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In C.F. Bean, LLC v. Barhanovich, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, plaintiff was in a recreational fishing boat when his outboard engine hit a dredge pipe that was submerged in the water.  When the outboard engine shaft hit the pipe, the bracket that secures the motor broke, and it flipped up at high rate of speed and hit plaintiff, who died in the accident.

marinaFollowing his death, his family filed two cases. One was a personal injury lawsuit alleging wrongful death against operator of the dredging action with decedent’s estate as the named plaintiff.  The second lawsuit was a claim filed under admiralty law, because the cause of action arose from an accident that occurred in navigable waters.  These two cases were consolidated for the purpose of judicial efficiency. Continue reading

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In the last five years, we have seen a lot more media coverage involving traumatic brain injuries and concussions.  While we have seen a lot of talk about head injuries suffered by our brave service members, we are now hearing a lot more about head injuries in professional sports and sports played by young athletes.

skull-1415989Due to the real risks of our youth suffering a serious head injury with lasting brain damage, it is important to do whatever we can to prevent these injuries from occurring.   In an effort to help with prevention, as discussed in a recent news article from the Westborough Patch, the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts has just appointed a Manager of Prevention. Continue reading

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A recent news article from Philly.com takes a look at the high risk of suffering an eye injury while engaged in paintball activities.  To be clear, we are talking about people engaged in sanctioned paintball completions like the ones held a paintball centers around Boston and throughout Massachusetts.

paintballThe results of a recently completed study show that, while there is technically a higher risk of a participant suffering an eye injury while participating in a sport such as basketball, baseball, and bicycling, the risks from paintball often result in a partial or total loss of vision for at least some period of time if not permanently.  Continue reading

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Falls are the leading cause of injuries suffered by elders in Massachusetts, according to a recent news article from the Worcester Telegram.  This article focuses on how these falls are not only dangerous for elders, but are also largely preventable. In terms of a personal injury lawsuit involving an elder injury, it is often a question of whether or not a defendant acted reasonably so as to prevent the fall accident from occurring.

wheelchair5One man interviewed for the article said his fall was a result of wearing socks on slick bathroom tiles. He suffered serious injuries as a result of his fall in the bathroom, and he showed the results of those injuries to his classmates in an exercise program to help get seniors to improve their balance and maintain their strength, so these types of accidents are less likely to happen in the future.  He also said beyond stretching and improving his balance, he is learning to be more cognizant of his movements as means of preventing another serious fall accident. Continue reading

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Over the past decade, scientists and doctors have made many advances with regard to how head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, are treated.  One major reason for this was that in the global War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq among other places, we have had thousands of brave men and women coming home after suffering head injuries as a result of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), enemy fire and other accidents.  In wars past, these men and women would likely have died on the battlefield. Today, with advances in modern medicine, they are surviving – and returning home in need of treatment for brain injuries.

brains-1426619One of the reasons brain injuries are so problematic is because once the brain cells are destroyed, they do not regenerate as part of the normal healing process. In other words, the damage is often life-long.  In addition to brain injury caused by a traumatic impact, having stroke results in a deprivation of oxygen to the brain, and that results in the death of brain cells. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from ABC News, a childcare worker is now in jail after being accused of hitting a 9-month-old child when that baby would not stop crying.  This particular defendant was running a childcare center out of her apartment.  While many childcare providers do so in an actual facility, it is not uncommon for people to bring their children to a childcare provider who operates a business out of his of her home.  While there may be licensing and inspection issues with doing so, this is something that happens in Boston and around the country on a regular basis, as childcare has become so expensive.

childWith respect to this case, prosecutors have said police first learned of this alleged situation when a neighbor saw the woman slapping a small child in the face multiple times.  This caused great concern for the witness, and she flagged down a police officer who was already in the area. This witness allegedly told the investigators that this was not the first time she had seen this woman being abusive towards the children in her care.  She alleged that she had seen defendant throw the baby across an apartment and that she was letting other tenants abuse the child. Continue reading

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Following the death of Jose Fernandez, the baseball world was in a state of shock.  We saw his teammate Dee Gordon hit the longest home run of his career and then break into tears while rounding the bases.  We saw all of the Miami Marlins wearing Fernandez jerseys with his name and number, and we saw opposing teams hold tributes as well.

marina-1449492Just to briefly recap the tragic events that lead to the ace pitcher’s death, rescue workers found his boat upside down after it had crashed into a jetty off the coast of Miami.  When rescue workers approached the boat, they found that nobody was still on board and sent rescue divers into the water to look for any survivors.  They found Fernandez and two of his associates, but they were already deceased. Continue reading

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In Fecke v. Bd. of Supervisors Louisiana St. Univ. & Agricultural & Mech. College, a case from the Supreme Court of Louisiana, a college senior went to an indoor rock climbing facility located on the university campus.  He had been enrolled in an Outdoor Living Skills Activity course and this rock climbing activity was actually a mandatory requirement.

rockOnce plaintiff arrived at the rock climbing facility, she completed a participation agreement as the staff asked her to do.  Following her signing the participation form, there was instruction into how to make the climb, and she successfully climbed the wall.  However, on the way back down from the wall, she fell to the ground.  When she hit the ground, she landed on her foot hard and fractured the talus bone. Continue reading

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In Regalado v. Callaghan, defendant was a subcontractor with a license to do concrete jobs and wanted to build his wife’s dream house according to court records.  In order to save money on the project, defendant chose to be the owner-builder of his new home.

1341083_neglected_poolAccording to the relevant state regulation in the jurisdiction, an owner-builder can personally obtain all necessary permits and serve in the place of a general contractor in terms of responsibility on the project.  Once he had obtained the proper permits, he did all of the concrete work himself and then hired subcontractors to perform the other needed work. Continue reading

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Hollaway v. Direct Gen. Ins. Co. of Miss., Inc., a case from the Supreme Court of Kentucky, involved a car accident in the parking lot of an apartment complex where the vehicles were both traveling at very low speeds. There were differing accounts of what actually happened in this car accident.

parking lotOne party testified that he was driving a friend’s car with that friend in the passenger seat at the time. At this point, both occupants of the car noticed another vehicle backing out of a parking space about 25 feet from them.  They further testified that they stopped their vehicle to allow the other party to continue to back his vehicle out of his spot.  However, they then claimed the other driver turned towards them as he was backing out and did not stop driving until the rear of that vehicle crashed smashed into the front of their vehicle. The driver claimed there was no way to get out of the way of the other car as it was reversing towards them. Continue reading