Boston Injury Lawyer Blog
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Paul Shartrand, a former Berkshire County nursing home worker, has been convicted of caretaker abuse of a disabled person, as well as assault and battery of a person. The 48-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting a disabled person under his care.

The nursing home resident, 55, was at a Lee, MA facility when the Shartrand, then a certified nursing assistant, allegedly attempted to receive oral sex from her in 2012. She was already in the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease at the time, and could no longer speak, move, communicate, or feed herself. A supervisor claims to have witnessed the Massachusetts nursing home abuse incident.

The jury acquitted Shartrand of the charge of assault with intent to rape. His lawyer claims that the supervisor who reported seeing the alleged attempted sex assault had a grudge against the nursing home worker. Shartrand contends that he was merely adjusting the bedridden patient and not assaulting her. Lee Police said that Shartrand initially agreed to provide an evidentiary swap of his genital area but later changed his mind.

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Market Basket is in the midst of a premises liability lawsuit after a patron claimed she was injured by falling seafood.

According to WCVB, 74-year-old Ida Clement is alleging Market Basket was negligent after she was struck by several bottles of clam juice, which had fallen off of a shelf at the Derry, New Hampshire store in 2012. According to Clement, she was reaching for cans of tuna fish, when the “heavy” bottles of clam juice fell from a shelf above and hit her—even before she touched anything on the shelf. Clement was forced to undergo multiple surgeries to treat her injuries.

Accidents that involve falling merchandise can be embarrassing for a victim. There may be a multitude of reasons why merchandise falls off a shelf, including products being stocked too high or being unsecured due to items of different sizes being stacked on top of each other, vibrations, or because store employees receive little or no training in proper stocking techniques. Head injuries, back injuries, and broken or sprained bones are often a result of being struck by falling merchandise. Continue reading

A North Andover woman was arrested this weekend for hosting an underage drinking party. According to police, the woman, whose children were also both in attendance, charged teens an attendance fee.

Police officers had received reports of an underage drinking party at the Woodcrest Drive residence Friday night. There were reportedly more than 50 teenagers at the party. The woman also provided alcohol to the teens.

With prom season just around the corner and graduation coming shortly thereafter, we’d like to send a reminder to all parents with teenagers about social host liability law.

What is Massachusetts Social Host Liability Law? Under Massachusetts’ law, a social host is considered anyone who provides alcohol to a guest as an act of hospitality or allows a guest to consume an alcoholic beverage on his or her property. While the property that is involved is usually someone’s home, properties can also include beach property, rental property, and even boats-essentially any property that a host owns or controls.

In accordance with this law, a social host assumes responsibility for all injuries caused by or sustained by a guest as the result of consuming alcohol. Injuries most often result from some sort of accident, namely drunken driving. According to the Massachusetts judicial system hosts are responsible for making sure their guests do not consume alcohol to the point of intoxication. For example, if you host a party and one of your guests is over-served and ends up injuring another person as a result of drunk driving, not only is he at fault, but you are responsible as well. Continue reading

A 49-year-old woman will get a $1.1 million in her clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the late Rev. Thomas Shea. The plaintiff, Jane Doe 2, claims that the clergyman sexually assaulted her over 60 times. The settlement was reached with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, just as the case was about to go to trial.

Jane Doe 2 said that Shea, who is now deceased, started molesting her when she was a toddler and continued to assault her for years. She is not the only one.

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According to an article in The Boston Globe, alarms attached to wheelchairs and beds of patients at nursing homes may be more harmful than helpful. These pressure-sensitive devices, often installed in beds and wheelchairs are meant to alert staff when someone who is at risk of falling may be about to do just that. The devices were seen as a better alternative to both physical restraints, which became illegal two decades ago, and bedrails, which have since become known as entrapment and asphyxiation hazards.

However, according to a study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012, hospital bed alarms don’t seem to be reducing the number of fall incidents. Also, while the alarm warns of a likely fall, often, by the time help has arrived the patient has already fallen. It doesn’t help that making a patient to sit or lie still so an alarm won’t go off actually restricts mobility and increases the risk of falling.’

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Maylene Maldonado is suing the Chicopee police. She is accusing them of Massachusetts police brutality. Maldonado, who was arrested of assaulting a cop after she resisted arrested in 2013 says she was the victim of excessive police force during her booking.

Recently, surveillance video of her arrest, released by the city of Chicopee, shows one cop placing her in a chokehold and forcing her to the ground. Police claim that Maldonado, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, became belligerent.

She is suing Sergeant Daniel Major, who is the police officer in the video physically apprehending her, and several other individuals who currently and previously with the department. She is seeking $1 million.

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A graduate of Boston College is suing the university, claiming that the school violated its own polices and federal anti-discrimination laws because of the way it handled the sex assault allegations against him. It was in 2012 that college officials charged John Doe with the sexual assault of a female student during a student boat cruise.

The school, based on its probe, found the plaintiff responsible for indecent assault and battery and he was suspended for three semesters. The student also was charged with the crime in Suffolk County District Court, but that case was thrown out last year because of video and physical evidence exonerated him.

Now, John Doe’s family wants $3 million in damages, expungement of his record, and a permanent injunction against Boston College, mandating that it must comply with Title IX, which requires gender equity on campus.

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The family of Abbie Harper is suing Walgreens and Abbott Laboratories for wrongful death. The 23-year-old law school student had been using the FreeStyle-brand test strips made by Abbott to monitor her diabetes.

The products liability case contends that the strips, along with a blood glucose meter and Omnibod insulin pump, which were made by defendant Insulet, gave Abbott the wrong glucose readouts, causing her to take less insulin than she needed. Abbott died in November 2013.

Four days after her passing, Abbott recalled the test strips, noting in certain instances that the product had provided the wrong low blood glucose findings. The plaintiffs believe that aside from the product defect, there were also issues of compatibility involving certain devices. Their legal team believes that a manufacturing error caused the test strips to become defective.

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Timothy Turley is suing the Western Massachusetts Regional Police Academy. The 47-year-old West Roxbury resident, who enrolled as a student in 2013, said that not only was he subjected to numerous indignities, but also he was the target of age-related jokes and racially charged edicts by instructors. Some of these teachers are accused of directing anti-gay slurs at students. In addition to the academy, Turley is suing Municipal Police Training Committee director Daniel Zikovich, academy director Curtis McKenzie, the Municipal Police Training Commission, Delilah Yee, and Robert Powers.

In his Massachusetts hazing case, Turley claims that because he complained, he was expelled one month before finishing the program. He appealed the dismissal, but his request was denied. Prior to enrolling in the program, he worked as a law enforcement officer with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department for twenty years.

Among the behaviors Turley was forced to endure: being made to put socks on a colleague’s bare feet, writing the “Use of Force” rule daily on a white board, and punishment for misspelling the word “volatile” in an assignment—he claims that his younger classmates who made common mistakes didn’t endure such treatment.One trainer that Turley identifies in his complaint is Sean Shattuck, a Holyoke cop who was involved in a brawl at a bar while off-duty in 2007. The plaintiff accuses him of simulating a sex act on another student while training was taking place. Shattuck has been removed from the academy as an instructor and is under investigation.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved new mandatory standard to enhance the safety of frame child carriers. The safety standard does not apply to soft carriers and slings, which are subject to different standards.

Between January 2003 and September 4, 2004, the CPSC has received close to 50 incident reports about this child product, including reports of 34 injuries. One incident involved a toddler who sustained a head injury after a frame child carrier fell from a chair.

According to the new standard, a frame child carrier is typically made of fabric placed around a frame that is designed to carry a child weighing anywhere between 16 to 50 pounds. The child typically is too young to sit up without support. The carriers are worn on the backs of caregivers, often when hiking.

Unfortunately, there have been hazards linked to frame child carriers, including small parts, lead paint, sharp points, pinching, shearing, scissoring, flammability issues, exposed coil springs, latching and locking, labeling, unintended folding, structural integrity, leg openings, dynamic stretch, stability, static loads, restraints, and handle integrity. The federal standard addresses all of these hazards. Frame child carriers made or imported on or after 18 months after the standard is published in the Federal Register will be subjected to the new regulation.

In Massachusetts, our Boston child injury lawyers represent the families of children that have gotten hurt because of defective or dangerous infant and kids’ products. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

We also handle Massachusetts products liability cases involving nursery products, playground apparatuses, child car seats, toys, furniture, and other consumer goods that proved hazardous or malfunctioned.

The New Standard
, CPSC.gov

More Blog Posts:
Transportation Secretary Asks Congress to Authorize New Enforcement Tools for NHTSA; Levies Fine on Takata For Faulty Airbag Systems, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2015

First Risperdal Injury Jury Trial Against Johnson & Johnson Results in $2.5M Verdict, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2015

Despite Jeep Fuel Tank Recall, Fatalities and Vehicle Fires Continue
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2015