Under state law, there are numerous types of damage one can claim in personal injury or wrongful death civil cases. There are economic damages, such as those for medical expenses, continuing medical care and lost wages. There are also non-economic damages, such as those for pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment. Beyond that, there are punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages), which are intended to punish a defendant. Punitive damages aren’t available in most Massachusetts personal injury cases, but per M.G.L. c. 229, they may be allowed in wrongful death cases where a corporation committed gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct.
This can be applied in some mesothelioma/ asbestos exposure cases, given that asbestos is a deadly fiber that when breathed into the lungs causes a latent form of cancer that is terminal.
Throughout the last two centuries, companies in the asbestos industry have hidden the dangers of this toxic material from the general public. Unfortunately, it seems some businesses are still allowing workers to be placed at risk for deadly asbestos exposure – and that means they have greater odds of paying punitive damages for their actions. Continue reading →