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International travel is available on several of the airlines that serve Massachusetts. As a result, if a passenger is hurt while flying or disembarking from a plane, it may be difficult to determine whether the airline is liable under US law. In many cases, the Montreal Convention applies, and in order to receive damages, a plaintiff must show that specific factors were present at the time of the accident. A recent Massachusetts case addressed the proof that a plaintiff must present in order to claim damages under the Montreal Convention. If you were injured while traveling, you may be entitled to compensation, and you should speak with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your options.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff was reportedly flying from Boston, Massachusetts, to London, England. She was disembarking from the plane in London when she lost her footing on the penultimate step and collapsed, hurting both ankles. Although the step that led her to fall was larger than the previous one, no warnings were given, and no one from the defendant airline offered her aid when she disembarked. Following her fall, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, claiming negligence and seeking damages under the Montreal Convention. The court granted the defendant’s petition for summary judgment on all counts.

Providing Evidence for Claims in Accordance with the Montreal Convention

The court pointed out that both the US and the UK are signatories to the Montreal Convention, which limits liability for international air carriers. A carrier is liable for bodily harm incurred by a passenger if the injury happens while the passenger is on the plane, disembarking, or embarking, and all other claims are preempted if a claim for damages arises under the Convention. To put it another way, an air carrier will not be liable for state law claims for harm covered by the Convention; instead, the Convention will be the sole remedy. Continue Reading ›

Every day, people in Massachusetts are harmed by defective products. As a result, numerous people around the state file product liability cases in an attempt to hold parties who sell unsafe items accountable. In many cases, such lawsuits allege that both state and federal laws have been broken. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed the pleading criteria imposed on a plaintiff asserting state law claims that are comparable to federal law violations. The issue was discussed in a ruling issued in a case where the plaintiff was injured because of defective medical equipment. If you were injured as a result of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your options.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff is said to have taken a supplement created and sold by the defendant. She then experienced serious negative effects, prompting her to initiate a lawsuit against the defendant. She claimed negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and product liability in her complaint. The defendant attempted to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, claiming that federal law preempted them. The request was denied by the trial court, and the defendant appealed, resulting in a reversal of the trial court’s decision on reasons other than those alleged by the defendant.

Pleading Requirements in Federal Cases With State Law Claims

In cases involving FDA-regulated items, the appeal court concluded that state law claims are not preempted by federal law as long as they parallel rather than complement federal requirements. The court went on to say that in such cases, a plaintiff does not have to establish the particular flaw in the device or the specific federal regulation that was allegedly broken in order for a claim to be successful. Continue Reading ›

Massachusetts, like many states, has a “dog bite” law that holds people strictly liable for any injuries their dogs cause innocent people to suffer. While the dog bite law does not require an injured party to establish negligence to recover damages, it does require proof of other elements, like ownership. In a recent opinion, a Massachusetts court analyzed whether a property owner could be held liable under the dog bite law for harm caused by one of its tenant’s dogs. If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite, you should speak to a trusted Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to assess what damages you may be owed.

The Facts Surrounding the Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff rode his bicycle past a residential rental property that the defendant owned. The tenant that lived at the property owned a dog that broke loose and chased the plaintiff. It then bit him, causing him to fall off his bike and suffer injuries. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that pursuant to the dog bite law, he was strictly liable for the plaintiff’s harm. The parties engaged in discovery, after which the defendant moved for via summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The court ruled in favor of the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed.

Liability Under the Dog Bite Law

The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. It explained that despite the plaintiff’s arguments to the contrary, the dog bite law did not apply to the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant. Specifically, the defendant was not the dog’s owner or keeper, and therefore, could not be deemed strictly liable for the harm caused by the dog under the statute. Continue Reading ›

In Massachusetts, people hurt at worker can often recover workers’ compensation benefits but are barred from pursuing personal injury claims against their employer by the exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. While the Act may ultimately bar a plaintiff’s claim against her employer, however, a defendant may not be able to prove that it constitutes grounds for dismissal at the onset of the case, as demonstrated in recent Massachusetts opinion in which the court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. If you suffered bodily harm due to another party’s negligence, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Cape Cod personal injury lawyer to evaluate your options for seeking compensation.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was employed as a machinist for a company that was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the defendant. She suffered injuries while using a machine and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting claims of negligence and negligent supervision and averring that it failed to provide a safe workplace, reasonably supervise the worksite, or properly train its employees.

Allegedly, the defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that it was immune from civil liability under the exclusivity provisions of the Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation Act (the Act). The court denied the defendant’s motion, and it appealed. Continue Reading ›

Massachusetts’ workers’ compensation laws generally preclude people who suffer injuries in the workplace from pursuing civil claims against their employers. People hurt at work may be able to recover damages from third parties that contributed to or caused their harm, however. Generally, they must establish that the negligence of the third party caused their harm; otherwise, they will be denied compensation, as demonstrated in a recent Massachusetts personal injury case. If you were injured at work, you should meet with a skillful Cape Cod personal injury lawyer to determine whether you may be able to pursue claims against parties other than your employer.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked for a roofing company. The defendant hired the plaintiff’s employer to remove snow from a flat roof on an apartment building. While on the job site, the plaintiff fell off of the roof and sustained critical injuries. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth claims that it negligently failed to provide adequate fall protection on the roof.

Allegedly, prior to trial, he moved in limine for an order allowing him to introduce evidence of certain publications and regulations issued by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), but the court denied his motion. The jury attributed thirty percent of the fault for the accident to the defendant and seventy percent of the fault to the plaintiff, and therefore, returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff filed an appeal, asserting that the trial court erred in excluding the OSHA regulations. Continue Reading ›

Trip and fall accidents can cause significant injuries that are not only painful but also require substantial time and money to treat. In many cases, such incidents occur due to dangerous conditions that the injured party encounters when walking on someone else’s property. Whether the property owner will be deemed liable for harm suffered in a fall largely depends on whether the person who fell can show the owner knew or should have known of the issue that caused the person to trip. The evidence needed to prove actual or constructive notice was the topic of an opinion recently issued by a Massachusetts court in a case arising out of a trip and fall. If you were hurt in a fall, it is smart to speak to a trusted Cape Cod premises liability lawyer to assess your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

Reportedly, the plaintiff attended a burial at a cemetery owned by the defendant municipality. After the ceremony concluded, he walked from the gravesite towards his car. He did not walk on a path but over other graves. At one point, he stepped on what he referred to as a soft spot, which created a deep hole. His left foot and ankle got caught in the hole, and he suffered significant injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting its negligence caused his fall. Prior to trial, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing it had not breached any duty owed to the plaintiff. After reviewing the evidence of the case, the court granted the defendant’s motion. Continue Reading ›

People often volunteer in their communities. Unfortunately, during the act of performing good deeds, some people suffer injuries due to the negligence of others. While they can pursue claims for their losses, their ability to recover from their towns may be limited by Massachusetts law, as discussed in a recent opinion. If you were hurt because of another party’s negligence, it is smart to speak to a skillful Cape Cod personal injury attorney about your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, in 2014, the plaintiff worked as a volunteer for the band parent organization (BPO) for the defendant town’s high school band. He was sitting in the driver’s seat of a golf cart that was located in the back of the truck to assist with the process of unloading the truck. The golf cart fell from the truck, causing the plaintiff to suffer a traumatic brain injury. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant as well as the co-presidents of the BPO, arguing their negligence caused him to suffer harm.

It is alleged that the defendants moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA). The court ruled in favor of the defendants, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

People rarely anticipate that they will sustain injuries while they are on vacation, but slip and fall accidents and other harmful events commonly occur at hotels and resorts. Parties injured in such incidents often choose to seek compensation from the property owners via civil claims. In cases in which the accident occurred in a foreign location, the claims will typically be filed in federal court, but in many instances, the defendant will argue such claims should be dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. This was illustrated in a recent Massachusetts ruling in which the court discussed the exercise of personal jurisdiction in a matter arising out of an accident in St. Lucia. If you suffered harm due to a slip and fall accident, it is in your best interest to meet with an experienced Cape Cod premises liability attorney about your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a Massachusetts resident, was a guest at the defendant resort when she slipped and fell in the area near the hot tub. She suffered serious injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant in the Massachusetts District court, asserting negligence claims. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for lack of personal jurisdiction, while the plaintiff argued she was entitled to jurisdictional discovery prior to her claims being dismissed. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiff and denied the defendant’s motion. Continue Reading ›

People anticipate that doctors, nurses, and other health care providers will provide competent treatment. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals employ sound reasoninn when caring for patients, and their inattentiveness can lead to substantial injuries. People who have been harmed by medical negligence may be able to obtain damages if they can prove their providers departed from the standard of care and that this deviation resulted in their harm. Recently, a Massachusetts court issued an opinion in which it explained what evidence a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must produce to prove causation. If you were injured by negligent medical care, it is smart to speak to a knowledgeable Cape Cod medical malpractice attorney about your potential claims.

The Alleged Harm

Allegedly, the defendants treated the decedent for perimenopause symptoms. She was given a topical hormone gel, but she was not told about the dangers of using it. The defendant nurse admitted that she did not inform the decedent that the gel increased the danger of blood clots because she did not feel it was a significant risk. Three years after she began using the gel, the decedent began to experience shortness of breath, and she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary embolisms. She underwent surgery and took medication to address her embolisms, but neither treatment was successful.

It is reported that four years later, at the age of 43, the decedent died due to blood clots in her lungs. Prior to her death, she filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendants, which the plaintiff, her husband, pursued after her death. The matter ultimately went to trial, and the jury found in favor of the defendants on the grounds that there was inadequate evidence that the defendants’ negligence caused the decedent’s harm. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading ›

Although car accidents generally arise out of negligent driving, other factors can contribute to the damages sustained in collisions. For example, a defective car part may injure a person involved in an accident. Manufacturers of defective car parts may be deemed responsible for any losses they cause, but they may try to avoid liability by arguing the court in which a lawsuit is filed does not have jurisdiction over them. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed the exercise of personal jurisdiction over entities that are based in another state in a case in which the plaintiff suffered harm due to a defective headrest. If you were injured in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Cape Cod car accident attorney about your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a car accident while riding in a vehicle manufactured and sold by the defendant car company that had headrests made by the defendant manufacturer. She sustained injuries due to the headrest, which she deemed defective. Thus, she filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendants in the federal district court. The defendant manufacturer moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing in part that the court could not validly exercise personal jurisdiction over it. Upon review, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Establishing Personal Jurisdiction Over Out of State Defendants

Personal jurisdiction is the term used to define a court’s power to compel parties to abide by its orders. Parties who file a case in a court are deemed to consent to its jurisdiction. In regards to parties who do not consent to a court’s exercise of jurisdiction, though, the Due Process Clause of the constitution protects their liberty interest in not being held to judgments of a forum with which they have no meaningful ties, contacts, or relationships. Continue Reading ›

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