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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 ›

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 ›

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