Articles Posted in Personal Injuries

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Inbound_Orange_Line_train_at_Assembly_station,_2_September_2014Last week, on October 26, 2016, around 4:40 P.M., the northbound Orange Line train, while stopped at Back Bay Station in Boston, Massachusetts, began to spew smoke. The train had overheated right before rush hour, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (“MBTA”) workers asked passengers to evacuate the station. After the initial panic, which caused riders to break windows of the train to escape, five people had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The northbound orange line began to leave the Back Bay station when the operations center “was called about a report of a propulsion issue.” This issue resulted in visible smoke to riders onboard the train. With the doors to the train closed, people on the train began to break the windows to escape. In a statement, the MBTA explained that the doors to the train had not been malfunctioning. Instead, the doors were closed because the train was moving away from the station. When the issue was discovered, the “motor person had begun promptly opening doors to allow passengers to evacuate safely, away from (the) live third rail.” However, there was no initial announcement over the intercom of what was occurring, which led a lot of scared people to self-evacuate through the windows. As a result of this chaos, five people were treated for injuries at the station, and three passengers had to be taken to the hospital. Continue reading

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Interstate_495_Massachusetts_shieldTragedy struck earlier this week, when a Massachusetts’ woman drove the wrong way on Interstate 495 in Middleborough, killing four college students. The four students who were killed were later identified by Massachusetts’ state police as Kraig A. Diggs, 20, Jordan J. Galvin-Jutras, 19, Jordan J. Fisher, 19, and Cory P. Licata, 18. The female driver, Valantein V. Burson, 31, was also killed in the accident.

On Monday, October 24, 2016, at approximately 12: 11 A.M., Burson, a Stoughton native who counseled troubled teens, was driving her 2011 Infiniti G7, south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 495. She then slammed into a 2003 Mercury sable sedan carrying the four students who were on their way back their Worcester-area colleges. As a result of the impact between the two vehicles, the teen’s vehicle burst into flames.  All four students were pronounced dead at the scene. Continue reading

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bikeCambridge, Massachusetts – On October 5, 2016, Bernard Lavins, a 60-year-old doctor, was riding his bicycle in Porter Square during rush hour, when he was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer.

Mr. Lavins was struck by a Ryder truck with decals bearing the name Mitlitsky Eggs, a company that is based in Lebanon, Connecticut. He was struck at around 8:00 AM, at the intersection of Massachusetts and Somerville avenues. Cyclists passing by the scene expressed shock and sadness. Cambridge defines itself as a bicycle friendly city, but events like this have shaken cyclists who largely traverse through the city using their bicycles. Continue reading

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Car_AccidentOn September 19, 2016, Middlesex prosecutors charged Bradford Casler, 55 , with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of operating a motor vehicle so as to endanger following the fatal Sweet Tomatoes Crash in Newton, Massachusetts.  Mr. Casler plead not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Mr. Casler was the driver of a vehicle that crashed into the popular pizza restaurant Sweet Tomatoes.  With virtually no warning, patrons of the restaurant were unable to jump out of the way in time. As a result, two people, Eleanor Miele, 57, of Watertown, and 32 year-old Gregory D. Morin on Newton were killed. In addition, seven other patrons were also injured.

The Middlesex County prosecutor, Chris Tarrant, stated that witnesses reported that Mr. Casler was speeding on Chestnut Street and failed to brake as he crossed the intersection of Washington.  Mr. Casler was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had the disease for 27 years, but the State has stated that the do not believe his medical condition affected his ability to drive safely.

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imagesOn August 3, 2016, nearly forty years after its first incident of sexual abuse, St. George, a Rhode Island boarding school, settled suit with 30 former students, whose accounts of sexual abuse were either ignored or outright disbelieved by the school. Unfortunately, horrific stories like these are all too common throughout the country, even in Massachusetts and other preparatory schools in New England. While it is impossible to fully compensate minor victims of sexual abuse, survivors may still recover damages from schools that failed to protect children from sexual offenses carried out by staff members at these institutions.

St. George is an elite private boarding school in Rhode Island, which opened its doors to girls around the 1970s. During that time, the school hired a field hockey coach who later became responsible for carrying out terrible abuses on teenage girls. One of the first victims, Anne Scott, sued the school about a decade after the incident. However, she dropped her suit when the school’s attorney argued that Ms. Scott was lying or that she had consensual sex with the then 67-year-old Al Gibbs, the school’s athletic trainer. Years later, more survivors reported abuses at the prep school from Gibbs and other faculty members. The school acknowledged that it mistreated the reports and failed to report the incidents to the appropriate authorities, which was required by law. Continue reading

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After four years of litigation, on July 28, 2016, in Bowers v. P. Wiles Inc., the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), the highest court in Massachusetts, has finally cleared the way for a jury to hear the case between Linda Bowers and P. Wiles Inc. They have expanded the “mode of operation” exception to premises liability of storeowners, making it easier for plaintiffs to prove that storeowners are liable for the injuries caused by the negligence of other customers.

In December of 2011, the plaintiff, Linda Bowers, fractured her hip when she slipped on a wet river stone on the walkway leading to an Agway garden store in Cape Cod. Agway is owned by P. Wiles Inc. Ms. Bowers sued P. Wiles Inc. for negligence, claiming that Agway knew or should have known that other patrons could dislodge stones, creating a fall risk for customers. Ms. Bowers alleges that Agway did not take reasonable steps to prevent customers from tripping and injuring themselves on these stones. After filing her complaint, P. Wiles moved for summary judgment claiming that Ms. Bowers did not have sufficient evidence to show that Agway had actual or constructive knowledge that the stone was there. In fact, Ms. Bowers had admitted that she did not have evidence to show whether the stone was there long enough for Agway to remedy the situation.  Continue reading

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Since its release on July 6th, Pokémon Go has been a party to many injuries, several car accidents and even muggings. So far, injuries sustained have not been fatal. Many players have reported via social media injuries ranging from severe sunburns to twisted ankles from tripping or falling into ditches.

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Pokémon Go is a new app inspired by a video game originally released in 1995 which was played on Gameboys. Soon after its creation, the Pokémon franchise expanded to the creation of a cartoon, along with playing cards and toys. The object of Pokémon Go is literally to “catch ‘em all!” Players walk around using the app, which in turn uses the camera app. As you walk around, the app tells you where you might find Pokémon, which are then viewable through the app. You then “throw” a pokéball at them to capture them.

Aside from injuries, there have also been muggings associated with the game. In Missouri, a group of teenagers were arrested for robbing several Pokémon Go players by using the app against them to lure them to areas where they could easily be overtaken and robbed. The teenagers were able to lure players by setting up pokéstops to “attract Pokémon” and in so doing were able to attract unsuspecting Pokémon Go players.

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On Monday July 18th, 2016 over 50 former professional wrestlers filed a class action lawsuit against the WWE alleging that they each suffered “long term neurological injuries” due to the WWE’s absolute failure to treat them in “any medically competent or meaningful manner.” The lawsuit further states that the WWE had “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the nature and extent of injuries sustained while wrestling. WWE

The injury alleged in the lawsuit is known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head.

CTE was originally discovered in boxers in the 1920’s.  However, recent studies have found CTE in other professional athletes or anyone who has repeatedly experienced head trauma.

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Last week, 2-year old Lane Graves of Nebraska lost his life in a deadly alligator attack at Disney. Reports state that an alligator snatched the boy from the shores of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa where he and his family were vacationing.

While at the Disney Resort, the young boy had been wading close to the shore the lagoon.  The boy’s father desperately attempted to free his child from the alligator while his mother tried to get help from the lifeguard. Tragically, the alligator was too strong and fast for any rescue efforts. The next morning officials reported that they had recovered the body of the boy.  The official cause of death is drowning.

Following the tragic death, Disney released a public statement stating that the company “will thoroughly review the situation for the future.”

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Earlier this month, fifty-year-old Charles Pickett of Battle Creek, Michigan crashed his car into nine bicyclists and then fled the scene.  He is now facing five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily harm.

Just minutes prior to the collision, police in the area had received several concerned calls prompting them to search for an erratically driving truck.  According to one eyewitness, he had just narrowly missed being hit by the truck as he was leaving a local park. He further stated that he didn’t have time to warn the bicyclists before the truck collided into the group – ranging in age from 40 to 74.file000619457980-1

The bicyclists were part of a group who referred to themselves as the “Chain Gang” and regularly took long rides together. They were just 5-miles into their typical 30 mile ride when Pickett struck the bike-enthusiasts. According to the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department, after the truck made impact, Pickett bailed from his truck and fled the scene on foot. Police were able to swiftly find and arrest him.