Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
What state is this in regards to?
Thank you; So that is difficult, as the burden is on the plaintiff to prove damages; so the person bringing suit,for example, for an invasion of privacy tort would need to prove they were harmed by the information.
If one can prove the breach (the sheet of paper pertaining to another client would help, along with a declaration stating what papers were missing) then the next step would be to prove damages. Some judges will allow for punitive damages, but generally only for malicious or willful violations.
In contrast a malpractice suit would be based on negligence, so that is another option. But unless the court finds the conduct to be willful then the punitives still would not be awarded.
Often for situations where damages cannot be proven the court will order a credit monitoring service to be paid by the defendant (attorney) to help prevent identity theft.