Suing for Punitive Damages in Scituate

Find the right Litigation attorney in Scituate, MA

Litigation Lawyers in Scituate

In Scituate, 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 Scituate, 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 Scituate, Massachusetts are not awarded lightly, because the civil justice system generally 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 Scituate, Massachusetts

Mostly personal injury cases in Scituate, Massachusetts do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Instead, most of these cases involve situations where the defendant acted carelessly, but did not actually intend to cause harm. This is enough to award compensatory damages, but it is far from sufficient to award punitive damages in Scituate, Massachusetts.

In Scituate, Massachusetts, punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. Civil wrongs such as fraud, conversion (theft), battery, and other intentional, depraved acts are sufficient to award punitive damages. In deciding whether or not to award punitive damages, and how much money to award, courts in Scituate, Massachusetts will consider many different factors. Usually, they employ a sliding scale, weighing the nature of the conduct and the actual harm that the conduct caused. The more immoral the conduct, and/or the more harm caused, the more likely a court is to award punitive damages.

There are limits on punitive damages in Scituate, Massachusetts. The Supreme Court has held that punitive damage awards which are grossly disproportionate to the immorality of the conduct, and the harm that it caused, are an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Scituate, Massachusetts is that punitive damages can be no larger than compensatory damages times ten. This rule is not absolute, of course. Courts in Massachusetts have a good deal of discretion in awarding punitive damages, and will determine them based on the facts of each case. Because of this, punitive damage awards larger than 10 times compensatory damages are sometimes upheld, while much smaller awards have been overturned, because they were deemed excessive in a particular case.

How Can a Scituate, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

In Scituate, Massachusetts, there are a large number of cases in which punitive damages are appropriate, because the decision to grant punitive damages is largely up to the discretion of the jury.

If you are located in Scituate, Massachusetts, and are involved in a case that you think, based on the information conveyed above, that might have punitive damages as an option, you can't be sure what, if anything, you're entitled to from the defendant until you consult with a Scituate, Massachusetts civil litigation attorney

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Life in Scituate

Scituate, Massachusetts is a city in Plymouth County, on Cape Cod. It has a population of about 18,000 people.

Scituate was originally settled by a group of people from Plymouth in 1627. Since its founding, Scituate's economy and culture revolved around fishing. The rich waters off of New England provided a seemingly-limitless food source. While commercial fishing still takes place, depleted stocks, and the resulting limits, have reduced its economic importance.

Like much of the Cape Cod area, Scituate has become a destination for wealthy visitors, many of whom maintain homes in the area. Visitors from the world over are drawn to its natural beauty, and unique New England Charm.

Scituate is a fairly affluent community, with the median household income of permanent residents being about ,000, and only about 2% (much lower than the national average) of the population living below the poverty line.

If you live in Scituate, Massachusetts, and are looking for an attorney, you're in luck. There are many Scituate, Massachusetts lawyers who can handle whatever legal issue a person is likely to face. If you have any legal problems, a Scituate, Massachusetts attorney is the person to call.

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