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The popularity of ride-sharing applications has increased exponentially in recent years, and people throughout Massachusetts regularly employ them to get to their destination. People who drive for ride-sharing companies have the same obligations as other motorists, but like other motorists, they are often involved in collisions. People hurt in such crashes may seek compensation not only from the driver but also from the company the driver was working for at the time of the incident, but such companies are often reluctant to admit liability and may engage in actions that frustrate the discovery process.

Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed what information is discoverable in federal action against a ride-sharing company in a matter in which the company refused to respond to discovery requests. If you were hurt in a car crash, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to confer with a trusted Massachusetts car accident attorney to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was walking when he was struck by the defendant driver. He suffered personal injuries and subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant driver and the defendant ride-sharing company. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant driver operated the car under the authority and control of the defendant company. He also alleged that the defendant driver was the defendant company’s employer and the defendant company was vicariously liable for the defendant driver’s negligence.

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Generally, companies that sell harmful goods can be held accountable for any injuries consumers sustain while using their products. It is well-established that parties only get one bite of the apple, however, which means they only get one shot to prove liability and recover compensation. Additionally, people deemed in privity of a party in a lawsuit are barred from pursuing the same damages at a later date via the doctrine of claim preclusion. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed the elements of claim preclusion in a wrongful death case in which it upheld the judgment in favor of the plaintiff. If you lost a loved one due to a dangerous product, it is smart to speak to an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Reportedly, in 1998, the State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the defendant, a cigarette manufacturer, alleging it engaged in a conspiracy to mislead consumers regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking. The claim was ultimately settled. In 2017, the plaintiff, whose husband died from smoking-related illnesses, filed a lawsuit against the defendant pursuant to the wrongful death act.

Allegedly, the plaintiff argued that the defendant’s actions caused her husband’s death, and she sought punitive damages. The case went to trial, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant appealed, arguing that the doctrine of claim preclusion barred the plaintiff’s claims.

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While people can normally be held accountable for inflicting bodily harm upon others, when the individual who caused the injury works for a public employer, such as a city, obtaining damages might be challenging. In particular, the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA) shields public businesses from responsibility in a variety of circumstances and imposes stringent notification requirements on potential plaintiffs. In a recent Massachusetts ruling handed down in a case involving injuries sustained during an arrest, a court considered what constitutes sufficient notice of a potential tort claim under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act. If you have been harmed as a result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and should contact a Massachusetts personal injury attorney immediately.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

The plaintiff was reportedly traveling home from work when he was stopped by a police officer hired by the defendant city. He was stopped on the basis of an anonymous tip that he was carrying a pistol. The officer dragged the plaintiff from his vehicle, pushed him to the ground, and stepped on his neck, collarbone, and shoulder, fracturing them. The plaintiff was released after police failed to locate a gun in his vehicle.

The plaintiff allegedly filed a complaint against the defendant alleging a variety of grounds, including negligence under the MTCA. The defendant moved to dismiss, claiming that the plaintiff failed to furnish the appropriate notice under the MTCA. After reconsideration, the court found in favor of the plaintiff. Continue reading

Many jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, have a “dog bite” law that makes owners accountable for any harm their dogs inflict to unwitting victims. While the statute does not require proof of carelessness in order to seek damages, it does require proof of other components, such as ownership. A Massachusetts court recently considered whether a property owner might be held accountable for injuries caused by one of its tenants’ dogs under the dog bite law. If you were injured by a dog, you should consult with a qualified Massachusetts personal injury attorney to see what compensation you may be entitled to recover.

The Circumstances Surrounding the Plaintiff’s Injury

The plaintiff allegedly rode his bicycle past a residential rental property held by the defendant. The plaintiff was chased by a dog belonging to a renter who lived on the premises. It then bit him, knocking him from his bike and injuring him. The plaintiff then filed a case against the defendant, stating that he was strictly accountable for the plaintiff’s injuries under the dog bite legislation. Following discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, requesting the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff appealed the court’s decision in favor of the defendant.

Dog Owner Liability Under Massachusetts Law

The trial court’s decision was upheld by the appellate court. Despite the plaintiff’s allegations to the contrary, the dog bite legislation did not apply to the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant, according to the court. The defendant, the court explained, was not the dog’s owner or keeper, and hence could not be held strictly accountable for the dog’s actions under the dog bite law.

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People who suffer the loss of a loved one often expect they will have to contend with many things, such as economic losses, grief, and other strong emotions. They rarely anticipate that they will suffer harm during the process of saying goodbye to their loved ones, however. Harmful accidents can occur in a graveyard, though, and if they are caused by negligence, the party that owns the cemetery may be held accountable. Proving liability is not always an easy task, though. Recently, a Massachusetts court explained what evidence a person injured in a trip and fall accident must produce to recover damages in a case arising out of a fall in a cemetery. If you were hurt in a fall, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Massachusetts personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

Reportedly, the plaintiff attended a funeral service at the defendant’s cemetery. After the service was over, he began to walk over gravestones towards his car. When he was walking, he encountered a soft area, and his foot sunk into the ground, creating a hole that caused him to fall and sustain injuries to his leg and ankle. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligent maintenance of the property caused the dangerous condition that led to his harm. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to prove the elements of negligence. The court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Establishing Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident

Under Massachusetts law, property owners may be held liable for harm suffered by people who legally enter their premises, but only under certain circumstances. Specifically, an injured party must show that the owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition that posed a risk of harm to invitees existed and that the invitees would not discover the condition or realize the danger and take the actions needed to protect themselves.
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All falls can potentially cause harm but falls from roofs, and other high places typically cause critical injuries. Despite the severity of injuries suffered by people that fall from substantial heights, they can generally only recover damages if they can prove their falls were caused by another party’s carelessness. This requires, in part, proof of the applicable standard of care. As demonstrated in a recent Massachusetts ruling, the courts will only consider relevant evidence in determining what standard applies in fall cases. If you sustained injuries in a fall, you should meet with a trusted Massachusetts personal injury attorney to evaluate what damages you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked for a roofing company the defendant hired to remove snow from the roof of one of its properties. While on the job, the plaintiff fell from the roof. He suffered significant injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence led to his fall and ensuing injuries.

Reportedly, before the trial, the plaintiff moved in limine for the court to admit Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and publications into evidence. The court denied the motion. The jury found in favor of the defendant, deeming the defendant thirty percent liable and the plaintiff seventy percent liable for the fall. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion in limine.

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Anyone who has seen a movie involving a jury trial knows that things can get quite heated when it comes to making statements in front of the jury and making a compelling argument. There are quite a few rules that apply when it comes to what lawyers can and cannot say during the trial when the jury is present in the room. These rules are designed to keep the proceedings fair and to ensure that the jury is not unfairly biased or persuaded based on an off-hand comment by one of the lawyers.

In the recent case of Baisony v. City of Boston, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the City of Boston after suffering injuries when a police cruiser collided with the bicycle that he was riding. The plaintiff alleged that the police officer driving the cruiser was traveling the wrong direction down a one-way street when the collision occurred. At the close of trial, the jury awarded the injured plaintiff $22,000 in damages.

The defendant brought post-judgment motions, including a motion for judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, or a remittitur. In its motions, the defendant contended that the lower court judge erred when ruling on certain evidentiary matters during the proceedings and that the plaintiff’s counsel was insufficiently sanctioned for what the defendant characterized as misconduct during the trial.

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Almost all of us have signed a release or waiver at some point in our lives, whether it be for an amusement park, field trip, recreational activity, or sporting endeavor. Many people do not read the language contained in these agreements and have little understanding regarding the rights they may be signing away. These agreements are legally binding and could have devastating consequences if the signer becomes injured. This also arises in the context of a wrongful death proceeding. Many waivers exempt the offeror from liability for the death of a person who signs the agreement. In some situations, courts will deem a release invalid if certain conditions are satisfied, such as unconscionable terms or incapacitation of the party who signs the agreement. In most cases, however, the courts will honor the terms of the release.

In Markovitz v. Cassenti, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries when she fell from a horse during a horse riding lesson that took place on the defendant’s property. The plaintiff’s husband also sued the defendant, asserting a cause of action for loss of consortium. During the litigation, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the woman signed a release at the time that she applied for riding lessons. The lower court granted the motion for the defendant.

On appeal to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court, the court concluded that the trial court was correct in concluding that the language of the release precluded the plaintiff from seeking damages from the defendant in a civil proceeding. The plaintiff had argued that the defendant was negligent in failing to determine whether the plaintiff had sufficient skill and ability to handle a horse on her own. The appellate court rejected this argument, noting that Massachusetts courts will frequently honor the language of a release that immunizes the defendant from future liability arising from negligence. This principle also includes any negligent acts that arise in the future from sports or other recreational activities.

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In the recent case of Arsenault v. Bhattacharya, a Massachusetts appellate court considered whether the dismissal without prejudice of a medical malpractice action was appropriate. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the doctor on October 21, 2013, alleging that the doctor incompetently treated her for carpal tunnel syndrome and cervical spondylosis with radiculopathy. The doctor first began treating the woman for these conditions in January 2008.

In response to the plaintiff’s complaint, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the case was time-barred under the statute of limitations. According to Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 231, section 60L, a plaintiff must provide notice to a physician of an intent to file a lawsuit against him or her. The notice must be provided six months before the lawsuit is filed. This statute also lays out a number of other requirements that apply to medical malpractice cases in Massachusetts. For example, the notice must include a description of the facts giving rise to the claim and the standard of care that the plaintiff deems applicable to the circumstances. It also allows for the six-month notice period to be shortened to 90 days when certain conditions are met.

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When we go to the doctor or have a surgical procedure performed, we expect the physicians and nurses who perform the appointment or procedure to use the appropriate care. This includes not only the performance of the procedure but also preparing for it and preventing unnecessary infections. This same standard also applies to medical device manufacturers when it comes to designing and producing devices that mitigate against unnecessary harms like contamination and infection.

Recently, medical device manufacturer Olympus initiated a recall after reports stated that 100 patients became ill with antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The patients all were treated with one of Olympus’ medical devices, called a duodenoscope, which is a camera used in surgeries. According to several reports, Olympus makes roughly 85 percent of the duodenoscopes that are available on the market today.

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