Suing for Punitive Damages in Weymouth

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Litigation Lawyers in Weymouth

In Weymouth, 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 Weymouth, 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 Weymouth, 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 Weymouth, Massachusetts

Generally personal injury cases in Weymouth, Massachusetts do not involve punitive damages, because the defendant did not intend to cause harm, or act with some other form of malice. Rather, 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 Weymouth, Massachusetts.

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

You should be aware of the fact that there are some pretty severe limits on punitive damages in Weymouth, 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 massive amounts of property.

A good rule of thumb for calculating the upper limit of punitive damages in Weymouth, 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 Weymouth, Massachusetts Attorney Help?

In Weymouth, 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 have been harmed in Weymouth, Massachusetts and you think punitive damages might be justified, a large amount of money might be at stake. For that reason, you should not hesitate to consult a civil litigation attorney in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

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Life in Weymouth

Weymouth is named after Weymouth, Dorset, which is located in England. The U.S. city is located in Norfolk County in the state of Massachusetts. Its formal name is The Town of Weymouth. It is a very historic town, as it was incorporated in 1635. Currently Weymouth has a population of 54,000.

Since Weymouth is a very "mature" city, it has had ample time to develop economically and commercially. In fact, the town is nearly completely developed compared to other areas in the region. Therefore many of the economic projects in Weymouth focus on redevelopment and transformation of existing facilities into new uses.

Examples of redevelopment in Weymouth include the conversion of Nike Missile Base into Webb state Park. Another project converts Mammoth Mart into a shopping center. The city of Weymouth is a prime example of efficient and productive use of commercial zoning.

The Town of Weymouth is neatly divided into four areas, or "Squares": Bicknell Square, Jackson Square, Weymouth Landing, and Columbian Square. The busiest of the four squares is Columbian Square, which boasts many local recreation and entertainment venues.

Lawyers in Weymouth spend a lot of time at the Quincy District Court, which has jurisdiction to hear claims arising in Weymouth. The District Court is located nearby in the city of Quincy. Many Weymouth, Massachusetts lawyers contribute their time to community building projects.

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