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While it is not the favorite pastime of everyone in the greater Boston area, deer hunting is actually quite popular in much of Massachusetts and throughout New England. As we find ourselves in hunting season, it is not surprising to hear about hunting accidents on the news.   While not every routine accident will make the news, some capture the public attention more than others.

deer-1387132According to a recent news feature from M Live, one woman, who is not a hunter, was apparently walking through a plowed-over cornfield with her daughter when her daughter saw a deer through her binoculars. It was a buck deer that they assumed had been shot and was dead. At this point, she decided they should take the deer and use the meat to feed the family. It is not unheard of for a hunter to shoot a deer, but the deer gets away only to die a short time later. Continue reading

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Two Boston bus carriers shut down by federal authorities earlier this year are now trying to get back up and running. The bus carriers, Lucky Star and Fung Wah, ran regular bus trips between South Station and New York’s Chinatown. wheels-on-a-bus-1363811-m.jpg

Our Boston bus accident attorneys know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows 283 people were killed in bus crashes in 2011 alone. Since bus crashes can be serious and even fatal for passengers, motorists should be cautious about riding on bus carriers with a history of federal violations.
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The meningitis outbreak connected to a New England compounding facility quickly escalated over the weekend and has now sickened more than 200 and claimed 15 lives. NBC News is now reporting that two more drugs are being linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak being blamed on contaminated back pain injections.

Both those drugs also came from the New England Compounding Center, according to a statement from the Food & Drug Administration. One is a steroid called triamcinolone acetonide and another is a product used during heart surgery. 861689_intradermic_needle.jpg

Boston Personal Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman notes the New England pharmacy has now issued a recall of its entire product line — a PDF on the FDA website that scrolls on for pages.

“Triamcinolone acetonide is a type of steroid injectable product made by NECC. The cases of meningitis identified to date have been associated with methylprednisolone acetate, another similar steroid injectable product,” The FDA said in a statement.

Previously, three batches of methylprednisolone were recalled. The steroid is injected into the back to treat pain. Authorities remain concerned about the crisis’ continuing escalation because the initial recall impacted as many as 14,000 patients and victims are not being diagnosed until about three weeks after injection.

Back injections may also be a particularly effective way of transmitting fungal meningitis, which attacks the membrane around the spine and brain. Meningitis is a life-threatening health emergency with symptoms at onset similar to those of the flu, including headache and nausea. A number of patients have suffered strokes.

The FDA is reiterating its warning: All products distributed to medical professionals by NECC should be retained, secured and withheld from use.

It’s not the first time the the compounding facility has run afoul of regulators. In 2006, it was warned that is was going far beyond its licensing authority in compounding and packaging drugs. Unfortunately, these facilities, which mix custom drugs from FDA-approved compounds, are not subject to federal oversight. Such oversight is left to the states — Congressional gridlock has failed to tackle the issue in recent years.

“FDA is particularly concerned about the manipulation of sterile products when a sterile container is opened or otherwise entered to conduct manipulations,” the agency said in its 2006 warning letter to NECC.
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Steroid injections used to treat back pain have now been linked to the a fungal meningitis outbreak that has claimed at least five lives. Other patients have suffered strokes believed to be the result of infection.

Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman urges patients taking steroid injections for back pain seek independent medical evaluation if concerned. Certainly anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should take the matter very seriously. 1028452_syringes_and_vial.jpg

Meningitis-related deaths have been linked to injectable steroids distributed by the New England Compounding Center — a compounding pharmacy based in Framingham. Confirmation came as an unopened vial from the facility tested positive for the bacteria. As ABC News reports, there is increasing health and safety concerns about such drug compounding facilities, which operate with little federal oversight.

Roughly 7,500 such pharmacies specialize in concocting custom medicines. While FDA-approved ingredients are used in the compounded products, the final product does not receive such federal oversight.

“Obviously something egregious must have been going on at the New England Compounding Center,” said Dr. William Schaffner, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “The breaches in good manufacturing practice and infection control must have been substantial in order for something like that to occur.”

Because of the nature of meningitis, which infects the membranes around the brain and spinal cord, injections for back pain may be a particularly effective way to transmit life-threatening infections. The National Institutes of Health reports infections are extremely serious and may result in death or brain damage — even with the proper medical treatment.

Acute bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency that requires immediate hospital treatment.

Symptoms of meningitis include:

-Chills or fever

-Headaches and stiff neck
-Changes in mental status, agitation, decreased consciousness

-Poor eating
-Rapid breathing, fast heart beat

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman is aware that dozens of these cases have been reported in the last 30 days. Patients who have contracted fungel meingitis from the use of methylprednisolone acetate, a corticosteroid that is injected into the spine, have been reported in at least 6 states. Health officials continue to be concerned about more cases spreading throughout the country.

The Framiningham lab is a compounding facility, which prepares and mixes drugs and solutions. Early reports suggest the company had been previously warned by the Food & Drug Administration about practices that increased the risk of drug contamination. The FDA reports fungal contamination was found in a sealed vial of methylprednisolone acetate collected from NECC and that the firm has voluntarily ceased all operations and surrendered its license to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy at the beginning of this month. The product is also being voluntarily recalled.

Anyone who has purchased a product from NECC is advised not to use it. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

The first case was reported Sept. 21 by the Tennessee Health Department, after a patient began experiencing symptoms of infection 19 days after injection. At least 42 cases have already been reported in six states, including Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

The New England Compounding Center located in Framingham voluntarily recalled the following lots of methylprednisolone acetate (PF) 80mg/ml:

Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012 Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012 Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013
The facility has recalled nearly 18,000 vials. Thus far, 75 clinics in 23 states have received the recalled vials and have been told to begin notifying affected patients.
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Santa’s making a list and he’s checking it twice. But is he checking the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s (CPSC) website to see if any of his presents are on the latest list of recalls? Products that you may already have, or those you’re planning on wrapping up to give to loved ones for Christmas, could be on the CPSC’s recall list. For this reason, you’re urged to check out the list to help ensure no one is injured in your family because of a defective product in Massachusetts.
Our Boston personal injury attorneys would like to share with you some of the most recent recalls from the CPSC.

Recent recalls from the CPSC:

Gas Rangetop with Grill from General Electric:

General Electric is recalling its Monogram® Pro Rangetop with Grill because the burners that use liquefied petroleum could fail to ignite if the power knob is left between OFF and LITE. When the knob is left in this position, built-up gas could cause a delayed ignition and cause an explosion. Nearly 500 of these grills are on the recall list. They were all sold by General Electric distributors and authorized representative across the country from May of 2008 to August of 2011. They cost from $3,400 to $4,700. Owners of the unit will receive a free repair to fix it.

Glider Recliners with Ottomans from Big Lots:

There were nearly 400,000 of these products sold in the U.S. The recalled items are the Leather Glider Recliners with Ottomans and the Microfiber Glider Recliners. The problem is that there’s a gap between some of the parts on the chair and pose an entrapment hazard to small children. Injuries have already been reported. Dongguan Shindin Metal & Plastic Products Ltd. manufactured the items. They were sold at Big Lots stores around the country for about $200 from January of 2005 to December of 2009. Anyone who has any of these items should call Big Lots and pick up a free repair kit.

B.O.B. Jogging Strollers:

More than 400,000 strollers were recalled because the drawstring on the stroller’s canopy can serve as a strangulation hazard. Also, the company’s logo can come detached and be a choking hazard to a child in the stroller. Reports of injury have already been received. These devices were made from November 1998 to November 2010. The items were sold on, sporting goods stores, Babies R’ Us, REI and other children stores. They cost up to $600.

Child’s Folding Tent from IKEA:

More than 100,000 BUSA children’s folding tents were sold at IKEA stores from August 2011 to September 2011. They’re all being recalled because of laceration and puncture hazards. The tents have broken in many cases and have exposed the wire ends and have caused injury. Model number 90192009 is recalled. They ran about $8. If you have one of these tents, take it back to an IKEA store for a refund.
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A recent skylight accident in Massachusetts took the life of a woman after she fell nearly five stories through a ceiling window, according to The Boston Globe. After an investigation at the scene, officials have concluded that there was no foul play involved, although they were unable to determine why she was on the roof to begin with. They have also concluded that no drugs or alcohol were involved.

“There is no indication of foul play … [and] no indication it was a result of drugs or alcohol,” said Boston Police Department spokesman Officer Eddy Chrispin, according to the Globe story.
Our Boston premise liability attorneys understand that building, company, complex and apartment owners are required to keep locations reasonably safe. These individuals are required by federal law to ensure that hazards are removed, safety equipment is provided and that visitors are kept within safe areas. It’s best for building owners and managers to keep visitors off roofs and to keep all fire exits cleared.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the accident shortly before 9 p.m. after receiving a call from one of the woman’s friends. The friend alerted responders that the woman had fallen through a skylight that was on the seventh story of the building and had landed on the third floor of a dark, walled-off shaft inside a building on Summer Street.

Responders had to cut through a number of walls before they were able to locate the woman. The search took about an hour, according to Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. The search took longer than anticipated because officials were directed to the wrong building by the 911 caller. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The owners of the building in the 200 block of Summer Street, New Jersey-based Normandy Real Estate Partners, released a statement saying they were willingly cooperating with the officers’ investigation into the accident, but were unable to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

In many cases, when someone is hurt on a property the landowners and owning companies can be held liable for damages caused by the accident if they’ve neglected to safely secure the premise. These accidents can happen in a number of ways, including slip and fall, inadequate maintenance, inadequate security, defective conditions, etc. Premise liability claims can also be filed if an accident occurs while using certain equipment on a property. In this case, a third party can also be reliable for the damages.

Regardless, this can be a long and complicated process and is why it is crucial for you to contact an experienced attorney if you feel you have a premise liability claim. A lawyer can help you through every detail of the accident to determine who is responsible for providing you with the compensation you may be entitled to.
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A bicyclist ran right into the side of an SUV that was traveling on Route 20 about to turn left on Glen Road, according to Wayland Police. The Massachusetts bicycle accident left the biker at the Boston Medical Center in critical condition. Officers report that they found a bicycle helmet at the scene of the accident, which they assume the bike was wearing when the accident occurred.

Officials are still investigating the accident. No charges have been filed, according to the Sadbury Patch.
Our Boston bicycling accident attorneys understand just how dangerous it can be to ride a bicycle through the Greater Boston area. Luckily, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is working alongside MassBike to create new designs for bike racks that would make parking at the Pedal & Park areas more convenient for our two-wheeled travelers. Pedal & Park is a feature that will be coming to a number of MBTA stations in the area, including Oak Grove, Davis Square, Malden Center, Ashmont and Braintree. Installation of the Pedal & Park feature has already begun at the South Station and should be completed soon.

The Pedal & Park racks will encourage bike riders to ride to the station to park their bike before traveling to the next area. This system will help to keep our local bicyclists away from congested and dangerous areas of traffic in the city.

The new program also aims to get more people out of their car and on to their bikes, which would also help to decrease traffic in crowded areas. The additional and more convenient parking facilities will offer bike owners confidence in finding a spot when they arrive and to have a safe place to park while they’re away.

After receiving feedback from users regarding the racks, a final decision will be made.

For new bikers that may be thinking about using the Pedal & Park feature, you’re urged to register for one of the upcoming bike education courses. These classes help you to improve you bike maneuvering skills and bike safety knowledge.

A majority of bike-related fatalities are a result of head injury. Children between the ages of 5 and 18 account for more than 50 percent of the bicycle accident victims that sustain injury. Male riders are three times more likely to be injured on a bike than female rider. Regardless, everyone is urged to bike safely and to remain cautious in our area. As more and more residents take advantage of the eco-friendly form of transportation, we all still have to worry about the dangers. Please bike safe and take advantage of the safe biking features we have in our area while the weather still permits.
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One way to not let all this winter weather get you down this season is to engage in winter weather sports and activities. Snowmobiling is one activity that winter sports activists find enjoyable. Our Boston personal injury attorneys want to remind snowmobilers to stay safe.

A recent snowmobile accident in Winchendon has left one man fatally injured according to The News Telegram. The 48 year-old man was riding his snowmobile on New Boston Road near Lake Dennison when he crashed into a metal gate. When police arrived the victim was unresponsive and pronounced dead from injuries suffered during the crash.
The Boston Herald reported this is the third snowmobile fatality in Massachusetts this year. The Lake Dennison area recently reported another fatality when the snowmobiler struck a tree near New Boston Road.

The third fatal incident occurred in Methuen at the end of January.

The Weather Channel offers several safety tips to snowmobilers wanting to enjoy the winter activity:

– Maintain a reasonable speed at all times. Excessive speeds can be extremely dangerous, especially in certain weather conditions.

– Operators must be 14 years of age or older to drive a snowmobile in public areas or across highways. Children should only be permitted to drive if they have a full comprehension of the machine and all its parts. Children should always ride with a companion.

– Snowmobiles are built for one or two passengers so don’t ride with more than what your machine is capable of holding.

– Refrain from lending your snowmobile to inexperienced drivers.

– If your snowmobile becomes stuck, never lift the rear to free the track. Debris such has ice chunks, sticks, or rocks could shoot out at you in high velocity and cause severe damage.

– Before heading out in a group to ride, practice handling your snowmobile to get used to how the machine handles. Practice maintaining balance on turns, speed velocity, and maneuvering so you feel in complete control of the vehicle at all times.

– Maintain a safe distance to the snowmobile in front of you when traveling in large groups. Conditions are often unpredictable causing quick turns or short stops.

– Reduce speed on ice or hard packed snow.

Maneuvering a snowmobile can be difficult due to the adverse conditions you may need to drive in. Snowmobilers are reminded to slow down and use caution while you enjoy the ride. Failure to do so could result in a severe or even fatal injury.
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A Roxbury mother and her five children were transported Boston Medical Center after complaining of headaches, lightheadedness and dizziness, the Boston Globe reports.

A carbon monoxide detector installed in the Dudley Street apartment alerted the family to the presence of the invisible, odorless – and potentially deadly – gas. Firefighters found carbon monoxide levels at three times the threshold for residential environments. It is believed the leak began during the night and came from a faulty furnace.
With cooler weather on the horizon, Boston premises liability lawyers are reminding homeowners and landlords that now is the time to check fuel-burning household equipment, ventilation systems and test carbon monoxide detectors. Most serious and fatal cases of carbon monoxide poisoning happen during the winter season, when fuel-burning heating equipment is used with more frequency, snow can block exterior ventilation pipes and cars are left to warm in enclosed garages.

A Boston premise liability case may be filed against landlords, business owners or property owners who fail to properly maintain furnaces and other safety equipment.

The Center for Disease Control reports that 400 Americans die each year from accidental CO poisoning with fatality highest among those 65 and older. Each year, 20,000 people are sent to the emergency room and 4,000 hospitalized due to carbon monoxide intoxication. Those most susceptible to CO poisoning are the very young, the very old and anyone with a heart condition or respiratory problems.

Symptoms of this “silent killer” include nausea, confusion and dizziness, but can be difficult to detect and impossible for sleeping or intoxicated victims to sense. If not treated immediately, CO intoxication can cause permanent brain damage and even death. For those exposed, seeking immediate fresh air can be a life saver.

Particularly now with the winter season approaching, landlords and rental property owners have an obligation to properly maintain household heating equipment and provide a safe environment for renters and their families. If they don’t, a landlord can and should be held responsible if their negligence leads to serious injury or death.
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Authorities on Sunday morning found the body of a man who was killed in a Massachusetts boating accident on Saturday night in Boston Harbor.

The Boston Globe reports that the 47-year-old Weymouth man tried to swim to Graves Light after a pleasure craft began taking on water at about 7 p.m. Rescuers picked up two other people from the boat.

The victim was found 3 miles east of the 21 foot boat, which was half submerged about 500 yards from Graves Light. He was taken to Station Point Allerton.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two other boat passengers after receiving a distress call about 6:50 p.m. A cutter, a 25-foot-rescue boat and a helicopter participated in the search for the victim.

As we have reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, authorities are concerned about the high number of boating accidents occurring off the Massachusetts coast this summer.

Through July 4 weekend, 21 people had died in accidents off the coast this year, compared to 10 people during all of last year.

Authorities are urging boaters to wear life vests and practice other safe boating habits through the height of boating season and the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

A Guide to Massachusetts Boating Laws and Responsibilities is available here.
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