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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

A ruling in Suffolk Superior Court on a slip and fall case, Rivera v. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc., has set precedent that provides additional protection for those whose injuries have been caught on camera.  In today’s economy, many retail stores use video surveillance to monitor theft and keep a close eye on employees. An extra benefit from this surveillance is that many times when individuals are injured in the store, it is caught on camera. Unfortunately, if you are an injured person attempting to retrieve the video surveillance of your injuries, the store is apt to deny your request. You will likely be forced to file a lawsuit in order to see the surveillance. Even then, A store owner may advise you, and the court, that they no longer have the video tape, because they automatically tape over them at the end of the month. Such is the case in Rivera v. Demoulas. A person was injured at a supermarket due to leaking water. When it came to trial, Demoulas advised the court that the surveillance tape had been taped over. A judge ruled that plaintiff’s counsel was allowed to admit evidence of the destruction of the surveillance and instruct the jury that they may, if they wish, infer from the destruction of the surveillance, that it contained evidence that would harm Demoulas’ case. The reasoning being that, as a business owner, after someone was injured on your premises, you knew or reasonably should have known that the surveillance of the incident would be relevant to possible legal action, and therefore you have a duty to preserve it. The legal term for failing to properly preserve evidence in a trial is called spoliation of evidence.

This ruling gives plaintiff’s attorneys in Massachusetts a little more ammunition in their trials against negligent retailers and product manufacturers who try and trick judges and juries into thinking that they “accidentally” destroyed what may have been crucial evidence in the case.

If you or someone you know has been injured and you think it was the result of negligence, medical malpractice or product liability, please give our firm a call at (617) 263-0060.

Former NHL Hockey league players have filed a consolidated class-action lawsuit in Federal Court over concussion related health injuries.  The Lawsuit was filed in October of 2014 in the state of Minnesota.  Six former players are serving as the class action representatives.

The complaint is seeking an unspecified amount of damages as well as funding for medical monitoring of neurological disorders alleged to be caused from concussions sustained while playing hockey in the National Hockey League.  The plaintiffs are alleging the NHL had knowledge and capability to better prevent head trauma injuries to players and failed to institute protocols to better protect players.  The plaintiff’s also allege the league failed to warn players of the risks of medical related disability from repeated head trauma and the league promoted violent play that lead to injuries.

Concussions, especially repeated concussions after not giving the brain proper healing time can lead to permanent and serious symptoms such headaches, loss of memory and depression.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that a landlord can be held strictly liable for injuries sustained by a plaintiff if the building is a place of public or commercial use and the injury is a result of building code violations.  See Sheehan v. Weaver. This case involved a person who sustained serious injuries when he was walking down an exterior staircase and the guardrail broke causing him to fall and land on the pavement.  An expert retained by the plaintiff testified the building in question had eighteen building code violations including defects in strength, height and condition of the guardrail.

The Jury found in favor of the plaintiff and furthermore found the defendant was strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because of building code violations.  MGL c-143, s51 imposes strict liability on the owner or other party in control of “a place of assembly, theatre, special hall, public hall, factory, workshop manufacturing establishment or building” for damages caused by a violation of the Massachusetts State Building Code.

In this case, the court determined the plaintiff fell in a staircase to a residential apartment unit and the unit was not used by the public so therefore, the residence did not qualify as a Building under the statute.  Nevertheless, this case stands for the proposition that if you are injured as a result of a landlord’s violation of the Massachusetts State Building codes, the owner of the premises could be found strictly liable for your injuries if the premises is deemed a building under the statute.

In a recent decision by the Middlesex Superior court of Massachusetts, a Judge found an insurance company violated the law and failed to effectuate a prompt settlement of a pedestrian bus accident case and ultimately awarded over $7,000,000.00 in damages to the plaintiff.  The case involved a plaintiff who was crossing the street in a crosswalk and was hit by a bus in Boston MA and operated by an employee of Partners Healthcare.  The individual sustained substantial injuries including a traumatic brain injury.  See Odin Anderson & Others v. American International Group, Inc. & Others.  The court stated the case presented a disturbing tale of irresponsible and overly aggressive defense work causing the plaintiff’s to participate in a lengthy hard fought trial of their personal injury claim.

Immediately after the accident, he defendant insurance company assigned a claims adjuster to investigate the claim and interviewed the bus driver.  The bus driver said he never saw the plaintiff before the accident and was to the right and not straight ahead.  Furthermore, the bus driver said he did not know where the plaintiff came from and said he did not make any attempt to avoid the impact.  Based on the statements, the insurance company’s claims adjuster determined the insurance company had “no viable liability defense”.

Once the Plaintiff’s attorney became involved in the case and a 5 million dollar demand was made, there was a flurry of activity by the defendant insurance company and their attorneys.  In fact, the insurance company aggressively defended the lawsuit and did not make any offers to settle until the day of trial.  The case was ultimately tried to conclusion and a plaintiff’s verdict was rendered.

Although recreational sports should be fun, there can be risks involved depending on where the games take place. Personal injury lawsuits against governmental entities such as a city may be subject to different rules than lawsuits brought against private citizens.

A 2012 case arose when a man was hurt during a softball game organized by Coed Jewish Sports on a public field owned by the city of Newton in Massachusetts. He had joined the league after applying and paying a registration fee. Coed Jewish Sports paid $1200 to Newton’s Parks and Recreation department for a permit to use the field. The man was not involved in the permit application.

The man was sitting on the grass watching the game in 2007 when he heard a cracking sound. A tree fell and hit him in the back. His vertebrae was fractured and his shoulder blades were shattered, among other injuries. Continue Reading ›

Fifteen workers were injured on Monday afternoon when there was a large explosion at a machine factory in Peterborough New Hampshire located right over the Massachusetts border.  Unfortunately, many of the injured workers sustained serious injuries and two of the workers sustained critical injuries.  The two critically injured employees needed to be transported by Med Flight to Boston Hospitals.

There were actually two explosions, one smaller one followed but a much larger blast that was said to be felt over one half mile away from the Factory.  The explosions occurred at New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc., which is a company that employs over 700 local workers and they make high-tech parts for the aerospace industry.   The local fire and rescue departments as well as the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives are investigating the cause of the explosions.

The fire and rescue said in a statement that the blasts are not believed to be an act of terrorism and appear to be an “industrial related accident”.  In an evening briefing, the fire Marshall then stated the blast appeared to occur in an area of the plant where they mix chemicals.  The facility reportedly uses acids to treat the surface of ball bearings.  About a dozen windows were blown out of the building and the street needed to be blocked off.

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