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Cape Cod work injury cases can be more complicated than they first appear. Sometimes, there is “more to the story” all along, as in a situation in which an injured person may have several legal options resulting from his or her injury – a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer, a product liability claim against the maker of a dangerous product that was used in the workplace, or perhaps a negligence action against a third party (as in a car accident lawsuit brought by a delivery driver hurt in a crash).

In other situations, the case grows more complex over time, as new developments give rise to additional litigation possibilities.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who was injured in 2013 while working on the premises of the defendant company. At the time, the plaintiff was a working for a temporary employment service, from whom she later collected workers’ compensation benefits due to her injury. After being hired as a full-time employee by the defendant, the plaintiff filed a third-party action against an employee of the defendant’s, whom she alleged negligently caused her injury. The plaintiff also named the defendant in the suit, pursuant to the doctrine of respondeat superior.

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There are many steps to receiving fair compensation for injuries suffered due to the negligence of others. The first step in a typical Cape Cod personal injury lawsuit is an investigation into the accident giving rise to the plaintiff’s claim. The case then proceeds through a phase called “discovery,” during which issues such as the defendant’s alleged breach of duty and the plaintiff’s medical treatment and expenses are explored.

If an amicable settlement cannot be reached between the parties, the next step is a trial. In the case of a jury trial, each party can ask the court to give the jury specific instructions, based on his or her view of the law that is applicable to the facts of the case. It is up to the trial court judge to decide which instructions will actually be given. If one side or the other is displeased with the judge’s instructions, an appeal may follow the jury’s verdict.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) case decided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant inn, seeking payment for personal injuries that she allegedly suffered when she fell on the defendant’s property and broke her arm. According to the plaintiff, the defendant’s negligence was to blame for her fall. The case was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict in the inn’s favor on the plaintiff’s negligence claim. The plaintiff appealed.

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To those injured in a Cape Cod car accident, the issue of whether or not a certain insurance company should provide coverage for an accident may seem like an “open and shut” case. Sometimes, this is true.

However, often it is not true. Many issues can arise in deciding whether coverage is available, and, ultimately, it is up to the courts to decide whether or not a particular insurance company has an obligation to pay a claim in a given case.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the plaintiff was a man who was seriously injured in an automobile accident in 2014. At the time of the accident, the man was riding in a car owned and operated by another individual. The plaintiff entered into a settlement with the driver, who was at fault in the accident, for the full policy limits of her automobile liability insurance policy.

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If you or someone in your family has suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, you should know your legal rights – and your obligations at trial. It is important to note that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a medical negligence case, meaning that he or she has to provide proof of each element of the case sufficient to convince the jury beyond a preponderance of the evidence.

Seeking fair compensation in a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit can be a complex task. As compared to a traditional tort case arising from, for instance, an auto accident, a medical negligence case may trigger more demanding procedural requirements, including the posting of a bond in some instances. As with other types of litigation, a person who believes that they may have a cause of action against a health care worker for medical malpractice should seek counsel as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) case, the plaintiff was a man who sued the defendant hospital, averring that he had been the victim of an act of medical negligence. Apparently, the plaintiff did not have an attorney, either at trial or on appeal. This put him at a serious disadvantage, making it exceptionally difficult to win his case. He began his appeal by complaining to the court of appeals that the trial court had been error in declining to appoint counsel to represent him as he pursed monetary compensation against the defendant hospital. He also argued that the trial court should have reduced the amount of the bond required by Massachusetts General Laws ch. 231, § 60B. (His failure to post the required bond resulted in dismissal of his case.)

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In a Cape Cod criminal case, the Commonwealth has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If police acted illegally during the arrest or investigation of the case, it may be possible to have certain evidence excluded at trial.

Even if a defendant is convicted, a case may be reviewed on appeal. It is not unheard of for an appellate court to disagree with a trial court as to whether the evidence introduced at trial was sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently reviewed by the Massachusetts Appeals Court, a criminal defendant was convicted of several crimes involving the unlawful possession of a firearm. He sought reversal of his conviction on appeal, arguing, among other things, that police had violated the Fourth Amendment by conducting an illegal search and seizure and that there was insufficient evidence to support certain aspects of his conviction.

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When someone causes the death of another person through an act of negligence or conduct that is considered to be willful, wanton, or reckless, the wrongdoer may be held liable through a Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit. Of course, liability will not apply in every instance in which one person is responsible for the death of another, as there are several legal defenses to a civil lawsuit claiming wrongful death.

If the defendant believes that he or she has a defense to the plaintiff’s claims such that a finding of liability would be improper, he or she may file a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s case. The trial court must then decide whether the plaintiff’s case should be dismissed or should proceed to trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recently reported case, the plaintiff was the personal representative of the estate of a man who was killed by the defendant state trooper during an incident in 2013. The decedent had a long history of mental illness and sometimes failed to comply with doctor’s orders regarding the taking of his prescription medication. On the day of the incident at issue, the decedent had allegedly been traveling erratically along a multi-lane state highway before coming to a stop on the side of the road. Another motorist called 911, and the defendant trooper responded to the call during which the decedent was shot.

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A Cape Code product liability lawsuit can arise from many different types of products, including prescription medications. Drug-based product liability cases can involve products that were defectively designed or manufactured, but more often they may claim that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers of possible complications from usage of the medication.

Of course, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant is liable for his or her injuries, and this can be a challenge in many cases. If the plaintiff’s complaint does not alleged sufficient facts to support a viable cause of action against the defendant, the trial court may dismiss the plaintiff’s case.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently ruled upon by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the plaintiff was a man who claimed that he suffered serious side effects from a prescription medication and that the defendants, a drug manufacturer and a research and development company, failed to warn him of these possible issues. The drug in question was Risperdal, which is an anti-psychotic drug. The plaintiff, who is an inmate at a correctional institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was purportedly prescribed the drug due to a diagnosis of a personality disorder. According to the plaintiff, the drug caused him to gain weight, have tremors, and develop gynecomastia (increased breast tissue).

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In a Cape Cod car accident case, the plaintiff may seek reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages necessitated by the motor vehicle collision. He or she may also seek money damages for pain and suffering in most cases.

However, if the plaintiff’s medical expenses are $2000 or less, he or she is not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering unless certain exceptions (such as permanent disfigurement or loss of sight) apply.

Facts of the Case

In a recent unreported court decision issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court, the plaintiff was allegedly injured while riding in a wheelchair inside a vehicle owned by one defendant and driven by the other. According to the plaintiff, the driver stopped abruptly, causing her to fall part of the way out of her wheelchair. At trial, the plaintiff introduced certified copies of her medical records, but she did not submit any evidence of her medical costs. Continue reading

A Massachusetts product liability lawsuit can arise from a wide array of defective products. Sometimes, these products are the subject of a recall by the manufacturer or a governmental entity, but often they are not.

Nevertheless, it is wise to stay abreast of the latest recalls in order to avoid possible safety issues concerning consumer products, motor vehicles, foods, or other items.

Vehicle Recalls Recently Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a website that lists all of the latest recalls for cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans, and the like. You can search for recalls specific to your automobile if you have the vehicle identification number (VIN). Recent recalls include certain Chevrolet Silverados and Tahoes, which may develop a loose or inoperative brake pedal. Because this could result in a crash, vehicle owners should contact General Motors for information on having a repair made.

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In a Massachusetts wrongful death suit seeking compensation for the death of a loved one, a claim must be filed in a court with appropriate jurisdiction and venue over the matter. Generally speaking, venue in a personal injury or wrongful death case can be found in the county and state in which the accident happened.

Sometimes, however, a matter is more complicated, such as when the federal courts have either concurrent or exclusive jurisdiction over a particular claim. In such a situation, if suit is filed in an inappropriate or inconvenient forum it may be possible to have the case transferred to the appropriate federal court.

Facts of the Case

In a federal district court case originally filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the plaintiffs were the owners of a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea during a clamming voyage that departed from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in early December 2017. Two crew members perished during voyage, and representatives of their estates sought to file claims against the owners of the vessel. The vessel owners’ suit sought exoneration from or limitation as to liability based upon the Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30501 et seq. The federal district court in New Jersey entered an order admonishing all persons with claims arising from the sinking of the plaintiffs’ vessel to file such claims by a certain deadline. Continue reading