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January 30, 2015

Slip and Fall Accident on Icy Sidewalk Renders $1.2M Personal Injury Verdict

A jury has awarded Brenda Alcala $1.2 million for her slip and fall accident on a sidewalk. The 54-year-old woman shattered her right ankle during the incident while staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Bettendorf. Alcala had to undergo two surgeries. She says that she now has arthritis in that ankle and limps. Alcala may need more surgery in the future.

Following her slip accident, Alcala filed a premises liability lawsuit against Courtyard Management Corp. and Marriott International Inc. Following deliberations, a jury found her 2% liable for her injuries.

Alcala said that because of the slip and fall accident, she had to change jobs and take a pay cut since she could no longer continuing traveling like she did when she was consulting for Genesis Health System. When filing her complaint, Alcala noted that her injury caused her to sustain significant future income loss.

Massachusetts Slip and Fall

With our snow and icy weather currently in Massachusetts, our Boston slip and fall lawyers want to remind all of you to exercise caution when walking on sidewalks, driveways, and roads. If you suffered an injury after slipping or falling on someone else’s property, please contact Altman & Altman, LLP right away.

In Massachusetts, property owners can be held liable for both natural and unnatural accumulations of snow and ice that cause slip and fall accidents. Until a few years ago, this was not the case and unnatural accumulation had to be a factor. Ice that builds up on the roof and then melts to drip and refreeze on the ground and ice patches reformed from ice that first turned into puddles are two examples of unnatural accumulations that can lead to Massachusetts slip and fall injuries.

Slip and fall injuries on ice can be very painful. They may cause broken bones, hip displacement, broken hips, spinal cord injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. At Altman & Altman, our Boston premises liability attorneys would like to offer you a free case consultation.

Slip-and-fall verdict awards woman $1.2M, Quad-City Times, February 24, 2014

Massachusetts Law about Snow and Ice, Mass.gov


More Blog Posts:
Ruling in Cruise Ship Injury Case Could Determine Whether Medical Malpractice Damages Could Finally Come Into Play, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Injuries on the Job, Lead to Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claims, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2014

Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame the Drug for Diabetes, January 9, 2015

January 27, 2015

Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blaming MIT for Student’s Suicide Moves Closer to a Civil Trial

A Middlesex Superior Court judge has denied the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s request to dismiss the Cambridge, MA wrongful death case filed by the family of Han Duy Nguyen. The doctoral student, who suffered from mental health issues, killed himself in 2009. The plaintiffs, in their Cambridge, MA wrongful death case, are suing MIT for his suicide.

According to their complaint, Nguyen’s Sloan School of Management professors knew that he had mental health issues and would get very stressed out during exams, which is why they gave him more time to finish his tests. However, the plaintiffs allege, in 2009, minutes after a professor scolded Nguyen about a potentially offensive email that he sent to another faculty member he jumped from a campus building. His family says that the conversation drove him “over the edge.”Meantime, MIT and its professors have denied that they were responsible for Nguyen’s death or that they contributed to his mental health problems.

MIT has come under fire for its student suicide rate. The university even has a robust counseling program to help students cope.

The college argued that because Nguyen was a research assistant at the university, he was not just a student but also an employee. Therefore, they contend, MIT’s status as employer should limit its liability. Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, employees and their families cannot sue an employer for personal injury or wrongful death. They are, however, entitled to work injury benefits.

The plaintiffs’ wrongful death team is adamant that Nguyen was not an employee, and he killed himself not because he was a research assistant—a position that he had barely started—but because of the stress he experienced as a graduate student. Besides, noted their lawyer, MIT and other private schools have previously stated, to avoid having to pay more or unionize, that graduate students in teaching assistantships and who perform research are not employees. The university, on the other hand, said that Nguyen can be categorized as both student and employee.

The judge presiding over the case said that debate should be up to a jury to resolve.

According to the Boston Globe, Nancy Roy of the Jed Foundation said that about 1,100 college students in the U.S. commit suicide each year. Last year, a wrongful death settlement was reached in the case involving Cornell University and the city of Ithaca in the suicide of Bradley Ginsburg. The college freshman jumped from the Thurston Avenue bridge in 2010.

His father, Howard Ginsburg, said the school and city were negligent because they did not establish stronger suicide-prevention features for the bridge. Right before the start of trial, Howard accepted $100,000 from Ithaca and agreed to a perpetual Cornell scholarship named after his son.

In 2006, Elizabeth Shin's family reached a wrongful death settlement with MIT. Shin was a student there when she lit herself on fire in 2000. She died from her injuries.

If your child was injured at a university, high school, grade school, pre-school, kindergarten, or another institute of learning, and you believe the school, any of its teachers, administrators, or other employees were involved or should be held responsible, you should contact our Boston personal injury lawyers today.

MIT sued after 2009 suicide of student, The Boston Globe, January 26, 2015

Cornell student bridge-suicide lawsuit settled, Ithaca Journal, September 11, 2014

Settlement in MIT Suicide Suit, Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2006


More Blog Posts:
Ex-Stevenson University Student Files $4M Hazing Lawsuit Against Kappa Alpha Psi, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2015

Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame the Drug for Diabetes, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

MA Contractors Exposed Workers to Fatal Falls During Renovation Project, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2015

January 26, 2015

Two Commuters Injured When Billerica Train Platform Collapses

Two people were injured on Friday night when a platform overhand at the North Billerica commuter rail station collapsed as passengers exited a Lowell-bound train, The Lowell Sun reported.

According to MBTA Transit Police Lieutenant Richard Sullivan, the passengers sustained non-life threatening injures after being struck by falling debris from the overhang. Both victims were treated at area hospitals and the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Continue reading "Two Commuters Injured When Billerica Train Platform Collapses" »

January 23, 2015

Ex-Stevenson University Student Files $4M Hazing Lawsuit Against Kappa Alpha Psi

Johnny Powell II, who recently graduated from Stevenson University, is suing the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity for $4 million. The 22-year-old claims that the members of the historically black fraternity house beat him so brutally that he needed hospital care for several days. He also is claiming false imprisonment and hazing, which allegedly occurred in early 2013.

Even though there are typically rituals that are considered traditional aspects of pledging activities in most fraternities, Powell said that the beating he was given was extremely severe and he was struck, “caned, and paddled” on numerous occasions. He also contends that he was forced to drink alcohol with garlic powder and perform push-ups while there were beer bottle caps under his hands, among other acts. Even though he eventually became a fraternity member at Coppin State University—Powell joined the chapter there because his initial intention was to start one at Stevenson University—he claims that other members alienated him.

He is seeking damages from the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, current and ex-officers with the Coppin chapter, as well as the alumni chapter in the Baltimore area.

This is the second hazing lawsuit against a regional fraternity in the last couple of months. In December, a student at Bowie State University sued the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for $3 million. Kevin Hayes contends that while undergoing hazing as a pledge in 2013, he was harassed and abused.

The 20-year-old says that after he documented bruises he sustained while pledging, fraternity members bullied and threatened him. Hayes says that although fraternity officials were notified about his claims nothing was done to deal with what happened. He is suing the national and local chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha and three chapter members accused of taking part in or knowing about the hazing.

The fraternity’s website says that it does not allow any kind of hazing.

Hazing can lead to serious injuries. If you were seriously injured or someone you loved died while undergoing hazing at a fraternity or a sorority, you may have reason to pursue a Boston personal injury lawsuit against the parties that were involved in the hazing or who allowed/failed to prevent the activities from happening.

Certain fraternities have also come under fire of late over allegations of rape. There was the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia, which was named in an alleged gang rape in a Rolling Stone article. Police say that they have been unable to confirm the accusations and the magazine has since retracted the story.

This month, Duke University suspended the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity over allegations made by a female student who said she was raped at a party at the fraternity’s off-campus house. The woman told police that she passed out after drinking hot chocolate and when she woke up the next day she wasn’t wearing underwear and had someone else’s shirt on.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you may have reason for pursuing a Boston campus crime case. Unfortunately, crimes on campus do happen. Altman & Altman, LLP helps victims file claims and lawsuits against the negligent parties.

Harford County man sues fraternity for hazing, Baltimore Sun, January 23, 2015

Bowie State University student sues Maryland fraternity over alleged hazing, The Washington Post, December 29, 2014

Duke University suspends Alpha Delta Phi fraternity amid rape investigation, CBS News, January 21, 2015


More Blog Posts:
Another Boston Sexual Assault Lawsuit Says Emerson College Mishandled Rape Allegations, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 8, 2015

Rider Sustains Leg Injury in Framingham, MA Bicycle Accident, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2015

MA Contractors Exposed Workers to Fatal Falls During Renovation Project, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2015

January 22, 2015

Westford, MA Ski Accident Leads to Fatality

A 44-year-old woman has died after she fell from a ski lift at a resort last month. Olga Filkin was riding up to a drop point on a ski slope when she fell at least twenty-two feet to the ground. She was transported to the ski resort’s first aid room where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy report shows that Filkin’s death was accidental.

U.S. ski lift operators are upheld to a high standard of care when it comes to the operation, maintenance, and use of lifts. While the majority of ski lift accidents take place while a skier is loading or unloading from a lift, falls from lifts also happen. Skier error, operator error, ski lift malfunctions, and inadequate maintenance are a few of the common causes of chair lift accidents. High winds may also cause ski lift incidents.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston ski lift/resort accident lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP if you or someone you love was injured in a lift accident or in another kind of accident at a ski resort. Other common causes of injuries at ski resorts and ski lodges include:

• Skier collisions involving inexperienced or reckless skiers
• Snowmobile accidents
• Failure to warn of dangerous obstructions or other hazardous conditions on the premise
• Failure to remedy hazardous conditions
• Unsafe premises
• Defective ski equipment

Just this weekend, a 13-year-old boy died in a Westford, MA ski accident. Rajiv Paluri was skiing at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area when he ended up going off the trail and striking a tree. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Proving liability in a ski resort accident can be challenging, which is why you want to make sure you have an experienced Massachusetts ski resort attorney advocating on your behalf. Your initial case consultation with our Boston personal injury law firm is free.

13-Year-Old Massachusetts Boy Hits Tree While Skiing, Dies, Boston.com, January 17, 2015

Mother Dies After Falling From Ski Lift at New York Resort, NBC News, December 30, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Jockey Files Boston Injury Lawsuit Against Suffolk Downs After Sustaining Horse Racing Injuries, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2014

Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame the Drug for Diabetes, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, January 9, 2015

Rider Sustains Leg Injury in Framingham, MA Bicycle Accident, Boston Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 16, 2015

January 20, 2015

New Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Law Gives Patients New Settlement Options

A new state law mandates that people who intend to file a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit give healthcare providers at least six months notice before submitting their complaint. Potential defendants then have 150 days to address the matter. The law also stipulates that medical providers notify patients if there were medical errors that caused unexpected complications and gives doctors a chance to apologize without fear that their admission of error will be used against them in court.

The new legislation is part of increased efforts at non-traditional types of medical liability reform in the U.S., with programs involving resolution and communication growing in popularity. Advocates are pressing for medical providers to step forward, acknowledge responsibility, and offer settlements. In Massachusetts, a number of Beth Israel Deaconess hospitals and Bay State facilities are taking part in a pilot program implementing the Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe) model.

In one example of how this type of program can work, NPR recounts, a doctor of a woman who received a delayed diagnosis of her stage 3 ovarian cancer not only explained to her why the mistake happened but apologized for it. A medical team had determined that she should get a pelvic ultrasound but the recommendation was pushed to the wayside for months.

Earlier diagnosis with cancer can improve a patient’s prognosis and prevent the need for more invasive care. It can also stop the cancer from advancing further.

The woman eventually accepted a financial settlement from the hospital. Overall, the process took much less time than if the parties involved had gone to court.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston medical malpractice lawyers if you think that a medical mistake or negligence caused or failed to prevent your health issue or personal injury from happening. Altman & Altman represents clients in recovering the compensation that they are owed by liable parties through mediation and litigation.

Malpractice Changes In Massachusetts Offer Injured Patients New Options, NPR, January 20, 2015

MA 2012 Payment Reform Legislation (Ch 224) - Key Liability Provisions (PDF)

Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury


More Blog Posts:
Ruling in Cruise Ship Injury Case Could Determine Whether Medical Malpractice Damages Could Finally Come Into Play, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame the Drug for Diabetes, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, January 9, 2015

Liberty Research Institute Names Overexertion, Falls Accidents As Leading Causes of Work Injuries in 2012, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 15, 2015

January 16, 2015

$100M Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Family of Teen Found in Gym Mat

The parents of Kendrick Johnson are suing over three dozen people and the Georgia city of Valdosta for the 17-year-old’s wrongful death. Johnson died after getting stuck upside down inside a rolled gym mat. Now, his family is seeking at least $100 million.

The teenager’s body was discovered inside the rolled up wrestling mat at his high school in 2013. While a state autopsy report concluded that Johnson died from accidental, positional asphyxia, an independent one, obtained by CNN in September of that year, said that the actual cause of death was non-accidental, blunt force trauma to different parts of the boy’s body. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, however, said that no foul play was involved.

Johnson’s family believes that their son was murdered—as opposed to the finding that he got caught by accident in the gym mat while reaching for a shoe. Their wrongful death lawyers claim that the teenager was “induced” by a female student to go into the school’s old gym. They believe that two former schoolmates, their dad, and another former schoolmate are responsible for Johnson’s death in a violent assault.

The plaintiffs claim that county sheriff office employees, the city of Valdosta, its police department, and the state’s investigation bureau violated the boy’s right to equal protection under the law and due process. They believe that the investigation conducted was a cover up, not just of Johnson’s death but also of the identities of those responsible. Their lawyers say that the defendants intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the victim’s parents.

An attorney for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has called the allegations in the wrongful death case “baseless.”

If someone you love was injured or killed in what you believe was a violent crime, you should speak with a Boston wrongful death attorney right away. Regardless of the outcome of any criminal investigation, you still may be able to pursue damages from the negligent party or parties, including the alleged assailant(s) and others who could have and should have prevented the incident from happening.

If the injury or fatality occurred on someone else’s property, you also may be able to pursue Massachusetts premises liability damages. If a defective or dangerous product was involved, you may have reasons for a products liability claim against a product manufacturer, seller, or distributor.

Losing your loved one or getting seriously hurt yourself can’t be undone but you may be able to hold the responsible parties liable and receive compensation to help assuage related costs and losses. The earlier you retain an attorney, the sooner a law firm can start collecting evidence and talking to witnesses. You also want to make sure that you submit your claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Massachusetts that statute for personal injury is three years.

Parents file $100 million lawsuit in gym mat death in Georgia, CNN, January 15, 2015

Kendrick Johnson Update: Video released in Ga. teen's gym mat death shows "conspiracy to conceal the truth," atty says, CBS, November 13, 2013


More Blog Posts:
Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the City of Framingham, Police Officer May Proceed, Says Judge, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 6, 2015

Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 5, 2014

More Than A Dozen Hospitalized After Plymouth, MA Bus Accident
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

January 13, 2015

U.S. Department of Justice Joins Whistleblowers in Medicare Fraud Cases Against Prominent Cardiologist

The Justice Department is now part of two whistleblower lawsuits accusing cardiologist Asad Qamar and his Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence of Medicare fraud. The complaints contend that Qamar conducted and billed for peripheral artery intervention procedures that were not necessary and waived 20% co-payments so that patients wouldn’t question his recommendations for treatment. The plaintiffs are treating the waived copayments as kickbacks that were made to patients.

According to Medicare payment data released last April, in 2012 Qamar received $18 million from Medicare in 2012, which is four times more than the next highest paid cardiologist.

The New York Times reports that Qamar and his practice have been accused of performing numerous unnecessary procedures patients involving vessels outside the heart. Patients were also reportedly given unplanned diagnostic imaging testing even when they were undergoing treatment for unrelated matters.

One of the whistleblowers formerly worked as a management consultant for Qamar and his practice. She claims that the Medicare fraud occurred from 2008 to 2011. In one of the complaints, Qamar is accused of placing a stent in one patient’s legs to treat a heart blockage rather than referring her to a specialist. That patient later died from alleged medical complications related to the procedure.

If you suspect Medicare fraud and you would like to explore your legal options, please contact our Massachusetts Qui Tam law firm right away. Our Medicare fraud whistleblower lawyers represent individuals seeking to report this type of fraud committed against the government. Under federal law, a whistleblower may be able to recover up to 30% of what the government gets based on the Qui Tam lawsuit.

A few examples of Massachusetts Medicare Billing Fraud:

• Up-coding
• Billing for services that were never rendered
• Double billing
• Unnecessary medical procedures and testing

Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

Government Intervenes in Lawsuit Against Florida Cardiologist Alleging Unnecessary Peripheral Artery Interventions and Payment of Kickbacks, Department of Justice, January 5, 2015

Justice Department Joins Suits Against Florida Cardiologist
, Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2015

Justice Dept. Sues Doctor Paid Richly by Medicare, The New York Times, January 6, 2015


More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Chain Settles Medicare Fraud, Whistleblower Claims for $38M, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 14, 2014

Lipitor Injury Lawsuits Against Pfizer Blame Drug for Diabetes, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, January 9, 2015

Tougher OSHA Reporting Rules for On-the-Job Injuries Are Now in Place, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

Ruling in Cruise Ship Injury Case Could Determine Whether Medical Malpractice Damages Could Finally Come Into Play

A ruling issued by a federal appeals court in a wrongful death case on a cruise ship could pave the way for medical practice lawsuits for claims alleging negligent healthcare on these types of vessels. This could be significant for cruise ship passengers, who for the last century have been unable to pursue such allegations because of exemptions that have been created through a number of other court decisions. Some 21 million people go on cruises every year.

Now, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the last ruling, known as Barbetta, in 1988 is outdated. The decision in Barbetta determined that cruise ship passengers shouldn’t expect the type of medical care that they would get on land, and medical staff on cruise line vessels are private contractors and not ship employees.

This latest case involves a traumatic brain injury sustained by Pasquale Vaglio on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2011. After the 82-year-old was involved in a fall accident during a sightseeing trip, a nurse performed a minor exam on him and ordered the older man to rest. Vaglio died from a brain injury days later.

Now, the circuit judges are saying that they see “no sound reason in law” for making special exemptions for incidents of “onboard medical negligence.” The decision gives Vaglio’s family an opportunity to prove to a jury that the ship's medical team was negligent.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean spoke out against the ruling, saying that the cruise line’s business is not healthcare, but rather, to provide patrons with vacation experiences. There is a possibility that this e case could end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you were injured while on a cruise ship and you think that the incident was a result of negligence, you should contact our Boston injury law firm right away. Our Massachusetts cruise ship accident lawyers represent passengers or their loved ones that were injured in a slip and fall accident, ship fire, or ship collision, or because of negligent medical care, food poisoning or contamination, physical assault, sexual assault, drowning, or other reasons.

Ruling opens door for medical malpractice lawsuits over health care aboard cruise ships, StarTribune, December 24, 2014

Court ruling reinstates negligence suit against cruise line, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Another Boston Sexual Assault Lawsuit Blames Emerson College of Mishandling Rape Allegations, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 8, 2015

More Than A Dozen Hospitalized After Plymouth, MA Bus Accident, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2015

Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 5, 2014

January 8, 2015

Another Boston Sexual Assault Lawsuit Says Emerson College Mishandled Rape Allegations

Another student has come forward accusing Emerson College of mishandling her Boston sexual assault case. The plaintiff, identified in the Massachusetts personal injury lawsuit as Jane Doe, claims that the school and six administrators did not “promptly and appropriately” respond to her assault and that her Title IX rights were violated. The woman is seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

The plaintiff says that she reported the alleged assault, which she says was committed by an Emerson student and an MIT student, in 2012. The Emerson College Police Department, the Cambridge Police Department, and the Boston Police Department conducted investigations. She says she chose not to press charges because a resident director at Emerson suggested that she not.

Now, she is accusing the college of inappropriately handling her case, including breaching her confidentiality by telling her mom and suitemate about the assault without her consent, discouraging her from reporting the fellow Emerson student’s alleged involvement, not making any attempts to transfer that student off her dorm floor, as well as other mishandlings.

In March 2013, Doe claims, her alleged assailants cornered her in an alley and touched her inappropriately—an incident that she reported. Two months later, Emerson College told her that her complaints against the Emerson student for sexual assault, rape, intimidation, and retaliation could not be substantiated by the “preponderance of the evidence.”

The plaintiff says that because of the sexual assault, she has suffered from panic, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety attacks. She claims that this affected her education and at one point she tried to kill herself.

Last August, another plaintiff, Jilian Doherty, also sued Emerson for allegedly mishandling her rape case.

If you or someone you love was the victim of sexual assault on campus you may have grounds for pursing a Boston personal injury case against your assailant. You also may be able to seek damages against your school if they were negligent in handling your case or in holding your attacker accountable for the harm that you suffered. Unfortunately, many campuses continue to mishandle allegations of sexual violence and it is the victims that suffer.

Second lawsuit accuses Emerson of mishandling rape case, BerkeleyBeacon, January 6, 2015

Student sues Emerson College over alleged sexual assault response, BizJournals, January 2, 2015


More Blog Posts:
Judge Says Billerica Man Can Proceed with Boston Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Harvard University, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 16, 2014

Domestic Workers in Massachusetts Soon to Get Employment and Labor Protections
, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2014

Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 5, 2014

January 6, 2015

Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the City of Framingham, Police Officer May Proceed, Says Judge

US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV says that the Massachusetts wrongful death case filed against Framingham Police Officer Paul K. Duncan may proceed. Duncan shot Eurie Stamps Sr. by accident in 2011 while the older man was unarmed and face down on a kitchen floor. According to Stamp’s estate, Duncan used excessive force when he shot the retiree.

The tragic accident took place during a drug raid at Duncan’s home. Duncan and the SWAT team he was with were executing a search warrant at the time based on allegations that Stamps’ stepson and others were selling crack cocaine out of the residence.

The police officer’s weapon discharged after he tripped inside a dark hallway, killing Stamps, who had no criminal record and was not a suspect in any crime. Also, the older man reportedly had done nothing to suggest that he wasn’t going to cooperate with police officers nor did he appear to pose a threat to anyone there.

Judge Saylor said that the Massachusetts police brutality case against Duncan will go forward on the counts alleging excessive use of force and violation of Stamps’ Fourth Amendment Rights. The judge explained that qualified immunity did not protect Duncan, who has not been criminally charged over the shooting, from civil liability for acts committed while doing his job.

Saylor is also allowing Stamps’ estate to sue the city of Framingham for wrongful death.

Massachusetts Excessive Use of Force
Excessive use of police force, whether intentional or accidental, may result in serious injuries, including death. Police officers and other law enforcement officials are required to refrain from unnecessary and excessive violence when doing their job.

Unfortunately incidents of excessive force do happen, committed by law enforcement officers against civilians, prisoners, detainees, and suspects. Aside from physical violence, other examples of police brutality include verbal abuse, intimidation and threats, unlawful imprisonment, sex assault, rape, and unnecessary strip searches.

You may be able to obtain Boston personal injury damages for the excessive use of police force that you or a loved one experienced. The way to do this is to file a Massachusetts police brutality claim.

Your complaint would be separate from any criminal case filed with law enforcement officers. Even if no criminal charges were filed against the offending cop you still may be able to recover compensation through your civil suit.

Many victims of Boston police violence are too scared or intimidated to speak out. Some may not be aware that their civil rights were violated or that the police officer did anything wrong. You should know that you have a right to speak out and seek legal representation for the harm that you suffered.

Civil rights case to proceed against police officer
, The Boston Globe, December 25, 2014

Framingham and police officer sued by family of man killed by SWAT team, MetroWestDailyNews, October 12, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Framingham, MA Wrongful Death Case Seeks Damage Over Inmate’s Fatal Drug Overdose, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 26, 2014

Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer
, Johnson & Johnson, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 5, 2014

Domestic Workers in Massachusetts Soon to Get Employment and Labor Protections, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2014

December 31, 2014

Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuits Sue Applebee’s, Whole Foods, Respectively

The parents of 8-year-old Joshua Kaye are suing Whole Foods Market for his Massachusetts wrongful death. They claim that their son died after eating E. coli-contaminated ground beef purchased from a Whole Foods store in Weymouth.

In their civil case, Andrew and Melissa Kaye noted that federal agents had been at Whole Foods in June to investigate an E. coli cluster but that the store did not issue a recall of its ground beef items until August 15. The Kayes said that testing linked Joshua’s death to the contamination.

In a separate Massachusetts food injury case, the family of John Kocak is suing Applebee’s for the fatal choking incident that claimed the 48-year-old’s life in 2011. Kocak was eating at the restaurant in Greenfield when he collapsed in the bathroom. His father found him unconscious and asked the assistant manager to contact 911. Kocak sustained a brain injury from oxygen deprivation and died days later.

The Greenfield wrongful death case accuses the restaurant chain of failing to properly train employees in how to deal with choking accidents. His family said there was no device at the restaurant that could help remove the food from a customer’s airway. Having such a device on the premise is a legal requirement at restaurants that are able to seat over 25 people.

The plaintiffs also claim that the assistant manager did not tell 911 that Kocak had no pulse and was no longer breathing. In their complaint, they argued that if the dispatcher had known how dire the situation was, simple emergency instructions could have been provided over the phone that might have saved Kocak’s life.

The family’s Massachusetts choking accident lawsuit is suing for negligence, gross negligence, conscious pain and suffering, and wrongful death. They want compensation for hospital and ambulance bills, loss of companionship, loss of expected income, burial costs, and funeral expenses. They are also suing for punitive damages for the alleged reckless misconduct and gross negligence.

Massachusetts Food Injury Lawsuits
Restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stories, and other facilities that provide customers with food are responsible for making sure that their food is safe to eat. This means ensuring that the preparation and servicing spaces are clean and free from contamination and food is cooked properly. In Massachusetts, contact our Boston injury law firm today.

Lawsuit filed against Applebee's restaurant chain claims wrongful death of Greenfield patron who choked on food
, Massachusetts Live, December 4, 2014

Whole Foods Sued In Boy's Death, NECN, December 17, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Jockey Files Boston Injury Lawsuit Against Suffolk Downs After Sustaining Horse Racing Injuries, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2014
OSHA Investigating Massachusetts Choking Accident, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, February 17, 2009

Three Fatalities, Two Injuries Sustained in Recent Massachusetts Traffic Crashes During Christmas Week, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 26, 2014