Boston Injury Lawyer Blog
Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

The family of Malcolm Gracia is suing the city of New Bedford and its police department for Massachusetts wrongful death. The family claims that the 15-year-old was wrongfully detained in 2012 and he was shot without justification. They believe he was a victim of racial profiling.

Detectives detained the teenager after a police sergeant witnessed him on a video feed making what appeared to be a gang handshake. The family’s lawyer claims that the defendants targeted Garcia because of his socioeconomic and racial profile even though he wasn’t caught committing any crime.

Gracia tried to run from the police. However, as Detectives Tyson Barnes approached him, Gracia stabbed the officer three times. Another detective, Paul Fonseca, fired his Taser at the teen, who went down but refused to drop his knife. That was when Gracia was shot multiple times.

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Every state has its own set of rules surrounding dog bites. Laws in certain states show more favor to the victim, while others show more favor to the dog’s owner. Some states are considered “strict liability” states, meaning the dog’s owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog. On the other side of the spectrum, “one bite” states often forgive the first occurrence. Massachusetts has some of the best dog bite laws in the country, if you happen to be the victim.

Strict Liability

As a “strict liability” state, Massachusetts holds a dog’s owner liable for any harm the dog causes, including property damage or physical injury, with certain exceptions. If the alleged victim was trespassing at the time of the attack, the dog owner will not be liable. Similarly, if the alleged victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the animal, the dog’s owner will not be liable. However, if the victim is a child under the age of seven years, it will be presumed that none of the above exceptions apply. In cases involving a minor of less than seven years, the burden of proof will be on the dog’s owner.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite over 4.7 million people annually. Half of those bitten are children. Over 380,000 dog bite victims require emergency room treatment for their injuries. Small children, postal workers, and the elderly are most at risk for dog bites (in that order). However, young children (ages five to nine) are by far the most at risk, and the majority of their injuries occur on the face and neck. Continue reading

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, bicycle accidents account for a significantly higher percentage of sports-related head injuries than football. This is surprising given that football typically dominates the head injury discussion. In fact, cycling is the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries in this country. This is also true of sports-related head injuries in children younger than 14. While bicycling is an exceptionally healthy, environmentally friendly activity, its wholesome image may mislead people into feeling invincible when on a bike.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2013, 743 bicyclists were killed and 48,000 were injured in crashes with motor vehicles. When cyclists collide with a car or truck, their risk of serious injury and death skyrockets if they are not wearing a helmet. Approximately 90 percent of bicycle riders killed nationwide are not wearing a helmet. There is currently no federal law that requires the use of bicycle helmets, although many states and localities have their own laws. Most of these laws apply to children under the age of 18, however, there are certain laws that pertain to all ages. Although many states do not require the use of bicycle helmets for adults, the decision to wear one should not be taken lightly. Your chance of escaping serious head injuries and death is directly related to your choice to wear a helmet. Continue reading

The parents of Anthony Barksdale II are suing the Boston University chapter of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity for Massachusetts wrongful death. Their son, a college freshman, died after getting drunk at a pledge party in 2013. He was looking to become a fraternity member.

At the time of his death Barksdale was 18, which is below the legal drinking age. He was a given a 1.5 liter bottle of vodka to drink at the fraternity and reportedly became very intoxicated before collapsing. His family, in their Boston wrongful death case, contend that no one called for help until later in the evening when Barksdale started throwing up.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene were unable to revive him. Barksdale was pronounced dead at a Brighton, MA hospital.

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Rosseau Management Inc. will pay $300,000 to resolve a Medicare billing fraud lawsuit accusing the assisted living facilities owner of letting subcontractor RehabCare Group East. Inc. turn in fraudulent Medicare claims. The latter provided rehabilitation therapy at three facilities.

According to the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts, previous to October 2011, Rosseau did not take the necessary steps to stop RehabCare from providing high levels of therapy that were unreasonable or unnecessary during “assessment reference periods.” This caused the assisted living facilities to bill for care for their Medicare patients at the highest levels of reimbursement. During other times when assessment wasn’t a factor, RehabCare gave these same patients less therapy.

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Andrea Larkin has been awarded $35.4 million for Massachusetts medical malpractice. Larkin, who was not placed on a notification list for her brain abnormalities, which were identified during an MRI and CAT scan after she ran the Boston Marathon in 2004, suffered a serious stroke after delivering her newborn daughter in 2008.

If information about her brain abnormalities been made available so that the 35-year-old woman’s obstetrician had access to the data, Larkin would have been directed to have a Caesarean delivery rather than going into labor. She had to be induced into a coma for two months. When she woke up, she was unable to talk, walk, eat, or speak.

Except for movement in one arm Larkin remains totally paralyzed. She did not hold her daughter for nearly a year. Now, she needs two caretakers to help her.

Larkin has problems speaking and can no longer hold a job. Her family has been paying for her care since the medical incident. The bills have exceeded $200,000 annually.

The defendants in her Dedham medical negligence case are Dr. Jehane Johnston and Dedham Medical Associates. Johnson is the one who treated her after the marathon. With interest, the jury award is a little over $41 million.


Massachusetts Medical Malpractice

Negligent on a medical professional’s part can be grounds for a Boston medical malpractice case if the patient is seriously injured, suffers heath issues, or dies as a result. A few examples of medical negligence:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Wrongful diagnosis
  • Failure to properly document a medical condition
  • Surgical malpractice
  • Hospital malpractice
  • Nursing negligence
  • Poor post-operative care
  • Obstetrician malpractice

You want a lawyer that knows how to figure out what medical error or situation caused the injury, illness, or death. Medical professionals owe patients a duty of care. Violating that care can prove detrimental and costly for plaintiffs and their families. That’s why you need someone advocating on your behalf and fighting for all the financial compensation owed to you. In Massachusetts, you have three years from the cause of action to file your complaint.

Seven years after stroke, paralyzed woman awarded $35 million, The Boston Globe, May 8, 2015

Walpole mom awarded $35.4 million in childbirth malpractice suit, Wicked Local Walpole, May 8, 2015


More Blog Posts:

$17.5 million birthing malpractice settlement reached in case against hospital, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 9, 2015

Medical malpractice? Study says 1 in 5 hysterectomies are unnecessary, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2015

Nearly 2,200 Lipitor Cases Filed Over Type 2 Diabetes Side Effects, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, May 15, 2015


An Amtrak employee is the first to sue the company for personal injury over the deadly train derailment accident that injured more than 200 people and killed eight others on Tuesday in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs are employee Bruce Phillips and his wife Kalita Phillips.

At the time of the train accident Phillips was “deadheading” in a rear car of Amtrak Regional Train 188. Deadheading is when an off-duty crewmember rides the train at no charge.

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Britteney Miles is suing for Massachusetts personal injury. Miles was pregnant in 2012 when a former police officer accidentally shot her in the face. She is seeking $1.5 million.

Police arrived at her apartment to answer a 911 call over a possible break in. When Miles, 21, who was holding her daughter in her arms went to open the door, former officer Danielle Petrangelo’s gun went off by accident.

According to the plaintiff, when Petrangelo knocked on the door she was holding her servce revolver at chest level and pointing it toward the entrance. The gun discharged as Miles unlocked the door, causing injury to the woman, who was shot in the chin and face.

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The daughters of a man who sustained injuries in a Danvers, MA slip and fall accident in a Target parking lot will be getting $400,000 in personal injury compensation. Emanuel Papadopoulos was walking back to his car in 2002 when he fell on a patch of dirty ice in the parking lot and broke his hip.

He and his wife filed a Massachusetts premises liability case gainst Target and Weiss Landscaping Company, Incorporated. The latter was hired to get rid of the ice and snow in the lot. Their complaint was dismissed because of the then existing standard, which did not hold property owners liable for injuries involving ice and snow that had naturally accumulated.

It was this case that led to a change in the legal standard for proving negligence in Massachusetts slip and fall incidents where ice and snow are involved. In 2010 the Supreme Judicial Court went on to establish a new standard to hold premise owner accountable about clearing up such accumulations.

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A jury awarded $1.5 million to the family of a patient who died as the result of an injury she sustained after being dropped headfirst by an ambulance crew.

Barbara J. Grimes, 67, of Pembroke, Mass., was receiving dialysis treatment at Fresenius Medical Care in Plymouth on January 31, 2009. During the transport, American Medical Response EMTs Wesley Garber and Peter Crowell had rolled her onto a stretcher, which subsequently tipped over, causing Grimes to hit her head and suffer from a brain hemorrhage. Grimes tragically passed away five days after the incident due to the substantial injuries she sustained.

“This was an unnecessary death which should have been prevented by simple precautions. If the ambulance crew had only followed company safety policies regarding stretcher operation, it would not have toppled over. This needless death was easily preventable,” Marc Breakstone, the family’s attorney said in a comment.

AMR’s ambulance crew alleged that the incident, which occurred in the parking lot of the medical facility, occurred because of a defect with the stretcher. However upon inspection, no defect was ever found. “Their explanation was simply not believable and the jury rejected it squarely,” Breakstone said.

“Our family is haunted by this senseless loss. We are so thankful to the jury for seeing through the lies and deceptions of AMR, which treated our sister like a sack of discarded trash. After more than six years, the truth finally came out at trial,” said Grimes’ brother Peter Zacarelli Jr.

Wrongful Death and Medical Negligence

Losing a family member as the result of another person’s reckless or negligent behavior can be emotionally devastating. In addition to the emotional toll losing a loved one can take on your family, financial hardships may also occur. Damages can include lost earnings and financial support, the victim’s medical expenses and burial costs.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our team of attorneys understands just how life-altering a family death can be. We work diligently to help our clients affected by such tragedy recover financial damages as well as reasonable compensation for the loss of love, companionship and moral support given by their loved one. The kind of (and percentage amount) of recovery that each plaintiff may receive depends on their biological relationship to the deceased. Damage awards also include interest from the date that the person died.

While our team recognizes that no legal settlement or trial verdict will ever make up for the tragic loss of a loved one, our firm will can ensure your rights, benefits and legal remedies are protected and preserved. Our firm represents the surviving family members of victims who died in tragic accidents caused by the careless or reckless actions of another party. If someone you loved has died in a car accident, truck collision, bus crash, train collision, motorcycle accident, work accident, slip-and-fall accident, or because a doctor, a product manufacturer, a premise owner, or someone else was negligent, you and your family may be eligible for financial compensation. Call or email our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our Wrongful Death Attorneys. All initial consultations are free and confidential, and our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you with any of your case needs.


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