Friday, May 22, 2009

Calculation of punitive damages under 176D/93A

I reported here on a Superior Court case that I stated correctly awarded unfair settlement practices damages based on the lost interest amount. A reader pointed out that the damages that are trebled pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A are actually the entire trial verdict.

He is correct. Under the current law of Mass. Gen. Laws chs. 93A and 176D, when a case goes to trial and judgment and damages are trebled pursuant to 93A, then the damages that are trebled are the verdict amount. When the underlying case settles, however, and the claimant successfully sues for treble damages under 93A, the amount that is trebled is the interest that was lost because of the delay in settlement. Single damages under 93A are always the lost interest.

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