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 fear of being in a bicycle crash in Boston is more than justified; in the first quarter of 2016, Boston streets saw 307 injuries and eight deaths related to bicycle crashes. This was a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

Most of these crashes would be easily prevented by the installation of protected bike lanes. In addition to separating bikes from motor vehicles, protected bike lanes also make pedestrians safer by keeping cyclists off sidewalks. Protected bike lanes are not just painted lines; they actually separate bicyclists from other traffic with solid barriers. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

44 Percent of Copenhagen’s Commuters Use Bicycles

When cyclists can ride without fear, more people use cycling as their main mode of transportation, children and seniors included. In addition to being better for the economy and environment, more cyclists means less cars on the road. And considering Boston’s traffic problem, this could be a very good thing for everyone. In Copenhagen, Denmark, for example, nearly half of all commuters use bicycles. This has resulted in reduced traffic congestion, air pollution and noise, and healthier residents.

In Copenhagen, in addition to having protected bike lanes, the city also prioritizes the maintenance of bike lanes over other thoroughfares. For example, when snow needs cleared, the city clears the bike lanes first, followed by pedestrian walkways and – lastly – motor vehicle lanes. The same cannot be said for Boston.

Boston’s painted bike lanes are not as highly respected. Delivery trucks double park in painted bike lanes, and cyclists have no choice but to drive into traffic to get around them. Instead of protecting bike lanes with solid medians and barriers, Boston posts signs urging cyclists and drivers to be friendly to one another, just get along. As a result, cyclists make up only 1.9 percent of Boston’s commuter traffic. This means that the more aggressive cyclists are the ones most likely to make up that 1.9 percent. Unfortunately, those who are brave enough to risk life and limb on Boston’s streets are also those who are more likely to provoke driver rage.

Boston Bikes

Mayor Walsh and the Boston Transportation Department have established Boston Bikes to combat this problem and make bicycling safer and more affordable for everyone. By 2030, there are projected to be more than one hundred thousand additional commuters in Greater Boston. By creating more protected bike lanes, Boston can reduce some of this economic and environmental strain, keeping everyone safer. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Bicycle Accident Facts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicyclists accounted for approximately two percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2014. Bicyclist fatalities are most common between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m., and occur most frequently in urban areas. The vast majority of bicyclist fatalities are young men between the ages of 20 and 24. Just over 20 percent of these fatalities involved a bicyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Continue reading

Ann McKee, neuropathologist and director of the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center at Boston University, studied the brains of 111 deceased NFL players to determine if there is a link between sports concussions and CTE, a degenerative brain disease. Of the 111 brains studied, 110 showed signs of CTE. That’s more than 99 percent.

CTE refers to brain degeneration that is most likely caused by multiple head traumas.. Each of the athletes whose brains were studied had sustained head trauma on multiple occasions. As such, they had all suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during their time as football players. Although 99 percent of the brains studied showed signs of CTE, this does not translate to a more than 99 percent incidence of developing CTE among football players. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve suffered a TBI due to another’s negligence.

McKee emphasizes that her study was heavily biased; each brain was donated by families who suspected that their deceased loved one had displayed signs of CTE while alive. It was not a study comprised of a “random sample of N.F.L. retirees.” Even so, the fact that 110 of the 111 former players had developed CTE is cause for serious concern.

What is a TBI?

A TBI may occur when a blow, bump, or jolt to the head impairs or disrupts the brain’s normal function. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and complications can be short-term or permanent. Nearly 50,000 people die annually from TBI-related complications. A Boston TBI attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Sports-Related Brain Injury Facts and Statistics

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS):

  • Cycling accounts for the highest number of sports-related TBIs annually (nearly 20 percent).
  • Football comes second, accounting for 10 percent of all reported brain injuries.
  • Up to eight percent of all sports-related TBIs are due to injuries sustained during baseball and basketball.
  • Other high-impact recreational sports and activities, such as jumping on a trampoline or riding a horse, can also cause TBIs.
  • Between 2001 and 2012, emergency room visits for sports-related concussions more than doubled for children age 19 and younger.

Signs and Symptoms of TBIs

It’s important to understand that signs and symptoms of TBIs may not become apparent for days, weeks, or even months following a concussion or other form of TBI. If you sustained trauma to the head and notice any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Severe or chronic headache
  • A sensation of pressure in the head
  • Loss of consciousness, can be brief or prolonged
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated or uneven pupils
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Loss of balance or feeling “dizzy”
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of memory (short or long-term)
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Uncharacteristic agitation or irritability
  • Other personality changes
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Strange taste in the mouth

Continue reading

Transvaginal mesh is a medical device used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, the device is also linked to severe pain, organ damage, and several other serious complications. In fact, more than 100,000 women have suffered damages as a result of poorly-designed transvaginal mesh devices. As such, thousands of women have been compensated after filing lawsuits against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh.

When complications with transvaginal mesh implants arise, procedures to remove or fix the implant can be expensive, and extremely painful. In addition, the damages can be permanent. Some women have been unable to fully recover from their injuries; sexual intercourse may be painful, and many women report the inability to sit comfortably months after the injury. A Boston defective medical products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by transvaginal mesh.

How Did Such a Dangerous Device Get Approved?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved transvaginal mesh devices through a fast track process. In layman’s terms – the devices were never thoroughly tested. By 2008, thousands of adverse event reports had been received by the FDA. Women reported injuries due to erosion of the mesh, and to organ perforation due to device migration. In response, the FDA updated its information saying complications could occur, but that they were rare. The following year, the FDA ordered stricter monitoring of transvaginal mesh devices. Multiple companies immediately pulled their devices.

But the stricter regulations came too late for many women. Thousands have filed lawsuits, claiming that the companies knew about the risks involved and still sold the devices. More than a dozen women have received multimillion dollar verdicts against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh. Among them is Christine Scott, who was awarded $2 million in 2013 for injuries she suffered due to an Avaulta mesh product. The C.R. Bard-manufactured device caused severe pain and bleeding, painful intercourse, and bladder spasms. As a result, Scott required multiple revision surgeries. There are currently more than 60,000 lawsuits pending against vaginal mesh manufacturers nationwide.

Injuries Linked to Transvaginal Mesh

Injuries are varied and often include emotional trauma. Some of the most common serious injuries linked to mesh devices are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Severe pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Organ damage due to mesh erosion
  • The need for revision surgeries.

In 2014, four separate lawsuits were consolidated into one trial in federal court. Carol Sue Campbell, Jeanie Blankenship, Chris Rene, and Jacquelyn Tyree claimed that their Boston Scientific Obtryx transvaginal mesh devices had eroded, resulting in organ perforation and extreme pain. The women received a total of $14.5 million in compensation for their damages.

Another woman, Patricia Hammons, filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson following the failure of her Profift implant. After multiple revision surgeries, the company was ordered to pay Hammons $5.5 million to compensate her for her damages. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by transvaginal mesh. Continue reading

A massive fire destroyed a 264-unit luxury apartment complex in Waltham Massachusetts  last weekend. The 10-alarm blaze came only weeks after a similar fire destroyed a Dorchester apartment complex that was also under construction. The level of destruction – and the speed with which the fire spread through these buildings – has people questioning the safety of wood construction. Both buildings had wood frames, and both buildings were destroyed within a few hours.

When Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy was asked by a reporter whether she thought wood-frame construction should be permitted in MA, she said, “I really don’t believe so when it’s that size.” McCarthy went on to say that, “Within three hours, the whole building {in Waltham} was down.” She says she never supported having such a large complex in such a densely-populated area in the first place. Although wood construction is legal, McCarthy doesn’t think it’s safe. “It’s the cheap way out. And quite frankly, I thank god nobody got killed. They’ll say ‘oh, we can do this.’ Yeah you can, it’s whether you should be doing it,” she said.

In response to the apartment fires, Waltham city councilor Robert Logan is asking the state to take a closer look at the hazards of wood construction in larger building projects. “I’m not an expert in building, but I do know this. I haven’t seen any steel frame and concrete buildings go up in flames like a box of matches,” he said. But according to MA fire marshal Peter Ostroskey, wood-frame construction is perfectly safe once the building is completed; it’s during the building process – before the complex is fitted with sprinkler systems and smoke alarms – that it’s vulnerable to fire hazards. “We believe, ultimately, it is a safe type of construction to house people once it’s completed. It’s through that construction process these kinds of accidents can happen,” said Ostroskey. Further, wood-frame construction is legal in every state.

The Dorchester blaze destroyed a wood-frame complex near the Ashmont MBTA station on June 28. The cause of the Waltham fire remains under investigation. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if another’s negligence has caused you harm. Continue reading

Mesothelioma is a deadly, highly-aggressive form of cancer that is commonly caused by exposure to a substance called asbestos. Asbestos was used in building and construction for decades, before it became apparent that the toxic substance was causing serious, life-threatening health problems. Unfortunately, mesothelioma symptoms often take years – sometimes even decades – to appear, and the disease is often mistaken for more common, less-serious ailments until it’s too late.

How Does Mesothelioma Develop?

Pleural mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs over a period of time. Fibers become trapped in the pleura, the lining of the lungs, resulting in irritation and inflammation. The inflammation subsequently causes the pleural layers to thicken and a buildup of fluid to occur around the lungs. As such, the lungs cannot fully expand, and the patient may experience chest pain and trouble breathing. A MA personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to move forward if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

As stated above, symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, may take years to appear. Therefore, if you are concerned about past exposure to this substance, it may be in your best interest to consult with your healthcare provider about your risk. Blood tests and X-rays may indicate a problem before symptoms appear. Additionally, if you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your physician immediately:

  • Dry cough
  • Respiratory problems (wheezing, shortness of breath)
  • Pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Body aches
  • Anemia

What are the Most Common Precursors to a Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

A 2011 study of 221 mesothelioma patients revealed that the disease was discovered in the following ways:

  • 30 percent experienced weight loss
  • 36 percent developed a chronic cough
  • 64 percent suffered chest pain
  • 79 percent experienced shortness of breath
  • 90 percent developed pleural effusions

Misdiagnosis can delay mesothelioma treatment until it’s too late. Physicians may mistake this deadly disease for less-serious conditions, such as COPD, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, and bronchial infection. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to recover damages if you are suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. Continue reading

Choosing the right daycare facility is one of the most important decisions we make when our kids are young. Although we all want our kids to have the best possible start at life, there is more to consider than whether the facility serves organic food, teaches your toddler French, and provides lessons on impressionist art. Safety should be the most important factor to consider when choosing a daycare facility for your little one. Unfortunately, daycare negligence, and even abuse, do occur. Read on for more information about how to ensure that your child is safe and well cared for when you head to work each day.

Observe Staff

Pay attention to how daycare staff interact with the other children. Before enrolling your child in a specific daycare program, take a tour of the center. A tour doesn’t have to be limited to a five-minute walk through; you can spend several hours there if you so choose. You should observe the staff playing with the children, smiling, holding young children and babies, and engaging all children with loving interactions. There should be appropriate staff-to-children ratios to ensure that your child will get the one-on-one attention that he deserves. If staff seem stressed, overworked, or annoyed with the children, this could indicate a problem.

Staff Commitment

Ask about staffing turnover. Have most of the employees been at the facility for at least one year? Young children need stability, and this is best achieved by choosing a school with committed, long-term staff. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if your child has been neglected at a daycare facility.

Credentials and Licenses

Check the facilities accreditations and licensing. In MA, daycare centers cannot practice without a state license. In addition, they should have insurance and a business license. These are the bare minimums. Special accreditations and credentials indicate a commitment to providing high-quality daycare.

The Surprise Visit

Drop in unannounced. Most people schedule an appointment to visit a daycare facility. Although daycare staff may appreciate being given notice, unannounced visits are your best bet at witnessing actual day-to-day operations. Dropping by unannounced means that things may be a bit more chaotic than during a scheduled visit; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What you want to look for is general cleanliness, how staff is interacting with children, and if the environment appears safe and free from obvious hazards.

Special Care Policies

Ask staff about special care policies, such as how or if they discipline children, and how naps and special diets are handled. A good daycare facility will have policies for special situations and needs. If they don’t, you may want to keep looking. A Boston daycare negligence and abuse attorney can help you determine how to move forward if you suspect your child is being harmed at a daycare facility. Continue reading

The past few years haven’t been good for Chipotle. The “healthy” burrito chain made headlines in 2015 following an E.coli outbreak in several of its restaurants. After extensive marketing efforts – and the passing of two years – Chipotle was just beginning to recover. But those efforts may have been in vain; a Sterling, VA Chipotle recently closed after several complaints of food poisoning. A total of eight people reported illnesses, including fevers and violent vomiting. Will Chipotle be able to bounce back after this latest food-poisoning scandal?

Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle, issued the following statement earlier this week:

“We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” said Arnold. “The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle. We plan to reopen the restaurant today.”

According to Arnold, the Sterling, VA restaurant closed this week so that professionals can “conduct a complete sanitization.” Eight people reported poisonings that occurred between July 14 and 15 on iwaspoisoned.com. Apparently, 13 people became sick following the introduction of Chipotle’s new queso sauce. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

Will Chipotle Ever Recover?

It seems that this recent outbreak is linked to the same norovirus as the 2015 outbreak. The norovirus is highly contagious and may cause severe vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. In response to the news, Chipotle shares dropped 4.3 percent on Tuesday. This comes on the heels of Chipotle’s June announcement that second-quarter profits may be low due to an increase in marketing spending in the wake of the 2015 health scare. A MA food poisoning attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve become ill due to another’s negligence.

According to the CDC, about 48 million food poisoning cases occur annually. Most people recover within a few days, but food poisoning can be deadly. This is especially true for vulnerable individuals, such as young children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems. Food poisoning is most commonly caused by one of the following bacterium:

  • Coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Norovirus
  • Listeria
  • Salmonella
  • Cyclospora
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Shigella

Avoid Food Poisoning

According to the CDC, approximately 325,000 people are hospitalized for food poisoning every year, and more than 5,000 people die. Food poisoning may occur in restaurants, but it can also occur with purchased food that we prepare at home. Although it is difficult to determine the safety of food we eat in restaurants, we can dramatically reduce our risk of becoming sick from food we prepare ourselves. When shopping for and storing food, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Is the store clean (in appearance and smell)?
  • Separate raw meat and seafood from the other items in your shopping cart. Put meats in plastic bags to prevent juices from contaminating other items.
  • Don’t purchase food in jars or cans that are bulging or cracked.
  • Shop for meat last.
  • Perishable food items should be refrigerated as soon as possible and should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours.

Continue reading

Whether you’re a leisure cyclist or you commute to work on your bike each day, it’s important to use safe cycling practices at all times. As cycling continues to grow in popularity, so do related accidents. Boston has taken numerous steps to improve bicycle safety, but we still have a long way to go. Read on for more information about bicycle safety and how to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a cycling accident.

Bicycle Safety Tips

In the United States, more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents each year. Of those accidents, about 30 percent involve a motor vehicle. Non-fatal but serious injuries are even more common, and the most frequently occurring of the serious cycling injuries is head trauma. Follow the safety tips below to avoid becoming a statistic. A Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been involved in an accident.

 

  • Know the rules of the road, and obey them. As a bicyclist, you should follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. Stop at stop signs, ride in the direction and flow of traffic, and yield to pedestrians. If there is a bike lane, use it. If not, make sure to use hand signals to tell other drivers which way you intend to turn, left or right.

 

  • Wear brightly colored clothing. When it comes to cycling, what you wear does make a difference. In addition to a good helmet, you should wear brightly colored clothing, and use lights and reflective gear when it’s dark. If you bike after dark frequently, consider purchasing a reflective jacket. You may also want to use a horn rather than a bell. Horns are louder and will attract more attention in an emergency situation. A MA injury attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.

 

  • Understand that drivers may not know how to handle cyclists. Some drivers have no idea who has the right of way when they approach a cyclist. Assume all drivers are clueless, and drive defensively. Stay out of the blindspot of other vehicles, and avoid sudden swerving or pulling out in front of traffic.

 

  • Focus on the road at all times. Make eye contact with vehicles before you cross their path at an intersection, and never, ever ride distracted. Keep your cell phone and any other distractions safely out of reach. If you need to make a call, send a text, or check directions, find a safe place to stop before doing so. And listening to music while you cycle may make your ride more enjoyable, but it also dramatically increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Keep the headphones at home.

 

Who is Most at Risk of Being Injured in a Bicycle Accident?

  • People between the ages of 50 and 59 have the highest rate of bicycle-related fatalities.
  • Children between the ages of five and 19 have the highest rate of non-fatal injuries involving bicycles.
  • Male bicyclists are six times more likely to die in bicycle accidents than their female counterparts.
  • More than one-third of all bicyclist deaths involved alcohol with either the bicycle rider or motor vehicle driver, or both.
  • The majority of cyclist deaths occur in urban locations.

Continue reading

Multiple recent studies have revealed that head injuries in young children – particularly traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – can affect IQ, cognitive function, and even behavior for an extended period. Study results also showed, however, that recovery can continue for years. Several factors have a significant impact on recovery, including the child’s home environment and the presence or absence of certain genes.

Each of three studies (two conducted in Australia, and one in the U.S.) concluded that a loving, stable home environment has an immensely positive impact on a child’s recovery after a TBI. One in 30 children will experience a TBI by the age of 16. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs often occur when a child suffers a bump or blow to the head. As such, young children have the greatest risk of a TBI, and approximately one-third of children who suffer a TBI will have permanent or long-lasting damage. A MA injury attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve suffered a brain injury due to another’s negligence.

“Many people think that the soft skull of a baby may give them some advantage because if they fall they are not likely to sustain a skull fracture. Also, because a baby’s brain is growing so quickly, it seems like the brain may be able to fix an injury. In reality, the soft skull and growing brain of a baby put them at a greater risk of future problems,” said Louise Crowe, an author of one of the studies and a postdoctoral research officer at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

“Children with significant head injuries do recover, but they are generally slower to learn concepts, and some high-level skills are often too difficult for them,” said Crowe.

Therapy May Still be Effective Years Later

However, until now, few studies have tracked long-term effects of brain injuries in children. According to Vicki Anderson, a professor in critical care and neuroscience research at the Murdoch Institute, therapy and intervention may still be effective years after the initial injury.

“Although this does not suggest that children catch up to peers, it does imply that the gap does not widen during this period,” said Anderson.

Further, home environment has a significant impact on a child’s recovery. The more stable the home, the better the chance of full recovery. “It’s difficult to predict outcome,” Anderson said. “A quality home environment and access to appropriate rehabilitation is critical to maximize outcomes. Or, the young brain is plastic, and so the better the environment, the better the outcome.” A Boston TBI lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by another’s negligence.

Meanwhile in the United States, researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital conducted a study on long-term TBI effects for an average of seven years from initial injury. Individuals with mild to moderate TBIs were twice as likely to develop attention disorders, compared to five times more likely for those with severe TBIs. This study also emphasized the importance of home environment. Children with moderate injuries from poor home environments demonstrated worse outcomes than children with severe injuries who live in stable, loving homes. Although the reason for these outcomes is still unknown, it may have to do with early family response, which seems critical to the overall outcome of the child’s long-term prognosis.

More than 630,000 children visit the E.R. for TBIs annually in the U.S. Predictors of recovery, however, remain unclear. These studies provide greater insight into this grey area; particularly when it comes to the roles of environment and specific genes. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is currently working on ways to identify the genes essential to TBI recovery, and how environmental factors may interact with these genes. To do so, they are collecting DNA samples from hundreds of children who have suffered a TBI. Continue reading

When someone is injured in a drunk driving accident, the first instinct is often to seek compensation from the intoxicated driver. Although the driver is certainly one of the sources from which you can recover damages, there may be others. In MA, dram shop liability laws allow victims to seek compensation from a business that over-serves alcohol to an intoxicated person.

A “dram shop” is a business that sells alcohol, and may include bars, nightclubs, social clubs, sporting venues, and liquor stores. Historical note – the term dram shop comes from alcohol’s traditional unit of measure, the dram. A MA injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver who was over-served.

Last year, an Oregon man filed a $3.9 million wrongful death lawsuit against the driver that injured him and killed his father, as well as against the bar that served the visibly-intoxicated driver. The fatal accident was initially a hit and run, but police eventually tracked down the driver. In addition to the driver’s own negligence, the lawsuit alleges that the bar was negligent in over-serving her.

Dram Shop Responsibilities

Those who serve alcohol – bartenders, servers, and liquor store clerks, to name a few – have a responsibility to determine when a patron is visibly intoxicated. They are required to observe slurred speech and other associated behaviors. To do so, they must receive proper training, the provision of which is a requirement of the establishment’s owner. Dram shops in MA typically carry liability insurance to protect themselves in the event that an intoxicated driver leaves their establishment and causes an accident, or in any way harms another.

Wrongful Death Claims and Dram Shops

When a dram shop over-serves a patron and someone is injured as a result, the victim can sue for damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs. If someone is killed, the victim’s family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the intoxicated driver and the dram shop. In a wrongful death lawsuit, medical expenses may be recovered, as well as damages for funeral costs, the loss of the victim’s income, and loss of consortium. A Boston wrongful death attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve lost a loved one to another’s negligence.

Social Host Laws

In MA, it is against the law to allow a minor (anyone under the age of 21) to consume alcohol on your property. If you are caught doing so, you may face criminal penalties under MA’s social host laws. However, social host laws differ from dram shop laws in that a social host cannot be liable if a guest – adult or minor – becomes intoxicated and harms another. A dram shop case is a civil case in which a business is sued for over-serving someone who, in turn, causes harm to another. A social host case, on the other hand, is a criminal case in which a social host is charged with serving an underage guest on their property. Continue reading