Articles Posted in Personal Injury

In a recent car accident case, a Massachusetts federal judge held that the defendant was not entitled to obtain copies of the plaintiff’s mental health records. In Conklin v. Feitelberg, a woman suffered severe injuries as the result of a car crash that occurred in June 2011 involving the defendant. In her complaint, the plaintiff brought claims for negligence, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, permanent injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

During discovery, the defense informed the plaintiff that it intended to seek copies of medical records from the five physicians from whom the plaintiff had sought mental health treatment. The subpoena that the defendant prepared requested records for the period of one year before the accident through to the present day. In response, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking a protective order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), claiming that the mental health records were privileged. The defendant also filed a motion to compel production of the mental health records.

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The winter season is in full swing, bringing snow to the Northeast and bringing all the wonderful winter outdoor sports that come with it. In New England, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice skating, and other winter sports are extremely popular. Whether you are an occasional skier or a seasoned aficionado of the slopes, there are countless dangers that lurk on ski slopes and recreational snow parks.

If you or someone you love has suffered an accident while at a ski resort, snow park, or similar type of location, you may be entitled to compensation. One of the first things that you should consider after suffering an injury in this location is whether the injury could have been prevented by the ski resort or snow park and whether it was foreseeable that someone would injure him or herself in the same manner. If the facility had knowledge that the condition leading to your injury existed, they may also be held liable for failing to warn you about the dangerous condition or for failing to take steps to remedy it.

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Many people are familiar with the concept of driving while drunk, which is commonly referred to as driving under the influence. In Massachusetts, however, the technical name for this offense is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This important distinction is intended to cover those drivers who are under the influence of substances other than alcohol and who pose a threat to other motorists and pedestrians.

In a recent article from CNN, the number of reported incidences of motorists driving under the influence of marijuana is increasing. According to nationwide statistics, incidences of so-called “drugged” driving have risen from 12 percent in 2007 to 15 percent in 2014. These statistics were compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety information service based on voluntary roadside surveys, which involve the volunteers contributing saliva or blood samples on the roadside.

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Even when we think we are in a safely maintained environment, serious injuries can happen. When you set foot in a public business or establishment, you are trusting that the owner of the facility has done their best to make it safe for you and your family. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

In a recent case, Finnegan v. Kingpin Entertainment, Inc., the Massachusetts Appeals Court had a chance to revisit the Commonwealth’s premises liability doctrine. In this case, a couple filed a lawsuit against a bowling alley after the husband suffered severe injuries while using the bowling alley’s facilities, alleging that the facility used oil on the lanes and that some of the oil had traveled over the fault line in front of the lane that the husband was using. The injured husband’s wife sought damages for loss of consortium stemming from her husband’s injuries.

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It was a tragic, life-changing moment.

My client was young, healthy and earning a living working for a Cape Cod-based construction company. While working at a private home along Bass River, a concrete boom and hose swung and struck his head. The boom was attached to a concrete truck whose footings sank into the ground above a septic tank, thereby causing the boom to swing into our client.

An ambulance transported the young man to Cape Cod Hospital and afterwards he was med-flighted to Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He suffered significant facial injuries including multiple fractures and facial disfigurement. My client has undergone numerous surgeries since the accident including lengthy hospital stays, and is left with permanent conditions that unfortunately will significantly impact his future.

In this case, we alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to ascertain the location of the septic tank upon the premises before beginning to pump the concrete. And we claimed the contractor was negligent in its failure to exercise that degree of control and supervision over the construction work being done upon the premises, with reasonable care for the safety of others.

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Five Ways Young Cape Codders Can Avoid the Perils of Prom & Graduation

By John S. Moffa, Esq.

They are innocent and iconic springtime rites-of-passage though both prom and graduation ‘seasons’ are fraught with danger between the Lower and Upper Capes and all towns in between. Between the glitter, flowers, pictures and teenage merriment that comes with proms and commencement into a wider world, only a thoughtless moment separates a minor wearing a gown or tux or graduation robe from a senseless, life-changing moment involving alcohol, a motor vehicle accident or other type of personal injury.

Unfortunately, my office has seen first hand the devastating effects of alcohol and driving during prom and graduation season. In 2010 I represented the family of a teenaged girl who was tragically killed while a passenger in a friend’s car en route to pick up their prom dresses. We have handled many drunk-driving cases over the years involving teenagers, and it is always heartbreaking to see the impact one bad decision can have
on family, friends and loved ones.

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(Yarmouth Port) – Three attorneys on Cape Cod, Chantal K. Hayes, John S. Moffa and Juliane Soprano, have partnered with Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops to use their offices as drop-off locations for food and personal items destined for U.S. Armed Forces in the Middle East.

The following items are needed right away: men’s shaving cream; body wash; diaper/hand wipes; and snack foods such as granola bars that the troops like to tuck into their knapsacks. Drop off items at the following office locations during business hours Monday through Friday:

  • Cape Cod Divorce & Mediation at Hayes & Hayes Attorneys at Law,
    23 East Main St., West Yarmouth
  • The Law Offices of John S. Moffa, 1436 Route 132, Hyannis
  • The Law Offices of Juliane Soprano, 205 Worcester Court, Suite B-4, Falmouth

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When you’re behind the wheel of a car or truck in winter, the only thing worse than heavy white snow is unseen black ice, so even on days when there’s no precipitation, cold weather presents awful road conditions everywhere in southeastern Massachusetts.

From Route 3 heading South from Plymouth toward Cape Cod, to Route 6 which runs down the spine of the Cape, to Route 25 that connects the Cape to the South Coast, to Route 195 leading to New Bedford, and all those small residential side streets-danger is excruciatingly close, so the best protection against winter accidents is mere common sense. Slowing down is the best course of action on the road in winter.

As simple as this sounds, I advise my clients that reducing speed is the smartest thing you could do when it’s snowing, sleeting or when the mercury is south of 32 degrees, or, the point when water freezes. After all, danger doesn’t announce itself and often you’re only a skid or a few seconds away from a serious traffic incident at any given moment.

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Distractions are everywhere on roads and highways from Hyannis to New Bedford, Plymouth to Falmouth, and no drivers behind the wheel of a car or truck are immune.

A beautiful deer stands at the berm along Route 3 and a driver takes her eye off the road for a mere two seconds to admire the animal’s beauty.

A trucker new to the Cape Cod area notices the iron beams that straddle the span of the Sagamore Bridge leading to Cape Cod and for several moments his mind is more occupied by its beauty, rather than keeping his thoughts wholly dedicated to the wheel of his semi. A working mother rushes to work along Route 28 in Falmouth and since she had missed breakfast, she wolfs down a muffin while balancing a cup of take-out coffee. A 17-year-old male from Barnstable, late for his school’s football game, texts his friends while driving on Route 132 in Hyannis and he barely notices the accelerator climbing over the speed limit.

In all these scenarios a thought ‘steered’ a driver’s attention and that’s the definition of distracted driving. And the granddaddy of distracted driving is texting.

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Something awful happened and now you don’t know what to do. You were injured in a work place accident. A neighbor’s dog viciously bit you causing severe pain and scarring. Or, another driver, this one intoxicated, plowed his or her car into yours, thereby permanently impacting your life and your ability to care for your family. The injuries you sustained could run the gamut anywhere from a fractured wrist, head injury, or the many other types of personal injuries or damages.

The bottom line is that you were injured because of someone else’s negligent actions, you need help and you are not sure what to do.

But most importantly, your injuries may have prevented you from working and continuing to provide for yourself and your family, thereby causing an overall negative and sustained impact on your everyday life. Although you were an innocent party, the monthly bills do not stop coming in the mail just because it was not your fault. For most clients, this chapter in their lives is emotionally painful for both them and their family.

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