When do you declare the amount of damages sought in a personal injury lawsuit?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2011

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When do you declare the amount of damages sought in a personal injury lawsuit?

I have filed a pro se suit against a major chemical company for damages in a willful neglect case. I have been waiting 6 months for the defendant to send me back answers on the first set of interrogatories. They say they are still working on it. I am seeking $2,500,000 in damages and $5,000,000 in punitive damages. The company was engaged in an illegal production process that contaminated myself and scores of other employees with lead and several other chemicals, causing nerve damage to some of us and death to many others.

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Personal Injury, Iowa


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a little uncertain as to what you mean here but I have to tell you that the entire question makes me a little nervous for you.  In a state suit the damages sought (relief requested it is called) is generally listed in the last paragraph of the complaint.  At least in New York that is how it is done.  The reason that I am nervous for you is that this type of case sounds very serious and with serious injuries.  That mixed with the words "pro se" no matter how smart you are can be a deadly combination for your case.  There are many nuances to these type of litigations and the defendant is taking advantage of you by being dilatory here.  You should be making a motion for the discovery and looking to get certain documents turned over regarding the chemical processing.  Please consider speaking with an attention the matter.   They work on a percentage basis and in the end you may get more for having a lawyer.  Good luck.

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