Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog
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Whenever someone receives an injury to the head, it is generally a good idea to determine whether the victim had suffered a concussion or other type to traumatic brain injury. In the old days, a person who was knocked unconscious was often shaken or administered smelling salts, and that would be all the care they received.  Years of medical research has proven that this is not the safest practice.

457973__1These days, we often hear about head injury protocols being taken when someone suffers a head injury or impact.  We often see if the person is oriented as to person, place, time, and date.  This is known as being oriented times four to first responders and mental health professionals.  It is in professional sports where we often hear that these protocols are being performed, and we have to wait see if the person suffered a concussion. Continue reading

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According to a recent news feature from Boston.com, a man at Plymouth Beach died in a drowning accident while he was swimming at the beach.  Authorities said he was swimming very early in the morning, as they received the initial 911 call just after 2 a.m.

surgeonsAfter receiving the 911 call, first responders arrived on the scene and met the caller, who said they were not been able to locate their friend who went into the water. At this point, they began searching for the man and by 20 minutes after 3 a.m., first responders had located the drowning victim.  When they finally found the man, he was lying prone in about eight feet of water.  Continue reading

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With what seems like never ending stream of excessively hot days this summer, there is no question that a lot of people will be hitting the water after work and on the weekends. For some this will be rowing or sailing on the Charles River.  For others it will be taking a boat out on the Bay or on the North or South Shores in the Greater Boston area.  While hitting the water can be a lot of fun, it can also result in significant personal injury or death, and extra care must be to take to avoid a serious tragedy.

sunset-winter-scene-1250442-mAccording to a recent news feature from Action News, an 8-year-old girl was seriously injured in a boating accident that occurred while she and her father were tubing.  For those that are unaware, tubing involves pulling an inner tube behind a fast moving boat with one or more riders in the tube depending on the size of the tube.   Basically, it is like water skiing without a requirement to know how to balance or water ski. All that a rider has to do is hold on and have fun.  However, this activity can also result in serious personal injury. Continue reading

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In the largest furniture recall in American history, Swedish company IKEA has recalled more than 29 million chests and drawers following the third child death and dozens of child injuries in three years. child

Based on data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), not only is this furniture recall the largest that has ever been issued, the second-largest furniture recall wasn’t even close. In that case, 10 million beanbag chairs sold by nine separate companies between 1971 and 1995. In that case, at least five children had died after reportedly unzipping those beanbag chairs and swallowing the small pellets inside, choking to death. Then there was the recall of some 2.1 million folding child folding chairs after the locks kept failing and little fingers were getting pinched in the hinges.

This recall was three times bigger than the beanbag recall. Part of the problem is the way Ikea furniture is designed. It’s lightweight and has low stability ratings. These dressers have reportedly killed at least six children since 1989, beginning with a 20-month-old girl who was killed when an un-anchored, four-drawer dresser tipped over and pinned her against the floor. The cases just kept adding up from there.  Continue reading

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When a soon-to-be mother went to the hospital at 2 a.m., her pregnancy full-term, she knew something wasn’t right. Her baby boy wasn’t moving as he had in the days and hours before. But when she got there, student resident doctors at The University of Chicago Medical Center didn’t take immediate action, even when a fetal heart monitor immediately showed distress. For 12 hours, no action was taken. For 12 hours, that child was slowly suffocating. pregnantwoman

When doctors finally did initiate an emergency Cesarean section, the baby boy wasn’t breathing. He was revived and then rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit and placed on life support. There, he stayed for weeks. But the damage to his brain over the course of those hours was irreversible. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He can’t walk. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He requires around-the-clock care, provided almost exclusively by his single mother.

Now, a jury in Cook County, Ill. has awarded $53 million to him and his mother, which will not only ensure his health care is covered for the next 65 years of his life, but will help to compensate the family for the pain and suffering they have endured and will endure for the rest of their lives. Some will look at a damage award of this size and characterize it as excessive. But one must consider that not only will his future medical bills top $30 million over the course of his life, but mother and son will never have a normal relationship. This boy will never have a normal life of his own.  Continue reading

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The 17-year-old didn’t want to wear the chicken suit. It was hot. It was itchy. And he’d already gotten roughed up briefly by a couple of his fellow students before the pep rally. football3

The suit was rented just for the rally as a way to mock the other team’s mascot, an eagle. But he didn’t want to go through with it anymore and pleaded with the athletic director to let him off the hook. Instead, she threatened him with the $75 cost of the rental if he didn’t keep it on and head to the pep rally as intended, where he was slated to engage in a “mock fight” with the football team. He acquiesced. It didn’t go well.

When it was all over, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that he will likely grapple with the rest of his life. Now, the school district has agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle the case after jurors found the school district 100 percent liable for the former student’s injuries. The settlement offer was extended just days after the verdict was reached, but in advance of the damages portion of the trial.  Continue reading

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Two years ago, the family of a 4-year-old boy killed in a 2011 escalator accident at the Auburn Mall Massachusetts reached a settlement with the escalator manufacturer and owner of the store where the escalator accident took place. escalator

The child was fatally injured when a guardrail on the escalator pulled him through a gap between a plexiglass divider and the escalator and he fell 18 feet onto a display case below. He died at the hospital the next day of blunt force trauma to the head.

According to recent statistics published by the American Association for Justice, this case was indicative of so many escalator accidents that happen every year in that it:

  • Involved a young child;
  • Involved a fall.

The report indicated there are a growing number of escalator injuries in the U.S. every year, most involving children or the elderly, and a significant number involving not entrapment, but falls. Continue reading

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There is no question that it is dangerous to drive a car while using your smart phone.  Whether you are sending a text, reading a text, checking your email, or doing any number of other things on your phone, you are statistically much more likely to be involved in a car accident that is your fault than if you are not using your smart phone while driving.  For this reason, many car accidents claims are filed against the drivers of these accidents.

1225930_mobile_phone_1However, according to a recent news feature from Inside Counsel, a trade publication for attorneys that work as in-house counsel for large corporations, victims of distracted driving car accidents are now filing lawsuits against the makers of specific apps that are alleged to be more dangerous and more likely to be the result of a distracting driving accident. Continue reading

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These days, when it is harder to smoke in public places, and due to all of the health problems associated with smoking in general, many are turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative.  Smoking e-cigarettes, or vaping as it often called, involves loading an electronic cigarette with a nicotine and flavor cartridge or filling it with liquid nicotine and then smoking it as normal cigarette without the need to light it.

A small battery inside the device will activate a system designed to vaporize the liquid, so the user can inhale it. The user will inhale and exhale the vapor, and it is claimed that provide the desired effects of nicotine without the dangers of smoking.  In reality, there has not been much testing on the practice of vaping, and there is no long-term usage data, so scientists do not know if these claims are true. Continue reading

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Punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit in Boston are those that exceed merely simply compensation and are awarded with the intent to punish the defendant. Such damages often far exceed one’s actual losses and are intended to punish egregious or malicious action and to encourage reform or prevent the defendant – or others – from repeating their actions. wheelchair5

There have been cases in which courts have handed down eye-popping punitive damage awards, but that is usually only with the most serious of cases that involve catastrophic injury and death. The Massachusetts Legislature understands that there is unequal bargaining power between an individual claimant and, say, an international insurance company or a huge corporation. That’s why they have found that in some cases, monetary sanctions are the only to way to sway unlawful and unethical behavior.

Most of the time, these verdicts are affirmed. However in some cases, punitive damages may be deemed constitutionally excessive because they violate due process. Since 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided at least nine cases that involve the question of constitutional punitive damages limitations, with seven of those using the theory of due process violations.

The high court’s precedent on this issue holds that a punitive damage award has to be set aside if the state court:

  • Finds the award grossly excessive;
  • Fails to provide defendant with a reasonable procedure to protect form grossly excessive awards.

Continue reading