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October 21, 2014

Massachusetts Suspends New Guardrail Use Over Safety Issues

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has decided to stop the use of a guardrail-end terminal over concerns that there may be safety issues. The rail-end guardrail pieces, known as the ET-Plus, are made by Trinity Industries of Texas. The manufacturer has already have been the subject of products liability lawsuits by motorists claiming they lost their legs in traffic crashes.

This week, a federal jury ruled that Trinity should pay $175 million in a whistleblower lawsuit that exposed the hazards involved with using the guardrail end caps. It was guardrail installer Josh Harman who accused Trinity of making the ET-Plus unsafe when the company redesigned it.

He sued Trinity under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions. As the whistleblower, Harman is entitled to a percentage of what is recovered. Because of statutory mandate, the $175 million figure is expected to triple.

ABC News recently reported that according to highway safety experts, highways in nearly every state have been outfitted with the redesigned Trinity guardrail. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of these guardrail parts on U.S. roads.

Trinity redesigned its guardrail in 2005 without notifying the Federal Highway Administration. One of those modifications involved shrinking an integral metal piece by one inch, from five inches to four. A company engineer noted in an internal email that the change would save Trinity approximately $2 dollars a piece. However, according to The Boston Globe, before approving the guardrail for continued use in 2012, a senior Trinity engineer expressed concerns about its safety.

Highway guardrails are supposed to push the steel guard railing away from an incoming car, while slowing the vehicle to a stop. Yet, one cannot deny the serious injuries that have resulted when vehicles have collided with the redesigned Trinity guardrails.

At least five deaths and even more injuries in at least 14 motor vehicle crashes are being blamed on these Trinity guardrails. Rather than cushioning impact, the Trinity-made guardrail end caps reportedly are spearing the vehicle and its occupants.

Trinity, however, told ABC News that it didn’t think an announcement of the change when it redesigned the product was necessary because the modifications did not impact the system’s performance or its maintenance or installation. Yet certain related documents that should have been turned over to the government agency were “inadvertently omitted.” The company maintains that the redesigned guardrail parts meet federal standards and have passed two crash tests.

Other states, including Nevada and Missouri, also recently banned the Trinity guardrails. Although the Federal Highway Administration had accepted Trinity’s claim that the guardrails satisfy safety criteria, letting states use federal money to buy and install the guardrail heads, officials are now demanding that Trinity conduct new crash tests in the wake of the whistleblower verdict.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston injury law firm if you suspect that your injuries are a result of crashing into a highway guardrail.

Feds Demand New Crash Tests for Controversial Guardrail After $175M Verdict
, ABC News, October 21, 2014

Trinity Industries Whistleblower Awarded $175 Million in Guardrail Suit, The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2014

States question guardrail safety, The Boston Globe, October 12, 2014

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

Brookline Police Gauge Interest in New Bicycle Law, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2014

MA Electrical Company Cited By U.S. Department of Labor After Deaths of 2 Workers, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2014

October 18, 2014

$15.6M Auto Defects Case Against Toyota Dealership is Upheld

A three-judge panel has upheld a jury’s verdict awarding $15.6 million to a driver and passengers of a Toyota minivan. They sustained injuries when the auto malfunctioned and went into a ravine.

The defendant of this auto defects case is Center City Toyota in Pennsylvania, which had serviced the auto. Early on during the civil trial, it tried to settle with the plaintiffs for $1.7 million.

The plaintiffs also had sued Toyota Motor Corp., several Toyota affiliates, and PhillyCarShare, which had rented the vehicle to the plaintiffs, for auto products liability. These defendants were later dismissed from the lawsuit.

Per the complaint, Dr. Noreen Lewis was the driver of the rented minivan. Five of her relatives were passengers. The plaintiffs claim that the brakes failed and the steering wheel locked, causing the vehicle to go off the road and roll down a ravine.

They believe that a ball joint separation caused the van’s steering wheel to lock. They accused CCT of not properly inspecting the auto.

Meantime, the defendant argued that the ball joint was not defective and the car rental company should have told Lewis she should stop driving the minivan once the check engine indicator went off. CCT accused Lewis of speeding.

Lewis sustained bone fractures, a concussion, facial lacerations, heart and lung contusions, muscle rips, and injuries to her vertebrae and disc. Her mother broke her wrist and punctured a lung. Other passengers sustained neck and back pain, as well as broken bones.

Lewis was awarded $11.4 million for her injuries. The rest of the award is for the other passengers.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a traffic crash that you believe was caused by vehicle defects or an auto malfunction, you may have reason to pursue a Boston auto products liability lawsuit from the automaker, the dealer, a car repair company, or an auto rental company that should have repaired the safety problem or ensured that the defect never existed.

In Massachusetts, please contact Altman & Altman, LLP to speak with an experienced Boston car defects attorney.

Just this week, Toyota recalled 1.6 million cars in certain countries. About 759,000 autos made between 2005 and September 2010 were recalled over problems with the autos' fuel delivery pipes. If the fuel were to leak through these pipes, this could create a fire hazard. The other defects involve brake problems.

In the wake of so many recalls this year, automakers have been under closer scrutiny. Already, in 2014, Toyota has issued at least 18 recalls affecting over 5.2 million cars in the U.S. alone.

Going after an automaker can feel daunting, which is why you shouldn’t do this without an experience law firm by your side. There will be many pivotal choices to make that could affect the outcome of your case. You want to make sure you have someone who understands the complexities involved and can help you decide whether to settle or go to court.

$15.6 Mil Verdict Against Toyota Dealerships Upheld, The Legal Intelligencer, October 8, 2014

Toyota Recalls 1.67 Million Vehicles
, The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2014

More Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Chain Settles Medicare Fraud, Whistleblower Claims for $38M, October 14, 2014

Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit Is Sent Back to State Court
, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers, October 13, 2014

Brookline Police Gauge Interest in New Bicycle Law, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2014

October 14, 2014

Nursing Home Chain Settles Medicare Fraud, Whistleblower Claims for $38M

Extendicare Health Services Inc., a nursing and rehabilitation facilitation chain, has agreed to pay $38 million to settle Medicaid and Medicare fraud claims that were originally brought in a whistleblower lawsuit. The chain is accused of billing for substandard care and submitting claim for therapy services that were medically unnecessary. Extendicare is one of the largest nursing home chains in the United States.

The primary whistleblower in this Medicaid fraud case is Tracy Lovvorn, a physical therapist who was retained as a rehabilitation director by an Extendicare subsidiary. Lovvorn is entitled to $1.8 million of the government’s settlement. Another relator, Donald Gallic, also filed a qui tam case against the nursing and rehab chain. He is entitled to a nearly $260,000 award.

The allegations against Extendicare include the failure to adequately staff its 146 facilities in 11 states, inadequate catheter care, failure to follow protocols for pressure ulcers and falls, and improper administration of medications. According to officials, the nursing and rehab care was so unsatisfactory at certain Extendicare facilities that staff failed to prevent head injuries, fall accidents, and bedsores. Certain patients developed infections or became dehydrated or malnourished. Some individuals needed hospital care because of the negligent nursing care provided to them. These residents and their families could be entitled to nursing home neglect compensation.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston whistleblower lawyers or Medicare fraud attorneys if you suspect that a fraud has been committed against the federal or state government. Altman & Altman LLP can help you explore your legal options for filing a whistleblower claim or another type of civil lawsuit.

Becoming a whistleblower is a huge responsibility and there could be consequences because of your decision to step forward and report the wrongdoing. Our Massachusetts whistleblower lawyers are here to protect our clients's rights and make sure they get the award they are entitled to for filing a Qui Tam case.

Chain to Pay $38 Million Over Claims of Poor Care, NY Times, October 10, 2014

Extendicare Health Services Inc. Agrees to Pay $38 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to the Provision of Substandard Nursing Care and Medically Unnecessary Rehabilitation Therapy, US Department of Justice, October 10, 2014

More Blog Posts:

SEC Pays Over $30M Whistleblower Award in Securities Fraud Case to Informant Living Abroad, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2014

Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 15, 2014

MA Electrical Company Cited By U.S. Department of Labor After Deaths of 2 Workers
, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog

October 11, 2014

CPSC Votes to Make Mandatory Standards for Window Covering Cords

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to start a rulemaking process that would protect kids from the strangulation hazard that comes with window coverings with exposed or dangling cords. October is Window Covering Safety Month.

A child’s neck can get caught and tangled up cord, resulting in strangulation or suffocation. Some children that are lucky enough to survive such an incident are left with permanent brain injuries.

According to the CPSC, between ’96 and ’12 approximately 184 young children and babies died from window cord strangulation. There were over 100 non-fatal strangulation accidents involving the cords of window shades and blinds during that time period, with 1,590 kids needing medical care because of incidents involving these products.

The Consumer Federation of America reports that earlier this year, four kids died from window cord strangulation incidents over a twenty-two day period. There have been at least three other window cord-related deaths and one serious injury so far in 2014.

In Massachusetts, our Boston products liability lawyers represent clients who have sustained injuries because of dangerous or defective products. Please contact Altman & Altman LLP to request your free case consultation with an experienced window cord injury attorney.

Now, the CPSC is looking to create mandatory window covering safety standards, especially as voluntary standards have not been enough to get manufacturers to only make window coverings that have the least risk of strangulation, suffocation, and death. For example, there are cordless blinds in the marketplace, yet companies persist in making window coverings with dangling or exposed cords. The CPSC’s vote comes a year after safety and consumer groups submitted a petition asking the agency to tackle the strangulation risks of window blind cords.

Meantime, those that oppose the implementation of stricter regulations say that a ban on window blinds with accessible cords could cost thousands of jobs. They also believe that the higher cost of cordless window blinds could up the chance of injury because consumers might stick to their older products longer. The CPSC’s own data indicates that over 80% of strangulation incidents involved older window blinds that did not meet even today’s standards.

Also according to CPSC data, vertical and horizontal blinds are involved in about 70% of window covering cord accidents. Pull cords are a factor in 41% of incidents, while looped cords play a part in 28% of window cord accidents. Over the years, the CPSC has announced major recalls when window blinds and their cords have caused serious injury or death.

Steps that parents can take to lower the risks of window cord injuries:

• Use cordless window coverings
• Make sure any window covering cords are out of the kids’ reach
• Keep all furniture, especially beds, cribs, and sofas, away from any window cords
• Adjust pull cords so that they are as short as possible
• Anchor the continuous-loop pull cords found on drapes and make sure the cords are pulled tight

CPSC Votes to Develop Mandatory Safety Standards for Window Coverings to Protect Children,, October 8, 2014

October is Window Covering Safety Month: CPSC Urges Parents to Inspect Homes for Hidden and Deadly Window Cord Hazards, CPSC, October 9, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Over 1,800 Massachusetts State Police Car Crashes in the Last Five Years, Reports The Boston Globe, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2014

Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 15, 2014

MA Electrical Company Cited By U.S. Department of Labor After Deaths of 2 Workers
, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2014

October 7, 2014

Over 1,800 Massachusetts State Police Car Crashes in the Last Five Years, Reports The Boston Globe

According to The Boston Globe, in the last five years, there have been over 1,800 Massachusetts car crashes involving State Police vehicles—that’s nearly one collision a day. Law enforcement authorities say that hundreds of these accidents occurred because troopers were speeding, disregarding traffic signs, or breaking other safety rules.

Records indicate that approximately 100 people annually are hurt in Massachusetts State Police car crashes. In 2013 alone, there were over 400 collisions, including 306 Boston auto collisions.

Also, in the last ten years the department has paid over $3 million in collision settlements. The amount could have been more if there wasn’t a $100,000 statutory limit on negligence claims brought against government agencies in the state. At least four of the Massachusetts police traffic crashes involved fatalities.

While law enforcement officials attribute some of the accidents to the many miles officers drive when patrolling, police appear to be involved in about double as many collisions per mile as other motorists.

Common causes of police car crashes:
• High speed pursuits
• Driving in poor weather conditions
• Distracted driving, including laptops, other technology devices, and listening to radio chatter
• Speeding, even if unrelated to their work

Unfortunately, there are police officers that think the laws don’t apply to them, which can lead to serious injuries and deaths. Even while in the pursuit of justice, Massachusetts and local troopers have a duty to drive safely so that no one—including a suspect or an innocent bystander—is hurt.

Police car crashes are a problem in other states as well. Just recently, in Southern California, five people were sent to the hospital following a traffic crash between a San Diego police car, another vehicle, and eight bicyclists. At the time, the police officer was heading to a domestic violence call. The couple in the vehicle said they had the green light.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Boston car accident involving a state police car or some other vehicle and you believe the other driver may have been at fault, you should speak with a Boston injury lawyer immediately.

Troopers, public at risk from State Police cruiser crashes, The Boston Globe, October 5, 2014

Request a Police Crash Report, Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

Police Car Crashes into Group of Tourists, NBC San Diego, September 29, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Families of Two Victims Involving GM Ignition Defect Accept Compensation Fund's Wrongful Death Settlement Offers, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 6, 2014

Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2014

Cape Cod MA Crane Accident Deaths Were Preventable, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, September 26, 2014

October 6, 2014

Families of Two Victims Involving GM Ignition Defect Accept Compensation Fund's Wrongful Death Settlement Offers

The families of Amy Rademaker, 15, and Natasha Weigel, 18, have agreed to take the wrongful death settlement offers made to them by General Motors from its victim compensation fund. Weigel and Rademaker were killed following a 2006 car crash involving a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt that appears to have been caused by an ignition defect. The air bags did not deploy. Megan Ungars-Kerns, who was 17 at the time and the one driving the vehicle, sustained serious brain damage.

GM established its victim compensation fund for the injury victims and the families of people killed in motor vehicle crashes caused by its faulty ignition switches. Some 2.6 million autos have been recalled because of the safety issue.

How much GM will decide to offer to each party will depend on the victim’s age, earning potential, family duties, and medical costs. According to The Washington Post, one 10-year-old who became a paraplegic in a GM car crash involving ignition problems was offered $7.8 million.

The automaker has admitted that its officials knew about the ignition switch problems for over 10 years before the company started making recalls in early 2014. The defect can cause a vehicle to shut off, hinder air bag deployment, and negatively impact the brakes and steering.

According to the latest figures, at least 24 people have died in ignition defect-related collisions involving a GM vehicle. To date, the victim compensation fund has received applications from 165 families seeking payment. Ken Feinberg, the GM victim fund chief, said that he has gotten applications from 79 people claiming serious injuries and 886 others claiming minor injuries.

Meantime, GM continues to recall autos over other safety problems. This weekend, it recalled another 57,182 autos, including 46,873 Pontiac G8s (’08 and ’09 models) and Chevrolet Caprices used as police cars between 2011 and 2013. If an ignition key is struck by accident it could shift from the “run” position. This could shut off the air bags and engine.

The car manufacturer also recalled 10,005 Cadillac CTS-Vs and STS-V’s from different model years due to possible fuel pump module overheating, as well as 304 Chevrolet Sonics because of a loose electrical connection that could affect the steering column. In total, GM has already issued over 70 recalls affecting nearly 30 million autos this year. Other recent GM recalls include 430,550 Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X SUVs, due to worn threads and loose joints involving the rear toe link assembly, and 93,834 Chevrolet Spark cars because of the risk of the hood opening on a moving vehicle.

Our Boston, MA auto products liability lawyers represent victims and their families with claims against the world’s largest automakers. You do not want to settle without speaking to an experienced GM ignition switch attorney about your case. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.

GM recalls now total almost 30 million cars in North America, Fox Sports, October 6, 2014

GM's Latest Recall Covers Over 57,000 Cars, The Daily Finance, October 6, 2014

Attorney: Two clients agree to GM fund offer, The Detroit News, September 25, 2014

GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility

More Blog Posts:
General Motors Recalls Another 800,000 Cars, Cites More Deaths Related to Faulty Ignition Switches, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, July 24, 2014

Judge Rejects GM’s Bid to Stop Faulty Ignition Switch Lawsuit That Spurred Recalls, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2014

Brookline Police Gauge Interest in New Bicycle Law, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2014

September 30, 2014

Elder Advocates Worry About Massachusetts Assisted Living Residents

According to elder advocates, the state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which oversees some 224 facilities, is not properly equipped to protect Massachusetts assisted living residents, who are too often at risk of getting hurt. The Boston Globe reports that assisted living residences in the state are not as tightly regulated as nursing homes. However, many elderly persons—about 13,700 people—are choosing this housing alternative because it is less expensive than the cost of living in a nursing home.

Typically assisted living residents are elderly adults who need help cooking, bathing, or with other daily tasks but can otherwise live independently. Yet because of not enough supervision and inadequate staffing, this type of living situation ultimately could prove more hurtful than helpful.

The Globe says that about 100 incidents in assisted living facilities, including those involving elder abuse and deadly falls, are reported to the Elder Affairs office every week. Some recent incidents include a Stoughton fall accident involving a dementia patient who wandered into a room and fell out of a window on the second floor, a Framingham elder abuse case involving two staffers that allegedly assaulted two Alzheimer patients and filmed a third resident that wasn’t full clothed, and a Revere trip and fall accident involving a man who fell in the bathroom and bled to death before help finally arrived.

While the state doesn’t mandate minimum staffing levels in Massachusetts assisted living facilities, new employees must undergo at least seven hours of orientation and 10 hours of training every year—this also applies to the assisted living residencies with special care units for dementia patients. The state has not revised its assisted living rules in nearly a decade. There has also been a decline in the percentage of residents that are moved to Massachusetts nursing homes even though the need this more concentrated type of care.

It is unfortunate that Boston elder care abuse continues to be a problem in both Massachusetts nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, many of these residents may be too frail or impaired or sick to report the incidents when they happen. Depending on their health issues they also might be more prone to injury or illness caused by abuse and negligence.

Types of Massachusetts elder abuse:

• Physical abuse, including inappropriate disciplinary measures to get elderly residents to “behave”
• Verbal abuse, including intimidation, threats, yelling, ridicule, bullying, harassment, or ridicule
• Psychological abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Sexual abuse and assault
• Elder neglect
• Negligent care
• Financial exploitation

You want to speak with a Boston elder abuse lawyer to explore your legal options. Assisted living facility residents and nursing home patients may have grounds for a Massachusetts nursing negligence case against the facility and those directly responsible for the abuse or neglect.

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect you should remove him/her from the facility right away and notify the authorities. Your first case consultation with Altman & Altman LLP, our Boston nursing home abuse law firm, is free.

Elder advocates raise concerns on assisted living, The Boston Globe, September 21, 2014

Executive Office of Elder Affairs,

September 30, 2014

$1.25 Million Verdict Awarded to Man Who Cut Off Fingers with Unsafe Table Saw

An Illinois woodworker was awarded a $1.25 million jury verdict after he was severely injured while using a defective Ryobi table saw.

Brandon Stollings, 30, lost his index finger and parts of his two other fingers when his Ryobi saw unexpectedly experienced a kickback—which occurs when a piece of wood pinches a table saw blade and forces it back toward the operator. The incident occurred in 2007 while Stollings was doing work for his mother and stepfather at their home while using the Ryobi Model BTS20R table saw. According to court documents, Stollings was injured as he fed laminate flooring through the saw, and the wood kicked back, pulling Stolling’s hand directly into the blade. Stolling’s injury and case is just one of hundreds of cases involving defective table saws throughout the country.

Stollings trial apparently lasted two weeks, whereby the table saw’s design was called into question. Former Ryobi chief engineer David Peot said that the simple addition of a piece of curved metal, called a riving knife, could eliminate all kickbacks. Yet, despite this fix Ryobi and most other table saw manufacturers did not equip their saws with riving knives until 2010. According to the National Trial Lawyers, most saws included a fixed splitter and an unwieldy and seldom-used blade guard that restricted visibility of the blade. It had to be removed for many types of cuts and was difficult and time-consuming to remove and reinstall.

Continue reading "$1.25 Million Verdict Awarded to Man Who Cut Off Fingers with Unsafe Table Saw" »

September 30, 2014

Ford Recalls 850,000 Vehicles For Air-Bag Issue

Ford Motor Co. recalled nearly 850,000 vehicles, including two of its most popular models, last week over concerns that an electrical glitch could cause the vehicle’s air bags to malfunction during an accident.

According to reports by the Wall Street Journal, the Michigan automaker recalled 2013 and 2014 model year Ford sedans, Escape crossovers, C-Max hybrids and the Lincoln MKZ luxury cards sold in North America, Canada and Mexico. The reasoning behind the recall was that the vehicle’s restraint control module has the potential to disable both front and side curtain airbags during a crash, which ultimately would increase the risk for injury for passengers. The shortage would illuminate the vehicle’s air bag warning light. The company stated that at the present time, it is unaware of any accidents that have been caused by the suspected malfunction.

Continue reading "Ford Recalls 850,000 Vehicles For Air-Bag Issue" »

September 30, 2014

Two Killed In Cape Cod Skydiving Accident

Two men were tragically killed on Sunday afternoon while doing a tandem skydive at a Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills.

The maneuver, which is generally considered very safe, involves an experienced skydiving instructor strapped behind a novice skydiving student. Together the pair will jump from an aircraft and descend under a large parachute.

On Sunday, around 5 p.m., this routine jump turned horribly wrong when the men performing the maneuver missed their landing spot on the airfield and crashed into a shed in the backyard of a residence across the street. The student, a 29-year-old from Nantucket, and the instructor, 48, of West Lynnwood, Washington, suffered fatal injuries during the fall.

The cause of the accident has been attributed to complications with the parachute. According to reports by the Boston Globe, the student’s friend, who had also jumped, said witnesses told her that the pair’s parachute had in fact opened, but had become tangled. Officials believe the pair eventually lost control before hitting the shed. The woman also reported that while up to altitude, “both instructors were complaining how this was their 16th jump of the day, and both of them were saying they were tired but had two more to go,” according to The Boston Globe.

Investigators are hoping that some footage shot from the sports camera of one of the men will provide some evidence as to exactly what happened. D.A. for the Cape & Islands Michael O’Keefe said he believes that this was just a tragic accident. The FAA is currently in the process of leading the investigation to determine how the jumpers veered off course and crashed.

Continue reading "Two Killed In Cape Cod Skydiving Accident" »

September 26, 2014

Framingham, MA Wrongful Death Case Seeks Damage Over Inmate’s Fatal Drug Overdose

The estate of Monique Miller is suing the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, unnamed deputies, and a corrections officer for her Framingham, MA wrongful death. Miller, a 42-year-old woman with five children, died of a drug overdose while at the MCI-Framingham correctional facility. She was imprisoned over drug and shoplifting charges.

According to her family, Miller snorted heroin while in custody. She was then allowed to remain facedown on the floor of her cell for hours even though she obviously needed medical help. The plaintiffs are accusing corrections officer Nancy Padvaiskas and the other defendants of “deliberate indifference” and violating the prohibition related to unusual and cruel punishment. Their Massachusetts wrongful death case also accuses the sheriff’s deputies of not supervising the prisoners under their care, failing to stop drug use by inmates, and not noticing that there were inmates under the influence of drugs.

During transport for a court appearance last year, Miller and other prisoners snorted heroin while in Cambridge. The drug came from another prisoner, who was also concealing the sedative Seroquel.

Surveillance footage captured Miller taking heroin. Other inmates have since admitted to snorting the drug too while in custody. A prisoner even had to go to the infirmary for drug use.

It was Padvaiskas’s job to make the rounds that night. She reportedly saw Miller facedown on the floor yet did not enter the cell. It would be more than four hours before she finally asked Miller’s cellmate to wake the prisoner, who was found unresponsive. According to autopsy results, Miller passed away from acute intoxication from taking opiates, nortriptyline, and amitriptyline.

Massachusetts Police Brutality and Negligence
Law enforcement officers, including those tasked with supervising inmates, have a duty to protect prisoners from injury. When failure to adequately monitor prisoners causes injury or illness to occur, or creates an atmosphere were injury or death can happen, the inmate or his/her family may have reason to pursue a Boston injury case. Also, police, deputies, corrections officers are not allowed to exert excessive or unnecessary force when dealing with prisoners or civilians. That kind of misconduct could lead to a Massachusetts police brutality case.

Federal suit filed after inmate death at MCI-Framingham, Metrowest Daily News, September 23, 2014

Family of MCI-Framingham inmate files lawsuit, Boston Herald, September 24, 2014

MCI - Framingham,

More Blog Posts:
Family of Joshua Messier Reach $3 Million Settlement in Bridgewater Hospital Death, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2014

Ex-Inmate’s Family Files Essex County, Massachusetts $2M Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Jail, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013

New Ordinance Could Protect Boston Bicyclists By Requiring Protective Side Guards, Convex Mirrors on City Trucks, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2014

September 22, 2014

SEC Pays Over $30M Whistleblower Award in Securities Fraud Case to Informant Living Abroad

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it expects to pay over $30 million to a whistleblower. This is the largest SEC whistleblower award issued under the whistleblower program, which was established under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The agency is keeping the specifics of the case under wraps. However, the regulator acknowledged that the recipient is someone who lives outside the United States.

Under the program, the SEC may give the whistleblower 10 - 30% of the award collected if the information provided was original and substantial enough that it led to the enforcement action and resulted in sanctions of over $1 million.

To date the SEC has issued awards to approximately 15 informations. This informant is the fourth one located overseas.

SEC whistleblower chief Sean McKessy said that this latest award demonstrates the “international breadth” of the program and shows that the agency welcomes tips from “anyone, anywhere,” in its efforts to hold wrongdoers accountable and fight for justice. McKessy noted that people around the globe should see this latest award as incentive to report credible information about possible violations of U.S. securities laws.

The largest SEC whistleblower award prior to this one was $14 million. It involved a Chicago-based scam to bilk foreigners hoping to obtain U.S. residency. Anshoo R. Sethi and two Illinois companies are accused of defrauding 250 investors, mostly from China, of more than $155 million.

The investors thought the U.S.-based venture would qualify them for an immigration program that grants people residency for helping create jobs with their investments. At $14 million, the SEC gave the whistleblower 10% of the $147 million that was recovered for investors.

At Altman & Altman LLP our Massachusetts SEC whistleblower lawyers are here to help individuals bring a whistleblower case against a financial institution or another entity that has bilked the government. To receive part of the recovery, you have to be among, if not the first to come forward with the information exposing the fraud. The sooner you begin exploring your legal options the better.

Our Boston Qui Tam lawyers know that coming forward to report securities fraud or any other fraud against the government can be an intimidating endeavor. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today for your free case consultation.

SEC Announces Largest-Ever Whistleblower Award, SEC, September 22, 2014

Read the SEC Order (PDF)

SEC Pays $30 Million to Whistle-Blower in Largest Award, Bloomberg, September 22, 2014

More Blog Posts:
False Claims Act and Whistleblowers Act: Empowering People to Report Fraud, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 8, 2014

Home Health Company Settles Medicare Fraud Case Brought by Whistleblower for $150 Million, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2014

Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 15, 2014