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Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

The right of a plaintiff to choose the venue in which to bring a personal injury case is well-established under the law. As a result, the ultimate issues of the case are normally decided by the court in the jurisdiction where the plaintiff files the lawsuit. However, in some cases, a defendant may argue that the case should be heard in a different venue and would petition the court to dismiss the case. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed the grounds for dismissing a case based on forum non conveniens in a personal injury case in which the plaintiff was injured in Greece. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to see what steps you can take to obtain compensation for your losses.

Historical Facts

According to reports, the plaintiff was injured while on vacation in Greece with her husband when the boat she was riding in was struck by a boat owned by the defendant, necessitating significant treatment in Greece and the United States. The Greek Port Authority undertook an inquiry after the disaster, which included acquiring thirteen witness accounts. The plaintiff then filed a personal injury action in Massachusetts district court against the defendant, who was a Massachusetts resident. On the grounds of forum non conveniens, the defendant filed a request to dismiss.

Dismissing a Case Due to Inconvenient Forum

The law stipulates that a plaintiff’s choice of forum should be respected only in exceptional circumstances. As a result, a defendant asserting forum non conveniens must show that a sufficient alternative forum exists and that judicial efficiency and convenience weigh heavily in favor of litigating the issue in a different forum. An adequate alternative forum exists, according to the court, if the defendant can show that the other forum meets the plaintiff’s claims and that the defendant is willing to be served in that forum. Continue Reading ›

In some types of Massachusetts negligence cases, there are special requirements in addition to the usual steps for filing suit against the allegedly responsible party. For instance, a Cape Cod premises liability case involving a governmental entity may require notice of the accident to be given well before the time that the statute of limitations would otherwise run. If notice is not given, the plaintiff’s case is likely to fail, even if all other requirements are met.

Because of special situations like this, it is very important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury caused by another’s neglect, recklessness, or carelessness. An attorney who focuses his or her practice on these types of cases can help you avoid procedural pitfalls that could end your case before you have your day in court.

Facts of the Case

in a recent (unreported) case, the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against two defendants, a maritime academy and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, attempting to assert certain claims sounding in tort and contract. According to the plaintiff, she was injured when she fell during a boat ride on the academy’s premises on September 24, 2016. The plaintiff’s attorney sent a letter of presentation to the defendant academy on or about March 10, 2017, purportedly advising the defendant academy of the plaintiff’s claims. The letter was, in turn, forwarded to the defendant academy’s insurance company. After more information was requested, a second, more-detailed letter and settlement demand was sent to the defendant academy’s counsel by the plaintiff’s attorney on August 23, 2017.

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One of the first considerations in a personal injury lawsuit in Massachusetts, such as a negligence claim arising from a Cape Cod boating accident, is the forum in which the plaintiff’s claim will be filed. Often, there is but a single possibility for the filing of such a case, so the inquiry is a relatively simple one.

However, some situations lend themselves to the possibility of jurisdiction in more than one court – a state court or a federal court, perhaps. Sometimes, two states may arguably both have jurisdiction over a given case.

Rarely – but sometimes – two different nations may have jurisdiction of a particular lawsuit. In such a situation, it is up to the court system to decide which nation’s court will provide the more convenient forum based on the situation at hand.

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Summertime and the living is … well, it’s supposed to be easy, but with numerous recalls of foods, toys, and recreational equipment, there’s never a good time to take a vacation from being a cautious consumer. Fortunately, there are some websites that help consumers keep track of the latest in safety recall information. (Of course, not every dangerous or defective product is recalled, so a particular product’s absence from a recall list is not a guarantee of safety.)

To be on the safe side, take a few minutes to peruse these government websites for the latest information before embarking on your particular variety of summer fun.

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Cape Cod’s connection with the sea gives it a rich history with the boating industry. Inhabitants have a deep connection with boating as a result. Boating safety and the prevention of boating accidents have always been a major concern for many Cape Cod residents. Consequently, the ramifications of boating while intoxicated have been in the news of late. The South Coast Today reported that Cape Cod constituents have requested that a local Cape Cod politician reintroduce several bills to the Massachusetts House of Representatives that would strengthen the Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws.

The two bills, H1658 and H1659, aim to apply the same results for operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI) as for operating a motor boat under the influence (BUI). Currently, Massachusetts has two separate statutes for a BUI and an OUI. Supporters of the new bills hope they will fix some perceived weaknesses of the laws. For example, a BUI is not listed on a motor vehicle record, and without pulling a criminal history it is hard to determine whether an individual has a BUI. Furthermore, there is no way to prevent an individual with multiple OUIs or BUIs from registering or operating a boat. In Massachusetts, a boat operator does not need a license to operate a boat, but they are required to register their vessels. There is nothing preventing someone with several BUI or OUI charges from purchasing and registering any number of boats.

This problem has been highlighted in some high profile BUI cases. For instance, during a 2009 Independence Day celebration, an intoxicated Cape Cod man steered his boat into a secured fireworks area. Authorities were able to stop the operator and charge him with a BUI. It surfaced in the press that the operator already had five convictions for drunk driving and seven more for operating a boat intoxicated. Astonishingly, he had been able to purchase and register the same boat he steered into the fireworks area. Massachusetts was able to prevent him from operating a car intoxicated as he had previously lost his driver’s license for life; however, there was nothing to prevent him from registering and driving his boat. Continue Reading ›

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