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 Brookline woman who was seriously injured by a foul ball at a 2014 Red Sox game has lost her case against the team. Stephanie Taubin was sitting in a luxury box at Fenway Park when David Ortiz hit a foul ball that smashed into her face. “It was so insanely fast,” she said. “The ball had definite spin on it.” Taubin sued the Red Sox and owner John Henry, alleging that they were negligent for not protecting luxury seats with glass or netting. She sued for $9.5 million, claiming that she suffered from neurological damage and facial fractures.

The jury did not agree with Taubin’s claim of negligence, however. Last week, they ruled in favor of the Red Sox. Following the verdict, Zineb Curran, a spokeswoman for the team said that while they “regret the injury,” they are “pleased with today’s outcome,” and that the “Dell/EMC Club is a safe and enjoyable area from which to watch a Red Sox game. Many of our valued fans, guests, and family and friends have enjoyed the space and return to it time and again.” She went on to say that the safety of fans “is an issue we take seriously, and since 2014, we have twice expanded our protective netting, and continue to evaluate the safety of all seating areas within the ballpark. We thank the jury and the court for their service in this matter.”

According to Taubin’s attorney, his client was paying attention to the game, but the ball was moving too quickly for her to avoid being hit. Taubin says that she could hear her bones crack when the ball struck her face. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by another’s negligence.

Red Sox Owner Admits that the Lack of Glass Made the Box Seats More Dangerous

During the civil trial, which took place earlier this month, Red Sox owner John Henry testified that a section of glass had previously shielded the Dell EMC Club and that it had been removed. “We took the glass off, we took the seats out, we just gutted it,” he said. When asked if he thought that the area had become more dangerous following the glass removal, Henry responded by saying, “yes.” Even so, the jury reached a unanimous decision that the Red Sox were not negligent.

How Many Fans Have Been Injured in Similar Accidents at Fenway Park?

According to reports, a minimum of 51 fans have required medical treatment for injuries sustained while sitting in the same area. Only two weeks before Taubin’s injury occurred, a 44-year-old woman was nearly killed when she was struck by a broken bat. In 2014, a 36-year-old woman was hit in the face with a foul ball, requiring more than 30 stitches to repair the damage.

If there’s any silver lining to this outcome, it’s that this string of injuries has led to the installation of extended netting by all 30 MLB teams. But that doesn’t help Stephanie Taubin obtain the compensation she deserves for her injuries and pain and suffering. A MA personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been harmed by another’s negligence. Continue reading

Most women would prefer to do a multitude of things rather than go to the gynecologist, but periodic check-ups are necessary to ensure good health. Finding a gynecologist with whom you are comfortable is the best way to make these visits at least slightly more tolerable. Fortunately, the majority of gynecologists in the United States have the best interests of their patients in mind at all times. But there are exceptions. Case in point—52 women have come forward alleging sexual abuse at the hands of former University of Southern California (USC) staff gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.

According to LAPD reports, Tyndall, now 72, abused patients—most of them USC students—for a 26-year period…basically his entire career. Despite numerous complaints and accusations during that time, Tyndall remained employed at USC until a 2016 incident, after which he was asked to resign, and given a severance package.

According to the abuse allegations, Tyndall groped women’s breasts, and penetrated their vaginas and anuses for “no legitimate medical purpose,” other than “to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires.” He also made lewd remarks about his patients’ sex lives and bodies. A MA sexual abuse victims attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been sexually harassed, raped, or assaulted.

Position of Power

One of those patients, now a nurse practitioner, said that Tyndall used his position of power to take advantage of his patients. He knew that certain actions could be perceived as medically necessary, and he used that knowledge to exploit women.

At a recent press conference, LAPD officials encouraged Tyndall’s victims to come forward to the authorities. “We are empathetic and ready to listen,” said Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala.

“In mid-May, news broke of allegations brought forth by faculty and students within the University of Southern California against Dr. George Tyndall — a gynecologist there at USC whose behaviors and practices appear to go beyond the norms of the medical profession and gynecological examinations,” said Girmala. “As the LAPD works with the University of Southern California, its board, staff, faculty, and very importantly, student community — both past and present — we wanted to personally outreach to those who may have been impacted and believe they may have been the victim of criminal conduct by Dr. Tyndall.”

Was USC Negligent?

In addition to the criminal investigation into Tyndall’s actions, numerous lawsuits have been filed against USC claiming that the university failed to respond to dozens of complaints made over a period of more than two decades. The lawsuits allege that USC allowed Tyndall to have “unfettered sexual access to the young female USC students in his care.” His abuse was overlooked by USC staff until 2016, when a nurse reported Tyndall to the school’s rape crisis center. Continue reading

When an Uber SUV in self-driving mode struck an Arizona pedestrian in March, it was the first fatal crash of its kind. But it was far from the only accident involving an autonomous vehicle. In fact, such accidents have dominated the headlines in recent months, raising questions about the safety of self-driving technologies.

How Do Autonomous Vehicle Computers Work?

There are three different modules in the computer systems used to operate self-driving cars—the perception module, the prediction module, and the response module.

  • The perception module uses sensors—such as cameras, radar, and pulses of light—to identify nearby objects.
  • The prediction module determines how these objects are likely to “behave.” For example, is the truck ahead going to switch lanes?
  • The response model uses the information above to determine the most appropriate response. For example, should the autonomous vehicle accelerate, decelerate, or change lanes?

These technologies are currently being tested on public roadways in states across the nation. Arizona’s dry climate has played a major role in its becoming a hot bed for testing self-driving vehicles (which still perform better on dry roads). But Arizona’s loose laws and regulations concerning self-driving vehicles may see some changes now that someone has been killed. A Boston car accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

So, what actually caused the Uber self-driving crash that killed an Arizona woman this spring?

According to Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor who formerly led Google’s autonomous-vehicle department, the most challenging of the three modules mentioned above is perception. Although bicycles, pedestrians, and other vehicles are relatively easy to identify, rarely-seen objects (think of a plastic bag floating across the road) pose a problem. Thrun says that when Google first began testing autonomous vehicles, its “perception module could not distinguish a plastic bag from a flying child.”

Confused Computer

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the Arizona accident, and determined that the autonomous Uber’s computer system failed to identify Elaine Herzberg as she walked across the road with her bicycle. Her presence was detected six seconds prior to the crash, but the perception module identified her first as an unknown object, then as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle, with a path the system was unable to predict. A MA car accident attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

According to the NTSB report, at 1.3 seconds before the crash, the computer system recognized the need for emergency braking, but the emergency braking had been disabled due to a potential conflict with the autonomous system. In such an event, the human driver is expected to react. Unfortunately, the safety operator was looking at the self-driving display screen at the time of the accident, and was unable to brake in time.

It was determined that, although the Arizona accident had multiple causes, the fault ultimately lies in the system’s design failure. The AV system should slow down, for example, if the perception module becomes confused. Of course, unexpected braking can have its own consequences. Confused self-driving vehicles have been rear-ended by human drivers when they slowed down unexpectedly. In fact, this is the exact reason why the responsibility of braking has been officially assigned to human safety operators, who are tasked with being the safety net when the AV system malfunctions or gets confused. In order for this to work, however, the human driver must be paying attention to the road as closely as the driver of a non-autonomous vehicle. Continue reading

A person can fall and get injured for a variety of reasons—icy walkways, uneven pavement, intoxication, and even a bad knee or hip—to name a few. When the accident is the result of another’s negligence, the injury victim may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. But proving that someone else is responsible for your injury isn’t always an easy task. Read on for more information about slip and fall injuries and how to prove that another party is liable.

Proving Liability

To prove liability in a slip and fall case, you must be able to show that one of the following two situations contributed to your injury:

  • The owner of the property, or an employee of a company, should reasonably have recognized the hazardous condition, such as an icy walkway or uneven pavement, and repaired the problem, but failed to do so.
  • The owner of the property, or an employee, caused the hazardous condition (i.e. spilled a slippery substance on the floor of a grocery store) and should have reasonably foreseen that someone could be injured if the condition wasn’t removed or repaired.

If, for example, you slipped on a substance that had been spilled only moments earlier, and a wet floor sign had been placed beside the spill while an employee went to get cleaning supplies, you may have a difficult time proving negligence. A Boston slip and fall attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Important Questions to Consider

In order for a slip and fall case to be successful, the responsible party must have failed to act in a manner that a reasonable person would have acted in under the same or similar circumstances. To determine this, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did the dangerous condition exist for a long enough time that a reasonable person could have removed or repaired it (consider the spilled substance example above)?
  • Did the owner of the property perform routine checks and maintenance on the property? If so, did he/she keep a log?
  • Was there a justifiable reason for the hazardous condition, and was it still present at the time of the accident?
  • Could the potential danger have been lessened with preventive measures, such as blocking access to the area or placing warning signs next to the hazard?
  • Did poor lighting contribute to the accident?

The above questions can help you and your attorney determine whether or not negligence played a role in your injuries, and who may be liable. A MA slip and fall lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Helpful Tips

In addition to the questions above, you can improve your chances of success by following the tips below:

  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident. If you are unable to do so, ask if a witness can help. Photograph anything that contributed to the accident, such as a wet floor or debris in a walkway, and any injuries.
  • Ask witnesses for their contact information. If you decide to file a lawsuit, witness testimony can be invaluable to your case.
  • Write down everything that happened before you forget the details. Memories fade surprisingly fast.
  • Seek medical attention immediately following the incident. An official medical record will help to substantiate your claim.

Continue reading

Uber and other ride-sharing services have completely changed the landscape of transportation in Boston and millions of other locations across the globe. For the most part, Uber has provided a loved, and much needed service. But the company has also attracted a lot of negative press in recent months and years. Numerous scandals, controversies, and lawsuits have people questioning Uber’s safety and morals.

Now a woman is suing Uber and her driver for injuries she suffered when her driver ran a red light, causing a serious accident. According to Jimena Martinez’s lawsuit, Ricardo Melendez II was distracted by his smart phone at the time of the accident. As a result, he ran a red light and was t-boned by a 16-year-old driver. A Boston car accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Martinez claims that she suffered head trauma, a joint separation in her shoulder, and multiple abrasions in the accident. And according to the police report, the driver’s distraction was the primary factor in the crash. But Martinez blames more than just the driver. She believes that Uber is guilty of gross negligence for encouraging its drivers to routinely look at and touch their smart phones while driving.

Is Uber Encouraging Drivers to be Negligent?

Martinez’s lawsuit alleges that Uber requires drivers to mount their phones on the vehicle’s dashboard to better see and respond to ride requests. When a request comes in, drivers have a mere 15 seconds within which to tap the phone, thus accepting the fare. It is not difficult to see how this system could contribute to distracted driving. Few, if any, drivers are going to pull over to a safe location before responding to these time-sensitive requests. And with more and more Uber drivers on the road, this problem is not just an inconvenience.

Although Martinez is seeking more than $1 million in damages, she has requested that the jury make a determination on the exact amount. According to her lawyer, Martinez’s medical bills are already in excess of $80,000. In addition, she had to quit her job and drop out of college due to her injuries. A MA auto accident lawyer can help you protect your rights if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash.

Distracted Driving Statistics

The reality is, the case above highlights a problem that is much bigger than Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing apps. Distracted driving continues to be one of the primary causes of motor vehicle crashes across the country. In fact, 3,450 people died as a result of distracted driving in 2016 alone.

  • Of the 2.5 million people car accidents that occur annually in the United States, about 1.6 million involve a cell phone.
  • Texting while driving contributes to more than 330,000 serious injury accidents annually.
  • One out of every four accidents involves texting.
  • Your chance of having an accident while texting is six times greater than if you were drunk driving.
  • Distracted driving involves more than just texting and talking on the phone; adjusting the stereo system, navigating, eating, and applying make-up are all forms of distraction.

Continue reading

Mass shootings have dominated the media in recent months and years, resulting in a heated debate about gun control laws nationwide. The number one question following every one of these tragedies is: How did the shooter get a gun?

In many recent mass shootings, the shooter obtained the gun legally, prompting many Americans to call for stricter gun legislation at the state and federal levels. In the most recent shooting, in which a white man shot four African-Americans in a Tennessee Waffle House, the shooter obtained the gun from his father, who had a legal right to possess the firearm.

Can Victims Sue Gun Sellers?

In a 2012 mass shooting that also claimed four lives, the gunman bought his gun at online gun retailer Armslist.com. Now the daughter of one of those victims is suing Armslist, alleging that they contributed to the murder of her mother. The court initially dismissed the case, but an appeals court has ruled that it can continue. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if another’s negligence has caused you harm.

Radcliffe Haughton shot and killed four people at a spa in Milwaukee in 2012. Among the victims was his estranged wife, Zina. According to federal law, Haughton was prohibited from owning any type of firearm due to his history of domestic violence. But Haughton found a loophole. In Wisconsin, purchases at dealers require a background check and waiting period, but private sales do not. Therefore, Haughton was able to purchase a gun, from a private seller, through the Armslist website.

The lawsuit against Armslist was actually filed by the shooter’s stepdaughter. Yasmeen Daniel, the daughter of one of Haughton’s victims who also happened to be his estranged wife Zina, alleged that Armslist lacked necessary safeguards to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, and even facilitated and encouraged the illegal sale through its website’s design.

After the circuit court determined that Armslist could not be liable for the death of any of Haughton’s victims, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that the company may have used a “website design feature to facilitate illegal firearms purchases,” and allowed the lawsuit to continue. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by another’s negligence.

Statistics on Mass Shootings

Between 1966 and 2018, there have been 154 mass shootings, resulting in 1,081 deaths. Some of the shooters had criminal pasts or a history of domestic abuse, while others seemed perfectly normal up until the attack. All of the shooters but three were men. Most were between 20 and 49 years of age, and more than half died at the scene, often an act of suicide.

There has been an increase in large, mass shootings in recent years, with just three—those at Sandy Hook elementary school, a Las Vegas club, and Parkland high school—claiming the lives of nearly 100 people, many of them children. Several states have tightened their gun legislation in response. With MA having one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, our rate of gun violence has seen a dramatic drop. Continue reading

Earlier this week, a tragic accident involving a 16-year-old boy and an automatic seat in a Honda Odyssey Minivan occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio. As he reached into the back of the minivan to retrieve tennis equipment, Kyle Plush became trapped between the vehicle’s third row of seats and its rear gate. According to reports, the seats flipped backward as the high school sophomore was kneeling on them, trapping him in the cargo well. Following the accident, Autoweek reported that Honda Odyssey seats have been the cause of multiple vehicle recalls in recent months. The model involved in Plush’s death, however, was not one of the recalled vehicles. A Boston defective products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Were Emergency Responders at Fault?

Plush’s tragic death has called into question the safety of the minivan and whether the seat was defective. The response of emergency responders is also being investigated. According to police reports, Plush called 911 by way of Siri on his smartphone. However, due to the distance between Plush and his phone, the young man was unable to hear the 911 responder asking for his location.

Five minutes after his 911 call, police arrived at Plush’s school—where the Odyssey was parked—but were unable to locate Plush or his vehicle. He was finally found, nearly six hours after his call for help, by his father. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner’s report listed asphyxia as the cause of death.

Following the incident, Cincinnati police have launched an investigation into Plush’s death. According to some reports, 911 responders may have failed to accurately relay information to the officers who searched for Plush in the moments following the call. Had they found him then, the 16-year-old may have survived.

800,000 Honda Odysseys Have Been Recalled

Between 2011 and 2017, approximately 800,000 Odysseys were recalled due to a defect in its second row seats. Apparently these seats could tilt forward if not properly latched. This defect caused a total of 46 minor injuries, but Plush was the first case involving a person being trapped in the Odyssey’s cargo well. Although Plush’s death was likely a freak accident, it may be indicative of a larger problem with Honda Odysseys, and many other recently-recalled automobiles. A MA defective products attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Besides posting videos about how to resolve the potential issue, Honda has yet to address its previous seating problems. And over the past few years, serious defects have plagued the auto insurance industry, with more than 70 million cars being recalled. One of the worst defects in recent history involved exploding Takata airbags, which contributed to at least 11 fatalities. Continue reading

According to a recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), serious injuries involving cyclists and pedestrians have seen a steady increase in recent years. Obviously, cycling (and walking) are healthy forms of exercise and good for the environment, but we need to increase awareness about the risks of cycling—especially on busy Boston streets—if we want to see these statistics reverse, and begin moving in a positive direction.

In Boston, as in other cities across the country, cyclist safety is a top priority of city planners. However, the rate at which this development is occurring is not keeping pace with the rise in the number of cyclists on the road. According to a Washington Post article, there has been an increase in bicycle accidents simply because there are more people cycling today than ever before. Today, bike share programs have added 42,000 bikes to our nation’s roads, and most of those are in congested cities, like Boston.

According to the GHSA, “pedestrians and cyclists are at an inherent disadvantage when involved in traffic crashes: when a faster moving vehicle meets a pedestrian or a bicycle, the vehicle always wins.”  The association recommends the installation of “more marked bike lanes, more clearly defined bike lanes that separate riders from cars, bike boxes at traffic signals . . . and traffic signals that provide an advanced green signal specifically designed for cyclists,” in cities across the country. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

Bicycling can be a safe, healthy form of exercise, but it can also be deadly. By familiarizing yourself with the risks involved, and learning how to avoid them, you can dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a bicycle accident.

  • In 2015, 840 cyclists were killed in traffic collisions;
  • The average age of cycling fatality victims is 45;
  • More than 70 percent of all fatal cycling accidents occur on open roadways, not in intersections;
  • Approximately 50 percent of cyclists who were killed in traffic collisions were not wearing a helmet.
  • Distracted drivers were a factor in nearly 10 percent of all fatal bicycle-motor vehicle collisions;
  • Fatal bicycle accidents are evenly distributed across daylight and evening hours;
  • Alcohol was a factor in approximately 37 percent of all fatal cycling accidents.

A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a cycling accident.

Follow these Tips to Avoid a Deadly Bicycle Accident

  • A bicycle should always be appropriately sized for the rider;
  • Always wear a helmet;
  • Follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles;
  • Whenever possible, ride in residential areas rather than congested roadways;
  • Wear highly-visible, reflective gear when riding at night;
  • Ensure that your bike’s brakes are in good working order before riding;
  • Always maintain a safe distance from parked cars to prevent dooring;
  • Never assume that a motor vehicle driver sees you, ride defensively.

Continue reading

Although all motor vehicle accidents can result in complicated, drawn out legal battles with regard to liability, few are more complex than those involving large trucks. Collisions with other passenger cars generally only involve two parties—the drivers. But liability in a large truck accident can involve a long list of parties, including both drivers, the trucking company, cargo company, parts manufacturer, and more. If you have been involved in a large trucking accident, the information below will help you determine how to move forward.

Trucking Accident Statistics

The statistics below shed some light on the frequency with which large truck accidents occur. Although they only account for about three percent of all motor vehicle accidents, large truck accidents have a significantly higher risk of being fatal.

  • There are about 500,000 large truck accidents every year.
  • Approximately 130,000 people are injured in collisions with large trucks each year.
  • Nearly 5,000 people are killed in large truck accidents annually.
  • Fatal trucking accidents cost more than $20 billion annually in the United States.
  • The average cost of a large truck accident is nearly $60,000.
  • Human error is a factor in nearly 90 percent of all large truck accidents.
  • Fatigue is a factor in about 30 percent of all large truck accidents.

When a trucking accident occurs, the chain of potentially-liable parties often argue over whose insurance company is responsible for compensating the victim. If, for example, the trucking company says that the cause of the accident was defective tires, the tire company can point the finger back at the trucking company, claiming that the tires should have been replaced months earlier. For this reason, and many others, it is essential to work with an experienced Boston trucking accident attorney if you wish to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Keeping a Distance

Trucking companies will try everything possible to avoid liability in an accident involving one of their trucks. Many companies lease the trucks and equipment from a third-party and use independent contractors as drivers, instead of employees. By distancing themselves from the driver and the vehicle, trucking companies are sometimes off the hook following an accident…but not always.

To avoid liability in an accident involving a leased truck or a driver who is an independent contractor, a trucking company may argue that it is not liable because:

  • The driver was not its employee;
  • It does not own the truck or any related equipment

In the past, this frequently worked. Due to stricter federal laws and regulations in recent years, however, companies that own a truck permit are potentially responsible for any accidents involving trucks leased to it. This is true even if the company is not the owner/operator and even if the driver is an independent contractor. Even so, bringing a lawsuit against a trucking company can be a complex process. This is where having an experienced MA trucking accident attorney can make all the difference in the world. Continue reading

The woman, a student at MSU, was 18 at the time of the alleged rape. She filed a lawsuit, claiming  that the men gang-raped her, and that the university’s counseling center discouraged her from coming forward with the allegations.

According to the lawsuit, the rape occurred a week after Michigan State lost to Duke in the 2015 Final Four. The woman, who is currently a student at MSU, says she was at an East Lansing bar when one of the three men bought her a drink. Shortly thereafter, she was invited to a party by one of the basketball players, who also claimed that her roommate would be there.

As soon as she arrived at the “party”, in an off-campus apartment, the woman realized her roommate wasn’t there and began “feeling discombobulated” and “thought she might have been drugged.” According to the lawsuit, one of the players threw her down on a bed and raped her, and the other two men soon began taking turns. A few hours later, she woke up and called a taxi. A Boston sexual assault attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been the victim of rape or any other type of sexual assault.

School Counselors Discouraged Victim From Reporting the Rape

The woman says she immediately reported the rape to MSU’s Counseling Center. Although the counseling staffer was initially supportive, “the counselor’s demeanor completely changed,” once the victim revealed that the three men involved were basketball players. Another staffer entered the conversation, informing the woman that reporting the rape may not be in her interest.

In response to the allegations about discouraging the plaintiff to come forward, staff at MSU’s counseling center said that “we have had many other students in the same situation who have reported, and it has been very traumatic for them.” The plaintiff also claims that staff said they had received several reports of cases involving “guys with big names” and that it would be in her best interest to “just get yourself better.” They also told her, “if you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish.”

This is not the first time MSU has been pegged for a lack or transparency with regard to sexual assault cases. In fact, the school has been overseen by the Department of Education since 2014 due to mishandled sexual assault cases involving football and basketball players. A MA sexual assault lawyer can help you protect your rights if you’ve been the victim of rape or any other type of sexual assault.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign that raises public awareness about sexual assault and how to prevent it, especially as it pertains to college campuses. According to statistics, one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college, and 43 percent of college women say they have experienced violent dating behaviors. And Massachusetts is no exception. In 2014, a total of 283 rapes at colleges were reported in MA, but only seven percent of those were ever reported to the schools. Continue reading