Suing for Punitive Damages in Waltham

Find the right Litigation attorney in Waltham, MA

Litigation Lawyers in Waltham

In Waltham, 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 Waltham, 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 Waltham, 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 Waltham, Massachusetts

Mostly personal injury cases in Waltham, 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 Waltham, Massachusetts.

Punitive Damages in Waltham, Massachusetts are only awarded in cases where the conduct of the plaintiff was intentional and highly immoral, or extremely reckless. In Waltham, 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.

However, in Waltham, 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 general, punitive damages in Waltham, Massachusetts cannot be more than 10 times larger than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. However, this is not an absolute rule, and appeals courts in Massachusetts have upheld much larger awards, and found much smaller awards to be invalid. It's determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Can a Waltham, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

In Waltham, 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 Waltham, 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 Waltham, Massachusetts civil litigation attorney

Talk to a Law Attorney now!

Life in Waltham

Waltham, Massachusetts has a population of just over 60,000 residents and is located in Middlesex County. The city has historical significance and is considered to play a pivotal role in the labor movement.

Waltham is often nicknamed "Watch City" because of the presence of Waltham Watch Company which has produced over 40 million watches and other time instruments before closing. Waltham also has a great music scene that brings together the community for various events throughout the year. The city is also a great place to be active -- with a 97 out of 100 points on the walkability rating system.

In addition to a good public school education system, Waltham also houses three colleges: Bentley University, Brandeis University, and Center for Digital Imaging Arts. With such an emphasis on learning, it is no surprise that there is such a great professional community in Waltham. Waltham lawyers, for example, are trained at some of the best schools and are skilled in a range of legal issues. From lawyers to accountants to bankers, Waltham is a city that is a great place to work.

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