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While parties can usually be held responsible for inflicting bodily harm on others, recovering damages might be difficult when the person who caused the injury works for a public employer, such as a city. Specifically, the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA), guards public corporations from liability in a range of situations and places strict notice obligations on potential litigants. A court in Massachusetts recently reviewed what is considered adequate sufficient notice of a potential tort claim under the MTCA in a case involving injuries incurred during an arrest. If you suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and should confer with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer promptly.

Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff was apparently driving home from work when he was stopped by a police officer that worked for the defendant city. The officer apparently apprehended the plaintiff due to an anonymous tip that the plaintiff was carrying a gun. The officer hauled the plaintiff out of his car, pushed him to the ground, and fractured his neck, collarbone, and shoulder. The officer did not find a gun in the plaintiff’s possession, and therefore he was released.

The plaintiff allegedly filed a case against the defendant city pursuant to the MTCA, asserting it was liable for the officer’s negligence. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the plaintiff failed to provide the required notice under the MTCA. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Continue Reading ›

People frequently allow their spouses to drive their cars without a second thought. If the spouse causes an accident, though, both the spouse and the owner may be held responsible for any injuries that arise as a result of the collision. Under Massachusetts law, though, liability will only be imposed on both spouses, if the courts can exercise personal jurisdiction over them. This was demonstrated in a recent lawsuit arising out of a car accident, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against an out of state defendant who had no contacts with the state.   If you were hurt in a car accident, numerous parties could be to blame, and you should consult with a knowledgeable Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your possible claims.

The Subject Collision

Allegedly, the plaintiff and his wife both resided in Massachusetts. The defendants, who were married, lived in Virginia. They visited Massachusetts in September 2018 to attend a family friend’s wedding. The defendant husband was waiting for his wife to pick him up outside of a hotel. At the same time, the plaintiff was riding a motorcycle. The defendant wife, who was operating her husband’s car, struck the plaintiff, causing him to suffer significant harm. The plaintiff subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against the defendants. The defendant husband moved for dismissal of the claims against him, arguing the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction Over an Out-of-State Vehicle Owner

A court can exercise jurisdiction over a person who causes a tortious injury through an omission or act, either directly or through an agent, under Massachusetts’s long-arm legislation. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant wife was acting as his agent. However, the court determined that there was insufficient evidence to show agency. Continue Reading ›

Generally, employees who are injured while on the job are limited to seeking workers’ compensation benefits, as the exclusivity provision of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) precludes them from pursuing civil claims against their employers. There are exceptions to the exclusivity provision, however, that permit for the imposition of liability on an employer that causes a plaintiff’s harm. The exceptions to the exclusivity rule were the subject of a recent Massachusetts decision in a case involving a law firm employee seeking redress for harm caused by willful acts. If you sustained losses due to someone else’s reckless or wanton acts, it is smart to consult a Massachusetts personal injury attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked at the defendant’s law firm. She was his only employee at first, but over time he added more members to his team. He belittled and verbally attacked the plaintiff on a frequent basis, and screamed and shouted in her face.

It is reported that the plaintiff eventually stopped working for the defendant. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against him, alleging he intentionally caused emotional distress and asserting other claims. The defendant moved for the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, on the grounds that that they were barred by the Act’s exclusivity provision. His motion was denied and the case was tried. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and the defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

Those who are hurt on the job may be eligible to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. They may also be able to file civil claims for damages if their injuries were caused by someone other than their employer. During civil cases, defendants will commonly try to submit proof of the plaintiff’s  payments from other sources, but typically be barred from doing so because it would be prejudicial to the plaintiff. Recently, a Massachusetts court recently addressed the question of whether the inverse is true, in  a dog bite case in which the plaintiff introduced evidence of the workers’ compensation benefits he received.  If you were hurt in a dog attack, it is smart to speak to a Massachusetts personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Defendant’s Injury

Reportedly, the plaintiff, a mailman, offered to cover a route for one of his coworkers. When the plaintiff was delivering mail to the defendant’s house, the defendant’s dog approached him. He attempted to give the dog a treat, but the dog attacked him. He was eventually able to free himself from the dog, at which point the defendant came out of his house to inquire if the dog had bitten him.

Allegedly, the plaintiff submitted a workers’ compensation claim seeking benefits for a wrist injury he sustained in the attack. He subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against the defendant as well, seeking damages under the dog bite statute. The plaintiff requested that the court allow him to introduce evidence of the workers’ compensation benefits he received following the incident at trial. The defendant opposed the plaintiff’s request, arguing that that jury would interpret the evidence as proof of the defendant’s fault and the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff’s motion was granted, and the jury ultimately found for the plaintiff. The defendant subsequently appealed. Continue Reading ›

Property owners have a general obligation to ensure that persons who legally enter their buildings are not exposed to hazardous conditions. If they fail to do so and people suffer injury as a result, they can be held accountable for damages in a civil case. However, as stated in a recent ruling delivered in a Massachusetts premises liability case, the duty to safeguard business invitees from harm does not extend to the property’s insurers. If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you might be owed damages, and you should contact a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

The Harm Sustained by the Plaintiff

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was a plumber. He fell into a sump hole in a basement that was filled with scorching water while servicing a boiler at a house. The sump was connected to the boiler’s drain valves when it was installed in 2001, allowing water to drain away from the boiler. Following his injury, the plaintiff filed a complaint, naming as defendants the insurance and reinsurance firms that provided coverage for the premises, as well as the adjuster who worked for the insurance company that conducted a boiler check in 2015.

According to reports, the plaintiff claimed that as part of the inspection, the defendants had a duty to detect the open sump’s risks. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the defendants’ motion. The plaintiff appealed, but on appeal, the trial court’s decision was upheld. Continue Reading ›

Fast food businesses serve a high volume of customers each day, and it’s not uncommon for trash or spills to accumulate on the ground. As such, people often slip and fall on transient substances on the floors of fast food establishments and suffer injuries. In many cases, a person hurt in an accident at a fast-food establishment will sue the owner for damages. Recently, a Massachusetts court issued an order in which it explained what a person seeking compensation for a slip and fall incident at a fast-food establishment must prove to demonstrate liability. If you were hurt in a fall, you should speak with a capable Massachusetts personal injury attorney to assess what claims you might be able to file.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the defendant fast food establishment for lunch. She placed her order, received it, and sat down. She then got back up and, while using a cane, walked to the condiment counter. On the way there, she encountered a pool of an unknown substance on the floor, which caused her to lose her footing and fall.  She couldn’t tell what kind of liquid it was or how long it had been on the floor but reported that it soaked through her clothes.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the owner of the restaurant, saying that it was negligent in failing to keep the property safe. The restaurant owner moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not prove it breached any duty owed to the plaintiff. The court denied the motion. Continue Reading ›

Ride-sharing companies generally maintain that the people who drive on their behalf are independent contractors, not employees. As such, if a person working for a ride-sharing company causes an accident, the company must likely will deny that it is vicariously liable. Discovery is critical in such cases, and it allows plaintiffs to obtain information that could support their claims, but defendants often deny that such discovery is necessary and refuse to comply with plaintiffs’ requests. This was demonstrated in a recent Massachusetts case in which the defendant ride-sharing company moved for a protective order to quash the plaintiff’s requests. If you were hurt in a collision involving a ride-sharing company, it is advisable to speak to a capable Massachusetts car accident lawyer to assess what damages you may be owed.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was walking in a crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant driver. The plaintiff sustained injuries in the crash and subsequently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts seeking compensation from the defendant driver, as well as the defendant ride-sharing company, who the plaintiff alleged employed the defendant driver.

Allegedly, the plaintiff sent the defendant company interrogatories and requests for production of documents seeking, among other things, information regarding the relationship between the defendant company and the defendant driver. The defendant company filed a motion for a protective order, asking the court to rule that it did not have to answer the requests. In response, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel the defendant company to respond. Continue Reading ›

Smoking is a deadly habit, and thousands of people die from smoking-related illnesses each year. People in modern society generally understand cigarettes to be dangerous, but in prior times the risks associated with smoking were less clear. As such, in the late 1990s, the Attorney General filed a complaint against cigarette manufacturers and obtained substantial damages via a settlement agreement. The agreement did not preclude other parties from pursuing claims against cigarette manufacturers, though, as illustrated in a recent Massachusetts ruling issued in a wrongful death case. If you suffered harm due to a dangerous product, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to evaluate your potential claims.

The History of Proceedings

Allegedly, the plaintiff, the wife of a deceased smoker, brought wrongful death claims against the defendant, the cigarette manufacturer. The complaint alleged, among other things, that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s husband’s death by selling unreasonably dangerous and defective cigarettes. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The court entered a judgment in the plaintiff’s favor, and the defendant appealed.

Claim Preclusion Under Massachusetts Law

On appeal, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s claims were precluded by a previous settlement agreement between the State Attorney General and the defendant. The appellate ultimately disagreed and affirmed the trial court ruling. Continue Reading ›

Many of the same obligations apply to businesses run by federal agents as they do to non-public corporations. For example, if a person is injured at a government building due to a slip and fall accident, the person can file a premises liability claim against the federal government. A Massachusetts court recently clarified what a plaintiff needs show to demonstrate the government’s culpability for harm caused by a slip and fall accident. If you were injured as a result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you should consult with a knowledgeable Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.

The Plaintiff’s Accident

The complainant is said to have fallen while visiting the post office on a rainy day. She was injured and filed a premises liability claim against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a result (the Act). After discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court refused the defendant’s motion after considering the facts.

Developing Evidence for Premises Liability Claims

The federal government is liable in tort to the same extent and in the same manner as a private individual in similar circumstances under the Act. Because the plaintiff’s accident happened in Massachusetts, she needed to show that the defendant was negligent under Massachusetts law. Continue Reading ›

A person who lends a vehicle to a dangerous driver in Massachusetts may be found negligent if the driver causes a collision that results in bodily injury. However, there are specific requirements that a plaintiff must meet in order to demonstrate an automobile owner’s culpability for an accident. A Massachusetts court recently considered the negligence of a car owner and what a plaintiff needs show to establish the right to claim damages. If you were injured by a negligent driver while driving a loaned car, you may be entitled to compensation, and it is crucial to talk with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff was injured in a collision caused by the defendant driver, according to reports. At the time of the collision, the defendant driver, who was 26 years old, had ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder. He lived alone but was supported by his legally split parents. The automobile that the defendant driver was driving at the time of the accident belonged to the defendant’s mother.

Despite the fact that the defendant’s mother was aware of his previous accidents, she allegedly let him to drive the car as if it were his own. The plaintiff eventually filed a case against the defendant and his mother, citing negligence against the mother among other reasons. She then filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the matter. Continue Reading ›

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