Suing for Punitive Damages in Taunton

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Litigation Lawyers in Taunton

In Taunton, 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 Taunton, 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 Taunton, Massachusetts are not awarded easily, 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 Taunton, Massachusetts

Mostly personal injury cases in Taunton, 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 Taunton, Massachusetts.

Punitive Damages in Taunton, Massachusetts are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Taunton, Massachusetts, torts such as fraud, gross negligence, and theft are sufficient to award punitive damages. Courts consider numerous factors when deciding whether or not punitive damages are warranted. Courts will look at the nature of the act, as well as the defendant's intent in performing the act. This will be weighed, on a sliding scale, against the actual harm that the defendant's conduct caused to the plaintiff.

There are limits on punitive damages in Taunton, 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.

Generally, in Taunton, Massachusetts, punitive damage awards that exceed the actual damages (those awarded to directly compensate the plaintiff) by a factor of 10. This is not an absolute rule, nonetheless, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Courts in Massachusetts have found much smaller awards to be invalid, and upheld much larger awards.

How Can a Taunton, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

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

If you are involved in a case in Taunton, Massachusetts where punitive damages are a possibility, a very large amount of money could be at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. You should not delay to speak with a civil litigation attorney in Taunton, Massachusetts

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Life in Taunton

Founded in the year 1637, Taunton is one of the oldest cities in the entire U.S. It is the county seat of Bristol County, Massachusetts. The city boasts a rich legacy in industrial history. It has traditionally been known as "The Silver City" after its local silversmith operations.

Taunton still maintains its reputation as the producer of some of the world's finest silver products. A Taunton company recently produced the medals for the 1996 Summer Olympics as well as exclusive silverware for the White House. In addition to silver products, Taunton's economy emphasizes semiconductor, electronics, and silicon manufacturing.

Visitors to Taunton can stop by the Silver City Galleria, which is a large shopping center located conveniently near neighboring cities. A popular destination in Taunton is the Taunton Green Historic District. Each December the city of Taunton provides an elaborate light display at Taunton Green. As a result, Taunton has also earned the nickname of "The Christmas City".

Lawyers in Taunton, Massachusetts will usually process legal claims at the Taunton District Court. The district court is authorized to adjudicate a wide array of civil and criminal claims, including felony cases. Taunton lawyers are ready to provide you with professional assistance and advice.

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