required before punitive damages can be granted. Instead, it largely leaves it to the discretion of the courts. So, there are several situations where they might be awarded.

If you live in Peabody, Massachusetts and are immersed in a case that you believe carries the possibility of a punitive damage award, you may be entitled to a large amount of money from the person or company that harmed you. To know for sure, you should speak with a civil litigation attorney in Peabody, Massachusetts.

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Life in Peabody

Peabody is an Essex County city that is home to 55,000 residents of Boston's highly desirable North Shore suburban area. Peabody began as a farming community but has since shifted focus to more tourist friendly avenues like the massive Northshore Mall and Shopping Center, on of the areas largest, the historic Brooksby Farm, and the infamous host of the U.S. Senior and U.S. Women's Golf Opens, Salem Country Club. In 2009, Forbes Magazine dubbed Peabody the 14th most livable city in the United States. There are also a number of manufacturing, medical, and technology companies located in Centennial Industrial Park which is located a stone's throw from the Corwin Manufacturing Company. With such a thriving city there are bound to be some problems but you will be relieved to know there are a number of Peabody lawyers who can help sort those out. Peabody lawyers are familiar with local courts and their procedures; they can also lay out your legal options and help you weigh one against another. Peabody is known locally for its strong school system and sports programs. Ice hockey, soccer, and track are their strongest but the baseball program has been making outstanding progress too. Olympic swimmer Samantha Arsenault, professional wrestler Matt Bloom, pitcher John Tudor, and hockey player Bobby Hanson are just a few of the local notables.

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