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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/MassLive.com, November 19, 2014

Massachusetts’s Elevator Inspection Problem Goes Back Decades, Boston.com, 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

November 19, 2014

Spine Doctor Accused of Massachusetts Sexual Assault

A grand jury in Worcester County has indicted Dr. Ho Yin "Aaron" Shiu on one count of rape and multiple counts of indecent assault and battery. Shiu is a spine doctor. The indictments revolve around allegations involving two women.

One of the alleged victims, a 42-year-old woman, said that Shiu sexually violated her at Mass Memorial Medical Center during an appointment in 2013. The other woman, also a patient, claims that he assaulted her at AdCare hospital.

Last month, Shiu went into a voluntary, non-disciplinary agreement with Massachusetts’s Board of Registration Medicine not to practice in the state. By agreeing not to practice, Shiu is not admitting to wrongdoing.

Sexual Assault as Massachusetts Medical Malpractice
Sexual assault is a crime. It can also be grounds for a Boston personal injury case against the assailant and others that could/should have prevented the sex crime from happening. In a case where a physician is accused of rape or sexual assault, the alleged victim may choose to pursue damages not only against the doctor but also against the hospital or other medical facility where the crime happened.

Doctors and other medical professionals have a unique relationship with patients in that they gain access to them in ways that few others are allowed. When a medical professional abuses that privilege with unwanted, inappropriate, sexual, or violent advances, such actions violate that trust and can cause serious physical, psychological, and emotional harm.

Unfortunately, sex crimes involving medical professionals as the assailants do happen. Many incidents go unreported, covered up, or occur covertly under the guise of the physician performing a “more thorough exam.”

In Massachusetts, you may be able to file a Boston medical malpractice case over your sex assault injuries. If you’ve been the victim of sexual misconduct by a doctor, nurse, psychologist, gynecologist, dentist, or another professional, contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.

UMass doctor indicted on sex assault charges
, NewsTelegram, November 19, 2014


More Blog Posts:
GM Crisis: Victim Compensation Numbers Expected To Rise, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 17, 2014

Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2014

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

November 17, 2014

GM Crisis: Victim Compensation Numbers Expected To Rise

Contrary to the 13 deaths reported by General Motors caused by a faulty ignition switch, the automaker’s attorney has identified more 32 deaths—and expects this toll to rise in the weeks ahead.

The company’s victim-compensation team, led by Kenneth R. Feinberg, will post its weekly update of the number of death and injury claims it has found to be eligible for payment by GM. While the automaker is giving Feinberg sole discretion to determine who the victims are and how much money they should receive, the company could ultimately end up paying more money to more people than the courts would have allowed.

The program, according to reports by The Boston Globe, stipulates that the company cannot overrule Feinberg’s decision but it is entitled to be heard. Interviews show that during the review stages over the last three months, GM has participated in conference calls with Feinberg’s team, submitted documents, and presented findings by its own engineers in certain cases. Despite GM’s participation and weight in the case, the company has done little to change Feinberg’s mind. Ultimately it is the attorney who decides which victims are eligible. Feinberg has gone on record saying that the automaker has not yet questioned the amount of money presented to victims, rather the company is more concerned with the eligibility of victims.

Continue reading "GM Crisis: Victim Compensation Numbers Expected To Rise " »

November 14, 2014

Boston Scientific Must Pay $26.7M Transvaginal Mesh Verdict to Four Women

Manufacturer Boston Scientific must pay a $26.7 million vaginal mesh verdict to four women who claim the medical devices caused them to sustain personal injuries. Jurors deliberated just four hours before finding that company officials defectively designed its Pinnacle pelvic organ implants and neglected to properly warn doctors and patients about the risks involved in using the devices.

Out of the $26.7 million products liability verdict, which was all compensatory damages, over $6.7 million was awarded to Amal Eghnayem, Mania Nunez, and Margarita Dotres, respectively. Juana Betancourt was awarded more than $6.5 million.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys contended that the defendant’s officials disregarded internal calls for additional testing of the device and sent the Pinnacle products into the market too soon. They offered evidence demonstrating that the mesh in the Pinnacle insert was never approved for use in the human body.

Despite the verdict, Boston Scientific maintains that the jury’s findings are incorrect. The manufacturer plans to appeal the decision.

This products liability case is the first one involving the Pinnacle inserts to reach a resolution. Plaintiffs claim that the inserts are made of substandard quality matter and will frequently erode upon insertion. They blame the Pinnacle mesh device for serious complications, including organ damage. Uncomfortable, painful sex is another reported side effect.

Another Boston Scientific vaginal mesh case is slated to wrap up next week. It too, like this one, is involved in a bellwether trial that will help determine the value of the claims.

In September, another jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay a woman $73 million for injuries involving the Obtryx sling, which is also a vaginal mesh implant. The trial judge reduced the verdict to $34.6 million.

The Massachusetts-based company is facing over 23,000 vaginal implant lawsuits in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. Boston Scientific devices under investigation include the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit, the Lynx Suprapublic Mid-Urethral Sling System, the Advantage Fit Transvaginal Mid-Urethral Sling System, the Prefyx PPS Pelvic Sling System, the Solynx SIS Vaginal Sling System, and the Uphold Vaginal Support System.

Patient complaints related to mesh devices include vaginal erosion, organ damage, and serious pain. In many cases, revision surgery, sometimes having to occur as multiple procedures, were required to remove the mesh implant. In certain instances, damage was so severe that the vagina had to be reconstructed.

Other big manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products under scrutiny over their mesh implant devices include Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary, Bard Medical, and Endo Pharmaceutical’s American Medical Systems.

You want to speak with a Boston vaginal mesh implant lawyer that understands how these products can cause injury and knows how to prove that the manufacturer and and any other responsible parties were liable. Contact our Massachusetts products liability law firm today.

Boston Scientific ordered to pay $26.7 million over mesh devices, Reuters, November 13, 2014


More Blog Posts:

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

Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2014

Recent Massachusetts Pedestrian Accidents in Bridgewater, Lowell, Brockton Lead to Fatalities, Boston Car Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014

$1.2 Million Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawsuit Blames Pumpkinfest for Man's Health Issues

Dwayne St. Marie is suing the organizer of Pumpkinfest for Massachusetts personal injury. St. Marie claims that loud music and smoke from the yearly festival in 2011 caused him to suffer a major cardiac incident. He is seeking $1.2 million in compensation.

At the time of the 2011 Pumpkinfest, St. Marie resided in an apartment overlooking the festival site in Turner Falls, MA. He says that smoke from a vendor under his home and the music playing at the event caused him to suffer a migraine headache while weakening his respiratory and cardiac systems. St. Marie blames organizer Michael Nelson or the festival volunteers for putting a food vendor with exhaust vents in a spot where there were upper-story residences.

In his response, Nelson is seeking to have the Massachusetts injury case dismissed. He claims that St. Marie’s health issues are results of the plaintiff’s own negligence, which he believes is more than any negligence on the defendant’s part. St. Marie is seeking $39,288 for medical costs, $951,913 for lost income, and $250,000 for unspecified damages.

Massachusetts Premises Liability
Event organizers are supposed to protect patrons and others from Massachusetts personal injury by ensuring there are no hazards at the venue or related to the event that could cause harm. When failure to provide these protections leads to injury or health issues, those affected may be able to pursue a premises liability case to recover damages.

Because Massachusetts uses a modified comparative model for personal injury, liability is dependent upon which party was over 51% accountable. This means that even if a victim’s actions contributed in a minor manner to the incident that caused injury, the defendant could still be held liable if the latter’s negligence was greater.

You want to retain the services of an experienced Boston injury lawyer who can help you pursue the financial recovery you are owed.

Pumpkinfest faces $1.2M smoke, noise lawsuit, The Recorder, November 12, 2014

Loud music, smoke blamed in man's $1.2 million lawsuit against Pumpkinfest, The Berskhire Eagle/AP, November 13, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Thousands of U.S. Children Sickened by Laundry Detergent Pods, Says Study, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 10, 2014

Newburyport, MA Construction Accident Leaves Worker with Burn Injuries, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, November 10, 2014

Man Injured When Cement Beam Falls off Truck, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2014

November 10, 2014

Thousands of U.S. Children Sickened by Laundry Detergent Pods, Says Study

According to a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, of the 17,230 kids under the age of 6 that were exposed to laundry-detergent pods in the United States in 2012 and 2013, 769 of them were hospitalized. The researchers, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, say that the number of laundry pod exposures increased over sevenfold in April of last year from the year previous. Thirty of the kids fell into comas, twelve went into seizures, and one child died.

Some 80% of the laundry pod market is comprised of products made by Tide. While the small packets are convenient for adults doing the laundry— just take one detergent pod and drop it into the wash, no measuring necessary—these colorful, squishy, small packets that can be mistaken for candy by young children are a poison hazard. Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning to keep liquid laundry packets away from kids.

Swallowing and inhalation appear to be two main ways that kids are getting hurt. Resulting health issues have included vomiting, throat swelling, unconsciousness, breathing problems, temporary vision loss, and drowsiness. However, even adults are not immune from the risks. Handling the packet with wet hands can cause a laundry pod packet to dissolve fast, releasing the toxic contents quickly.

Responding to the study, the American Clean Institute said that laundry detergent manufacturers are working with the CPSC to figure out how to lower the amount of laundry detergent injuries that occur. In a statement, the trade group said that modifications have included better warning labels on proper use, as well as storage and packaging that are less enticing to kids and harder for them to access.

Boston Products Liability
If your child suffered injuries from exposure to laundry detergent pods or some other consumer product, you should contact our Boston products liability lawyers right away. Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be held liable for Massachusetts products defects if injuries to children or adults were involved.

There are three kinds of products liability cases:

Design defects, involving flaws that are inherent to the design of the product that make it unsafe.
Marketing defects, involving flaws in how a product is marketed to consumers. This may include inadequate warnings, improper labeling, marketing to the wrong age group, and inadequate instructions for how to use.
Manufacturing defects, involving flaws that were created during the manufacture process.

Even when a product is designed, made, and marketed as intended, if it causes injury, a victim may still be able to successfully pursue Boston products liability damages. If it was your child that was hurt, you may be able to file a Massachusetts child injury lawsuit on their behalf. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today. Your first consultation with us is a free, no obligation session.

Pediatric Exposure to Laundry Detergent Pods
, Pediatrics, November 5, 2014

Thousands of children poisoned by laundry detergent pods, CBS, November 10, 2013

CPSC and ACCC Warn of Poison Dangers with Liquid Laundry Packets, CPSC, March 21, 2013

American Cleaning Institute Response to Pediatrics Study on Childhood Accidents with Liquid Laundry Packets, Cleaning Institute, November 10, 2014


More Blog Posts:
7-Month-Old Boy Dies After Ingesting Laundry Detergent Pod, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2013

Boston Products Liability?: Keep Kids Away from Single-Load Liquid Laundry Pods, November 5, 2012

Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014

Woman Fatally Struck By Red Line Train in Boston at Downtown Crossing

A woman died after she was hit by a train at the Downtown Crossing Station last night. The Red Line was bound for Braintree. The victim was reportedly hit as the train approached the station. The fatal Boston train accident caused serious delays on both the Orange and Red lines.

According to one witness, the woman had been standing with a companion on the platform but leaning over the cautionary yellow line. Media reports are speculating that she may have fell onto the track or purposely jumped in front of the train.

Last night’s Boston train accident comes a little over a week after another person, a man, was struck by and then trapped under an Orange Line train at Haymarket Station. He died from his injuries. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said that victim was trespassing in the right of away when the incident happened.

Please contact our Boston train accident lawyers if you or someone you love was injured in an incident involving a train or another type of accident at a station. Aside from injuries caused in train crashes, injuries and deaths can also happen on MBTA property, whether involving train or some hazard that should have been remedied or never existed. Unsafe conditions or failure to establish the safety precautions and warnings to protect patrons can be grounds for a Massachusetts premises liability case.

We also represent clients who were injured at a train crossing or were the victim of a violent crime while at a train station, subway station, or bus stop. Your first consultation with one of our MBTA injury lawyers is free. Altman & Altman, LLP also represents Massachusetts train crash victims and their families with claims against other train companies and any other parties that should be held liable.

Woman Struck, Killed by Red Line Train at Downtown Crossing, Boston.com, November 6, 2014

Man hit by Orange Line train at Haymarket Station dies, WCVB, October 9, 2014

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority


More Blog Posts:
National Transportation Safety Board Announces Likely Cause of NY Train Derailment, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2014

Amtrak Train-SUV Crash in Mansfield, Massachusetts Kills Three
, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2014

Boston Commuter Train Crashes With Elderly Woman's Car in Train Crossing
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 30, 2011

November 5, 2014

Ex-Catholic Priest Settles Boston Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit With Former Student

Sean Leo Rooney, an ex-Roman Catholic priest, has settled a Boston sexual abuse lawsuit filed by a man who claims that the defendant molested him when he was a 14-year old student. According to the plaintiff, now 48, Rooney masturbated and fondled him on a bus during a school trip to Massachusetts and also while at the Salesian Junior Seminary in New York where he was studying. The former priest was on the faculty there at the time.

In his Massachusetts sex abuse case, the plaintiff said that he didn’t realize until years later that it was Rooney’s behavior that had caused him such harm. He says that he continues to suffer from emotional trauma, depression, panic attacks, sleeping difficulties, and problems with alcohol because of the explicit abuse committed by the defendant.

Rooney was a priest for 50 years before he was defrocked six years ago. Aside from the civil case, Rooney could also be subject to criminal charges in Massachusetts. Last week, BishopAccountability.org, a watchdog group, added Rooney’s name, and the names of three other people, to its public database of religious leaders accused of sex abuse.

The plaintiff also settled the Massachusetts sex abuse case with Salesian Society in New York. He says two other priests abused him too.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston sexual abuse lawyers if you or someone you love was the victim of Massachusetts clergy abuse. Even if the incident happened years ago, you still may be able to recover compensation.

This past summer, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a new bill into law extending the statute of limitations for how long sex abuse victims have to sue their abusers. The law now allows child sex abuse victims as old as 53 to file civil charges against an alleged abuser. Previously, victims of Massachusetts child sex abuse could only sue until age 21.

Bill extends time limit on sexual abuse lawsuits, Boston Globe, June 20, 2014

Read the Massachusetts Sexual Abuse Lawsuit (PDF)

Watchdog group adds four names to clergy sex abuse list, Associated Press/Portland Press Herald, November 1, 2014


More Blog Posts:
Brandeis University Faces Scrutiny by Federal Investigators for Sex Abuse Cases, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 11, 2014

Massachusetts Clergy Sexual Abuse: Defrocked Priest Paul Shanley Challenges Conviction for Indecent Assault & Battery and Child Rape, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2009

Man Injured When Cement Beam Falls off Truck, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2014

November 3, 2014

Put a Freeze on Fatal Fires This Winter

The tragic deaths of two young boys from Lawrence several weeks ago, caused by a fast-moving electrical fire in their family’s apartment, marked the 47th and 48th fire fatalities in Massachusetts this year. With the first wave of winter weather this weekend, more and more residents are beginning to bundle up and turn on their homes’ heat and wood stoves. While residential fires naturally rise during this part of the year, often more common than fire emergencies are non-fire carbon monoxide emergencies. At Altman & Altman, we’d like to send out a reminder to all residents of the steps they can take to prevent such a tragic accident from occurring in their homes.

Facts and Statistics

Currently in Massachusetts the number of deaths caused by fire-related accidents, stands at 48. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of residential fires include:

- Appliances and equipment; including those used for cooking and heating, washing machines and dryers, air conditioners and fans, and more.
- Arson and juvenile fire setting; children playing with fire and intentional fires
- Candles
- Chemicals and gases; natural gas and gases that might cause spontaneous combustion
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Holiday decorations including Christmas trees and holiday lights
- Smoking materials (i.e.; cigarettes, hookah, etc.)

Continue reading "Put a Freeze on Fatal Fires This Winter" »

October 31, 2014

Halloween Is the Deadliest Night of the Year for Child Pedestrians: Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe Tonight

Halloween is known not only for being the spookiest night of the year, but also the deadliest for child pedestrians. Children, according to the Safe Kids Coalition, are twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween night than on any other night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 30 people are killed each year on October 31—nearly triple the average number of fatal pedestrian accidents that occur everyday in America. Combine those statistics with the fact that Halloween falls on a Friday this year and add in drunk drivers, and it’s a very scary combination for parents.

The fact is, is that trick-or-treaters can be very hard to see. Halloween is one of the only holidays in which there are hordes of people outside and on the streets during dark hours. Additionally, dark-colored costumes make it particularly difficult for drivers to spot pedestrians at night, especially pint-sized pedestrians, until its too late.

Young children who are excited by the special occasion and buzzed on sugar may be more apt to dart into the road without paying attention to oncoming traffic. With this in mind, both parents and drivers on the road should exercise extra caution and take the necessary steps to prevent a tragic accident from happening.

Continue reading "Halloween Is the Deadliest Night of the Year for Child Pedestrians: Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe Tonight" »

October 31, 2014

Woman Awarded $9.5M Waltham, Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Verdict After Doctor Fails to Diagnose Her Ovarian Cancer

A jury in Middlesex County has awarded a Burlington woman a $9.5 Waltham, Ma. medical malpractice million verdict. Cristen Lebel, 41, and her husband sued Dr. Kim Thornton at Boston IVF for not detecting Lebel’s ovarian cancer, which has now advanced to Stage 3. According to their Boston injury lawyer, Lebel is likely to die and this could have been avoided if only she received the proper medical care. With interest, the jury award is $11.3 million.

According to the plaintiffs, from June ’08 through May ’09, Thornton did not take the necessary steps to detect Lebel’s cancer, failed to identify the signs and symptoms, and did not order tests to rule out whether her cancer was malignant. Thornton, however, maintains that while treating Lebel for fertility issues, she complied with the standard of care and did not contribute to or modify the course of the patient’s diagnosis.

Cancer Diagnosis
Failure to diagnose cancer or its delayed diagnosis may alter the outcome of the disease for a patient. Early and proper detection is integral to surviving it. A cancer that is treatable may become untreatable, even fatal. Delayed diagnosis may result in more aggressive treatments that could otherwise have been avoided.

Unfortunately, there are incidents when doctors fail to diagnose cancer or a radiologist or pathologist misreads test results. Other factors that may lead to delayed or missed cancer diagnosis include technological malfunctioning, switched or lost lab outcomes, x-rays that are misread, failure to conduct a diagnostic test, and not referring a patient to the right specialist.

Ovarian Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, 3% of cancers affecting women is ovarian cancer. This type of cancer, however, causes more fatalities than any cancer affecting the female reproductive system. Common signs and symptoms include bloating, problems eating, abdominal or pelvic pain, feeling full too fast, the need to urinate a lot, fatigue, back pain, pain during intercourse, menstrual changes, constipation, weight loss, and swelling of the abdomen.

You want to speak with a Boston medical malpractice lawyer to explore your legal options.

Burlington woman awarded $9.5m in cancer suit, Boston.com, October 28, 2014

Ovarian Cancer, American Cancer Society


More Blog Posts:
Man Expected to File Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death Case After Wife, Twins Die During Childbirth, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2014

Ebola Crisis Puts the Focus On Workplace Safety for Healthcare Workers, Nurses, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2014

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