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December 18, 2014

Cape Cod Drowning Death is Second Swimming Fatality at Yarmouth Hotel in Four Months

A 40-year-old Medford man died earlier this month in a Cape Cod, MA drowning accident at the Bayside Resort Hotel in Yarmouth. This is the second swimming fatality at the hotel in four months.

According to the media, first responders started administering CPR to Thomas Flynn at the scene. He was later pronounced dead upon arrival at Cape Cod Hospital.

Police say that a young hotel guest discovered him at the bottom of the pool’s shallow end. Bystanders pulled him out of the water.

In August, two young sisters, ages 9 and 12, were involved in a Massachusetts drowning accident at the same resort. Relative and motel guests pulled them from the water. At Children's Hospital in Boston, the younger sister was taken off life-support systems and she passed away.

Following that earlier incident, the Yarmouth Board of Health unanimously voted not to take action against the hotel owner. A lawyer for the hotel’s insurer had argued that the drowning accident should be blamed on the adult relative who were supposed to be supervising the girls.

Under Yarmouth’s health regulations, lifeguards are not required at hotel swimming pools. However, the property should have someone certified in first aid, CPR, and water safety on the grounds when the pool is open for use. Due to a shift swap that management didn’t know about, there was no such individual was at the site when the Yarmouth drowning accident involving the two girls happened.

In another unrelated Massachusetts drowning death in Yarmouth in August, a 68-year-old man was pronounced dead after his body was found floating in a pool at the Riverview Resort. William Butler had been swimming alone. No lifeguard was on duty at the time.

Massachusetts Drowning Accidents
Proper supervision, safety and rescue equipment, and someone trained in CPR and other measures to prevent Massachusetts drowning deaths are essential at hotels and other properties with swimming pools that are frequented by patrons and guests. Pools should also be secured so that no one can enter the water during off hours or when no one is supervising. The pool and the surrounding area should be free of debris and other hazards that may increase the chances of a Boston injury accident.

Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

N.Y. man drowns while swimming in Cape Cod pool, The Boston Globe, October 20, 2014

Hotel not faulted in drowning, Cape Cod Times, September 9, 2014

Police identify local man who drowned in hotel pool, MyFoxBoston, December 5, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Two Young Girls Rushed to Hospital After Yarmouth Swimming Accident at Cape Cod Hotel, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 21, 2014

More Zoloft Drug Injury Lawsuits, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, August 12, 2014

Hyde Park Contractor Subjects Employees to Electrocution Hazards: Faces $70,000 in Fines, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, July 28, 2014

December 16, 2014

Judge Says Billerica Man Can Proceed with Boston Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Harvard University

A judge says that Stephen Embry can go ahead with his lawsuit against Harvard University. The 57-year-old Billerica man’s Boston child sex abuse case was dismissed over a year ago, before a new Massachusetts bill extending the statute of limitations for such cases was passed into law.

According to Embry, when he was 12, swimming coach Benn Merritt raped and molested him. The sexual assaults allegedly occurred over 100 times and went on for three years. Embry says the incidents usually took place at the Harvard pool where Merritt was a coach.

He contends that Harvard misled him about how long he had to file a Boston sexual abuse claim, telling him the assaults occurred too long ago. Embry says that the school did not disclose that another claim was brought against it in 1996 involving Merritt. The plaintiff in that case contended that the swim teacher molested him from 1965 to 1970, beginning when he was 11. Merritt killed himself not long after that case was filed. The lawsuit with him was settled. The one against Harvard was dismissed.

Embry claims that he began to recall memories of the Boston sex abuse incidents six years ago. He said that he became depressed and tried to kill himself.

When he initially filed the Massachusetts sex abuse case, the statute of limitations for suing an institutions or organization that an alleged perpetrator worked or volunteered for, if repressed memories were involved, was three years from the time of recall. In 2012, four years had passed since Embry began remembering the abuse.

Now, the statute of limitations involving repressed memories for suing institutions is seven years and can be applied retroactively. Also, in incidents of Massachusetts child sex abuse occurring after the passing of the statute, victims have until age 53 to sue both perpetrators and institutions.

Having a lengthier statute is important when Massachusetts child sex abuse is involved. Often, children will repress these memories for years. Or, they may have been too scared and young to know what to do and it could take a very long time before they are able to even disclose what happened.

It isn’t just children who may need a lot of time before they are able to report or even deal with sex abuse and assault. In recent weeks, more than twenty women have come forward accusing actor Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them years ago. Most of the incidents allegedly occurred in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The alleged victims have said they did not speak out sooner out of fear that no one would believe them or that there could be other repercussions. Cosby has denied the allegations.

In Massachusetts, if you suspect that you were the victim of Boston sexual abuse, please contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.

Massachusetts Law about Statutes of Limitations in Civil Sexual Abuse Cases,

Judge lets abuse case against former Harvard swim coach proceed,, December 12, 2014

Colleges cut ties with Bill Cosby as the list of women accusing him of sexual assault hits 20, The Washington Post, December 1, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Ex- Fessenden School Students to File Newton, MA Child Sex Abuse Case, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 10, 2014

Dedham, MA Pedestrian Accident Leads to Criminal Charges for Newton College Student,
Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 9, 2014

Fall River Construction Worker Dies While Working On Natural Gas Lines in Road Project, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2014

December 10, 2014

Ex- Fessenden School Students to File Newton, MA Child Sex Abuse Case

A number of ex-students of Fessenden School reportedly intend to file a Massachusetts child sex abuse case against several teacher and their supervisors. The Newton sex abuse incidents allegedly occurred at the all boys boarding school between 1968 and 1976 and involved male victims who were ages 10 to 14 at the time.

It was in 2011 that David B. Stettler, the headmaster of school, sent a letter to faculty, alumni, and parents disclosing that over the past few years, there had been two legal complaints accusing assistant headmaster Arthur Clarridge and his friend of child sex abuse. The plaintiffs said they were ages 10 and 13 respectively when they were sexually violated. One of them settled his case with the school.

In a recent internal probe, the school found out about at least two other alumni who had submitted Massachusetts child sexual abuse complaints involving allegations that would have occurred in the ‘70s and 60’s. Other students also made claims that were never officially reported.

The Boston Globe reports that one ex-student, John Sweeney, now 56, said that Clarridge drugged and then sexually assaulted him when he was a boy. However, he cannot file a Massachusetts injury case over the abuse because too much time has passed. His claim now exceeds the state's statute of limitations for submitting such a lawsuit.

Sweeney said that the headmaster headmaster discounted his account when he reported the incident with Clarridge. The former student maintains that because of the Newton child sex abuse he endured, he later suffered from PTSD and a drug problem.

Fessenden is the oldest all-boys, junior boarding school in the United States. Students from pre-Kindergarten through the ninth grade attend the private institution.

If you or your child were a victim of Massachusetts child sexual abuse please contact our Boston personal injury lawyers today. Unfortunately, sexual abuse and assault can happen in schools. The perpetrator may even be a trusted adult, such as a teacher, counselor, administrator, or coach. Schools can be held liable for failing to prevent or stop the abuse from happening.

Allegations of child sexual abuse have plagued a number of U.S. private schools in recent years. Last year, an ex-student filed a North Andover child abuse case against Brooks School. He claimed that when he was 15, former Admission Director Lois Poirot had sex with him during the 1970s’a and that school officials were aware of the affair.

Lawrence W. Becker, a former Brooks School headmaster, also has been accused of improper relations with a student. He reportedly was not disciplined even though the school board's president notified legal counsel about the allegations.

It was just this year that Massachusetts passed a bill extending the statute of limitations for how long victims have to file a sex abuse case against their abusers. Now, victims have until age 53 to sue. This means if even the incident happened years ago, you still may be able to pursue damages.

New Allegations of Decades-Old Sexual Abuse Emerge at Newton Private School,, December 9, 2014

Massachusetts Law about Statutes of Limitations in Civil Sexual Abuse Cases,

More Blog Posts:

$139M School District’s Sex Abuse Settlement, UVA’s Suspension of Fraternities Over Gang Rape Allegations Shine Yet Another Spotlight on Sexual Violence in Schools, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 24, 2014

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

Worker Killed in Peabody, MA Industrial Accident, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 4, 2011

December 8, 2014

Honda Recalls Another 2.6 Million Cars with Takata Air Bags in the U.S.

Honda Motor Co. said that it is expanding its U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata air bags to include another 2.6 million autos. The action, which had only applied to certain areas of the country with high humidity, has now gone national. The automaker says it will replace the air bag inflators on the vehicles.

The air bags, made by the Japanese supplier, are at risk of inflating too forcefully. Should this happen, an air bag explosion might occur, causing shrapnel from the safety device to shoot out in the vehicle, potentially causing debilitating even fatal injuries. At least five fatalities have been blamed on the faulty air bags. All of the vehicles involved with these fatalities were Hondas.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been calling on automakers with vehicles that have Takata air bags to make needed fixes to the safety devices. Honda is the only one to comply with the regulator’s demand so far. Ford, BMW, and Mazda haven’t decided whether to call for a national recall, while Chrysler has refused, as has Takata.

Honda’s recall expansion now affects 6 million of its vehicles. With the other Takata air bag-related recall initiated by other automakers, about 11 million vehicles have been impacted in this country. Another five million other million autos have been recalled elsewhere in the world.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston personal injury law firm if you think that a faulty air bag may have caused your serious injuries or the death of a loved one.

An air bag that deploys too fast or too hard can cause burns, abrasions, broken bones, and even severe eye and facial injuries. Shrapnel exploding from an air bag can also cause painful, disfiguring, and debilitating injuries. Already, plaintiffs seeking compensation have filed auto products liability lawsuits.

In one Takata air bag lawsuit, Stephanie Erdman is suing Takata for personal injury. She says that after a collision with another vehicle activated the air bag in her 2002 Honda Civic, shrapnel and metal pieces sliced at her nose and eyebrow. Some of the metal parts became embedded in her jaw. Erdman has partially lost her eyesight and is undergoing numerous surgeries to rebuild her eyelid.

In a wrongful death case, the family of Hien Tran is suing both Honda and Takata. Tran died in October, a few days after her Honda Accord struck another vehicle and the air bag in her auto exploded. According to a medical examiner, one of the reasons Tran died was because of “stab-type wounds” she sustained from air bag shrapnel. The family’s air bag defect case is accusing Honda of not adequately warning vehicle owners about the possible risks involved even as it put out recalls and found out about air-bag related injuries that had hapened.

Our Massachusetts air bag defect lawyers would like to offer you a free case consultation.

Honda: Only 2.6M vehicles under expanded recall, The Detroit News, December 8, 2014

Takata, Honda sued over death linked to faulty air bag, Reuters, November 17, 2014

Two More Lawsuits Brought against Takata, Honda for Faulty Air Bags, Auto World News, October 21, 2014

More Blog Posts:
NHTSA Probes Graco Car Seat Recall, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 2, 2014

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

NHTSA Wants a Nationwide Recall of Autos With Takata Driver’s Side Frontal Airbags, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2014

December 4, 2014

Massachusetts Medical Mistakes Impact Almost 25% of State’s Residents, Reports Poll

According to a recently released survey, almost one-quarter of Massachusetts residents or someone close to them has experienced a medical mistake in the last five years. About 50% of those who reported the error said that serious health consequences resulted.

The poll, conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, surveyed 1,224 residents. The researchers said that a lot of people chose not to report a medical mistake either because they didn’t think it would make a difference or they did not know how to report the incident.

According to the Boston Globe, the survey is one of a number of reports commissioned by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction. Lehman, a 39-year-old mother, died twenty years ago after she was administered a massive overdose of an anticancer drug.

This week, a federal government issued a study suggesting that there may be a decrease in the number of people dying yearly because of preventable medical errors. While that figure was estimated to be as high as up to 98,000 hospital patients a year in 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services has just concluded that from 2010 to 2013, hospital acquired conditions dropped by 17%. This resulted in about 50,000 fewer hospital patient deaths from medical mistakes in the U.S.. The major reasons cited for this change were a decrease in medication mistakes and pressure sores.

Per the Harvard survey, the most common Massachusetts medical errors experienced by residents included:

• Wrong diagnosis
• Being administered the wrong test, treatment, or surgery
• Unclear or erroneous instructions regarding follow-up care
• Medication errors, such as the wrong drug or the wrong dosage
• Infection related to the medical care that was provided

At Altman & Altman, our Boston medical malpractice lawyers represent patients (and their loved ones) who sustained serious health complications or illness because of a Massachusetts medical mistake. You could be entitled to compensation. The sooner you report what happened, the more time you have to build your case.

In Massachusetts, a plaintiff typically has three years from the action that caused the injury or death to file a legal action. A cause of action happens when a plaintiff discovers, or should have reasonably found out, that the harm was caused by the defendant’s behavior.

Medical errors in Mass. still common, study finds, The Boston Globe, December 2, 2014

Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction

Obama administration announces major decline in medical errors
, Los Angeles Tomes, December 2, 2014

Poll finds many in Massachusetts have firsthand experience with a medical error,, December 2, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Spine Doctor Accused of Massachusetts Sexual Assault, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2014

Worker Killed in Peabody, MA Industrial Accident
, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 4, 2014

Today is the Day Lead Singer Injured in Massachusetts 15-Passenger Van Crash
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2014

December 2, 2014

NHTSA Probes Graco Car Seat Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether Graco Children’s Products Inc. waited too long to recall 6.1 million child safety seats. If the manufacturer did delay the recall of its car seats, it could be subject to a fine of up to $35 million, although now reportedly the White House is trying to get Congress to raise the maximum for that type of violation to $300 million for each incident.

Graco succumbed to government pressure last July, recalling around 1.9 million infant car seats made between 7/10 and 5/13. The safety issue involved buckles that could prove hard to open. This can be dangerous if a child needs to be removed from the child safety device immediately, especially in an emergency situation. That announcement expanded the company's callback to over 6.1 million car seats.

Earlier in the year, Graco had recalled 3.7 million booster seats and toddler seats that were constructed between ’09- ’13 in the wake of NHTSA pressure. The agency had wanted Graco to recall 5.6 million child safety seats. A month later, Graco recalled another 400,000 car seats. Those were manufactured prior to 2009.

Federal law requires that a manufacturer notify NHTSA of any safety-related defect involving motor vehicle equipment within five days. Failure to do so can result in a fine.

Car Seat Defects
In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston car seat defect lawyers if you think your child’s injury may have been caused even in part by a flawed or malfunctioning child safety seat. Car seats are supposed to keep children secure in the event of a traffic crash. This means that the device must work correctly and be free of any defects or glitches that could prevent it from doing that very job. In addition to keeping a baby or young child secure during a collision, it should also be easy to remove the occupant from seat without much delay.

Manufacturers can be held liable for Massachusetts products liability if their defective product case caused injury or death. If a negligent driver played a part in causing the traffic accident that led to injury or fatality, there also may be reason for a Boston car crash lawsuit.

In other Graco news, last month, the company recalled close to 5 million strollers because of a safety issue that posed a finger amputation risk to children. The problem involved a folding hinge on the stroller’s side that could snip an infant’s finger. The manufacturer had received nearly a dozen reports of stroller injuries involving the affected Graco and Century brand models. Partial and full fingertip amputations were among the injuries sustained.

One of our Boston product defect lawyers can help you explore your legal options. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today to request your free case consultation.

NHTSA Opens Investigation into Graco’s Handling of Largest Child Seat Recall in U.S. History, NHTSA, December 1, 2014

U.S. probes Graco recall of 6.1 million child seats, The Detroit News, December 1, 2014

Graco Recalls 11 Models of Strollers Due to Fingertip Amputation Hazard, Consumer Product Safety Commission, November 20, 2014

More Blog Posts:
It’s The Most Dangerous Time of the Year: Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents this Winter, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 28, 2014

How Cold Is Too Cold? Tips for Protecting Workers During the Winter Months, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2014

Hundreds of Risperdal Lawsuits Blame Drug For Causing Gynecomastia in Males, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2014

November 28, 2014

It’s The Most Dangerous Time of the Year: Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents this Winter

Slip and fall injuries are one of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits. During wintertime, unsurprisingly, there seems to be a hike in these types of accidents, caused by icy or snowy conditions.

Slip and fall accidents are often considered relatively straightforward in terms of liability: the finger can usually be pointed at the owner or possessor of the building or land. Victims who have slipped, tripped and fallen as the result of the property owner’s negligence to heed certain precautions that would have prevented such an accident from occurring, may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. Below, we’ve outlined some of the common scenarios which often lead to slip and fall accidents, as well as rules regarding property owners’ rights and responsibilities to ensure their premise(s) are free of slip and fall hazards.

Ice or Snow Outside a Building

Generally, the Massachusetts law doesn't require a property owner or property possessor to remove ice or snow that accumulates outside his or her building as the result of inclement weather. However, if conditions on the property cause an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow, the property owner may be liable for slip and fall accidents, including when:

- Ice accumulates on the roof and then melts and drips off because of a clogged drain, then refreezes on the ground,
- The surface of a parking lot causes melting ice to form puddles, and then refreeze into ice patches, resulting in slippery surfaces that may cause individuals to fall.
- If a property owner/possessor elects to provide snow or ice removal, he must not do so negligently.

Inadequate Outdoor Lighting

Failing to adequately light an outdoor area may also lead to slip and fall accidents, especially slip and falls in parking lots, trips over curbing, falls on a step or stairs from a parking lot to a store, and trips and falls due to holes, cracks, and uneven surfaces. When these types of situations occur, the property owner may be found liable if he or she knew or should have known of the poor lighting and failed to fix the problem.

Parking Lots

Parking lot and parking garage owners are responsible for maintaining the property so that it is reasonably safe for people to access it. This includes filling and patching cracks and holes and ensuring that differences in height from one section of the lot to another are gradual rather than abrupt.


Generally speaking, a property owner is not liable for injuries sustained as the result of a slip and fall on a public sidewalk located outside his or her property (property that is owned and maintained by a city or town). In some cases however, an owner may be responsible if a victim sustained an injury on a private sidewalk used only by customers coming to and from the business.

Continue reading "It’s The Most Dangerous Time of the Year: Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents this Winter" »

November 26, 2014

MBTA Subway Trolleys Collide in Dorchester: Passengers Injured

An Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway trolley collision this morning, injured a reported seven passengers according to and

The accident occurred around 6:40 Wednesday morning on the Mattapan line in Dorchester just outside of the Butler Street station, as the trolleys were en route toward Ashmont. An out-of-service trolley car, luckily carrying no passengers at the time, apparently hit another trolley, which was carrying passengers, an MBTA spokesperson told reporters.

The spokesman also stated that there were at least seven people who were injured in the collision; several reported experiencing some back pain, as well as minor bumps and bruises. Two of the injured individuals included trolley operators.

Continue reading "MBTA Subway Trolleys Collide in Dorchester: Passengers Injured" »

November 26, 2014

Startling News for Minivan Owners

According to a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety three popular models have received poor reviews in the IIHS’s front-end collision test.

The tests simulate what happens to a driver in a front-end collision. The ever-popular Chrysler Town and Country Minivan is one car that failed this IIHS test. According to reports by CBS, when the experts ran the Town and Country into a barrier, drivers side only, at 40 mph, the air bag deployed, but the front of the car collapsed. In this situation, the driver would be thrown off the bag and suffer a blow to the head. And this was not the worst collision: IIHS also tested the Nissan Quest, which when the model hit the barrier, its engine compartment was pushed two feet backward pinning the test dummy so completely that research technicians had to dismantle the front seat to recover it.

In a statement obtained by CBS, Executive Vice President Dave Zuby said that the Nissan Quest “is one of the worst vehicles we've tested in this particular test. The forces that we measured on the dummy's left leg suggest that a person would be lucky to recover from the leg injuries and be able to walk normally again,” he said.

These new overlap tests are relatively new—they were initiated because a significant number of drivers were being killed in off-center collisions. The misperception, as Zuby puts it, is that people assume that cars are safer than ever, yet people are still dying and being seriously injured during front-end collisions.

In addition to Chrysler’s Town and Country, Dodge’s Caravan, and Nissan’s Quest being tested—all of which were rated as poor, the IIHS tested the Toyota Sienna (rated acceptable) and the Honda Odyssey (good).

Continue reading "Startling News for Minivan Owners" »

November 26, 2014

$18.5M Transvaginal Mesh Verdict Awarded to Four Women

Boston Scientific has lost another transvaginal mesh injury lawsuit, this one over the Obtryx mesh sling. The defective medical device verdict awards $18.5 million, includes punitive damages, to four women. The jurors found that the company acted with “gross negligence.”

This is the medical device maker’s second pelvic mesh injury lawsuit loss in weeks. Earlier this month, another civil jury awarded four other women $26.7 million over injuries they sustained related to Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle mesh device.

In this Obtrxy mesh sling lawsuit, the plaintiffs said that the device, used to treat stress urinary incontinence, caused them to sustain serious infections and nerve damage, as well s experience serious pain during intercourse. They also said that the mesh implant device caused tissue erosion, organ damage, and severe pain. They had to undergo multiple surgeries because of the faulty implant.

The women claim that the Boston Scientific did not properly test the mesh products, which are made of polypropylene, a material that is not approved for permanent use in the body. Their lawyers said that the manufacturer rushed the products to market, which is why satisfactory safety testing was not conducted. They claim that pelvic mesh maker did not tell the women and doctors about the risks involved with the device.

Boston Scientific disagrees with the jury’s ruling and is considering appealing the ruling.

The Obtryx Mesh sling is implanted via an incision in the vagina. The mesh is designed to support the urethra, keep it from sagging or leaking urine. Unfortunately, like other vaginal mesh implant products, the Obtryx mesh has been linked to serious side effects including infection, erosion through the vaginal wall, severe pain, dyspareunia, organ damage, perforation of the bladder, bowel, or blood vessels, incontinence, disfigurement, or scarring. Multiple surgeries may be required to remove the device, which can result in further pain and complications.

You want to speak with a Boston personal injury law firm that can help you explore your legal options for a Massachusetts defective medical device case.

Boston Scientific to pay $18.5 million in mesh case, Reuters, November 20, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Boston Scientific Must Pay $26.7M Transvaginal Mesh Verdict to Four Women, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 14, 2014

Hundreds of Risperdal Lawsuits Blame Drug For Causing Gynecomastia in Males, Massachusetts Drug

November 24, 2014

$139M School District’s Sex Abuse Settlement, UVA’s Suspension of Fraternities Over Gang Rape Allegations Shine Yet Another Spotlight on Sexual Violence in Schools

A school district in California has agreed to pay $139 million to resolve the remaining sex abuse lawsuits involving an elementary school teacher. Mark Berndt, a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, was convicted of numerous counts of lewd conduct.
Some 82 students are involved in the settlement, which was arrived at during jury selection of the trial.

According to plaintiffs, Berndt blindfolded the kids and fed them his sperm on cookies. If the child sex abuse trial had gone through, the alleged victims' lawyers had intended to show evidence suggesting that the district knew of sexual misconduct allegations involving Berndt three decades ago but did not nothing until a pharmacy photo processor notified the authorities that there was film showing the kids blindfolded while eating an unknown substance.

Aside from the$139 million settlement, the school district had previously agreed to pay $30 million to resolve 65 other sex abuse cases involving Berndt.

Meantime, sexual assault allegations have prompted the University of Virginia to suspended all fraternities and associated parties through January 9. The move comes after an article in Rolling Stone magazine described one student’s experience of being gang raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. The alleged victim said the incident lasted three hours. She says that she notified the school's Sexual Misconduct Board about what happened.

However, according to Rolling Stone, the university didn’t decide to investigate the fraternity until its administrators found out that the magazine was working on an article about the incident. University of Virginia president Teresa A. Sullivan reportedly asked police to investigate the alleged rape just several days ago.

Unfortunately, sexual crimes happen in elementary schools, high schools, and on college campuses. It is the job of the school, the district, and administrators to protect students and prevent sexual abuse and rape from happening. When a student becomes a victim of molestation or sexual assault while under the school’s watch, he or she may have legal grounds for pursuing a Boston sex abuse injury lawsuit against the abuser, as well as the party (or parties) that should have prevented the crime from happening.

California: School District to Pay Settlement in Sex Abuse Case, New York Times/AP, November 21, 2014

UVA suspends fraternities after report on gang rape allegation, CNN, November 24, 2014

President Obama Launches the "It's On Us" Campaign to End Sexual Assault on Campus, The White House, September 19, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Spine Doctor Accused of Massachusetts Sexual Assault, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2014

Hundreds of Risperdal Lawsuits Blame Drug For Causing Gynecomastia in Males, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2014

46.3 Million to Hit Roads Thanksgiving Weekend: Tips You Need to Know to Protect Your Family, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

Massachusetts is Still Behind in Elevator Inspections

According to a report by Massachusetts auditor Suzanne Bump, the state’s Department of Public Safety is running behind on elevator inspections, which are supposed to be conducted on registered elevators every year. As of October 2012, over 14,200 of the approximately 39,000 registered elevators are running despite an expired inspection certificate. Over 1,700 have certificates that expired more than four years ago. Bump says elevators that go uninspected are a safety risk. This is especially true when there is an elevator defect or malfunction that goes unchecked and is not repaired.

Also according to the report, most elevator owners applied to have their elevators inspected on time but got stuck in the backlog. A Public Safety Department spokesperson noted that since the audit, the agency has been taking “significant’ steps to catch up with inspections and compliance is now beyond 80%. The report, however, claims that the department’s database isn’t accurate, which makes it hard to get a sense of how much progress has really been made in getting caught up on inspections.

The report comes more than ten years after another state audit reported similar issues with elevators undergoing timely inspections. Back then, elevator owners were identified as part of the problem for the delays because of their failure to apply for inspections.

Since then, the DPS has hired more inspectors. It blamed some of the delays on the growth in the number of elevators as well as an increase in the number of re-inspections. Elevators that don’t pass inspection have to undergo another one within 90 days. This can delays other scheduled inspections.

At Altman & Altman LLP, our Boston elevator injury lawyers represent clients that sustained serious injuries in a Massachusetts elevator accident. Common elevator accidents and their causes include:

• Elevator collapse
• A falling elevator caused by defective brakes, strained cables, or another malfunction
• Slip and fall accidents
• Elevator misalignment
• Elevator door malfunction
• An elevator getting stuck between floors
• Abrupt acceleration or deceleration
• Defective governors
• Mis-leveling
• Door entrapment
• Circuit malfunction
• People falling into shafts
• Wiring malfunctions, which can cause electric shock accidents
• Failure to repair defects and malfunctions

Elevator accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, including amputation, paralysis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, limb loss, and death.

Property owners must make sure elevators on the premise are working properly and are safe for use. Meantime, elevator manufacturers are supposed to make sure their elevators are free from design defects or other flaws that could prevent them from working properly.

Contact our Massachusetts personal injury law firm. Depending on what caused the Boston elevator injury accident, you could have grounds for a premises liability case, a wrongful death claim, or a products liability lawsuit. If you are an elevator worker who got injured on the job, you could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. You also may be able to file an injury case against liable parties other than your employer.

Audit: Massachusetts lags in elevator inspections, AP/, November 19, 2014

Massachusetts’s Elevator Inspection Problem Goes Back Decades,, November 1, 2014

Massachusetts Department of Public Safety

More Blog Posts:
Boston Man Dies After Back Bay Elevator Shaft Fall, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, March 28, 2014

Woman Falls Down Elevator Shaft at Fenway, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 19, 2014

Hundreds of Risperdal Lawsuits Blame Drug For Causing Gynecomastia in Males
, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2014