Are Punitive Damages About To Change In Massachusetts?

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that may change the law on punitive damages.  This is important because the ruling could affect Massachusetts injury victims and their ability to obtain punitive damages in court.  Here is an article provided by the American Trial Lawyers Association on this very important topic:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday signaled its return to the thorny issue of high punitive damages, agreeing to review a $79.5 million verdict against Philip Morris USA for the death of a single Oregon smoker. The Court added Philip Morris USA v. Mayola Williams to its docket for the fall, responding to pleas by the business community for clearer guidance on when punitive damages are excessive….Robert Peck, lawyer for Mayola Williams before the Court, said in an interview that the Oregon Supreme Court ‘scrupulously applied’ the Court’s precedents, which he says still allow for high damages in egregious cases. Peck also said the fact that the Court granted review in the case does not necessarily mean it will restrict punitive damages further, even though two new justices have joined the Court since State Farm. ‘We don’t have much information about the new justices’ views on punitive damages, but they both come from a history of respect for juries,’ said Peck…"

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