Massachusetts Punitive Damages and Personal Injury Law
Punitive damages often crop up in Massachusetts personal injury cases. They are separate from compensatory damages which compensate (hence the name) Massachusetts injury victims for such things as their medical expenses (past and future), lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are not intended to compensate the Massachusetts injury victim, but rather, are intended to deter malicious and reprehensible conduct. For example, if a company releases a product it knows to be dangerous, but cannot recall it because it would cost too much money to do so, can be held liable for punitive damages.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the amount of punitive damages awarded in a case cannot be arbitrary, but must bear some type of relationship to the type and amount of compensatory damages awarded to the injury victim.
I invite you to contact me with any Massachusetts personal injury questions you may have.