Articles Posted in Personal Injury

The parents of a former Stanford student have sued the university following their daughter’s suicide, according to multiple news sources that have reviewed the complaint. A senior and goalkeeper for the school’s soccer team, Katie Meyer ended her life in her dorm room on February 28. At the time of her death, the 22-year-old faced disciplinary action from Stanford that put her degree on hold and threatened to remove her from the university.

Meyer Charged Over Coffee Incident

The disciplinary charges stemmed from an incident where Meyer allegedly spilled coffee on a Stanford football player accused of sexually assaulting a female soccer player. It is unclear whether the spill was accidental or whether Meyer was defending her soccer teammate.

Massachusetts residents had higher rates of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department (ED) visits than residents of any other state studied, according to a 2021 report in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Over 998 per 100,000 MA residents went to an emergency room for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a single year, topping the list of the 25 states reporting that data. While the Commonwealth fared better on TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations, one thing is clear: brain injuries affect a substantial number of Massachusetts residents every year.

TBIs occur when a bump, blow, jolt, or penetration to the head disrupts normal brain function. Although many TBIs result in mild concussions, serious brain injury is a major cause of death and disability. In fact, a 2018 special report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)  indicated that TBIs contributed to 68,260 emergency room visits, 5,062 hospitalizations, and 820 deaths of MA residents in one year.

Causes of Brain Injuries in Massachusetts

One of the most widely used weed killers in the world, paraquat has recently drawn criticism for its potential link to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Lawsuits by thousands of farmers, agricultural workers, and others exposed to paraquat claim it caused them to develop the incurable brain disorder. PD symptoms can include shaking, fatigue, difficulty walking and talking, memory problems, and even dementia.

Paraquat manufacturer Syngenta (along with its corporate predecessors) has long defended the chemical’s safety. An October 2022 Guardian report, however, revealed that the company appears to have known about paraquat’s potential neurological dangers for decades. In addition, when internal research showed negative effects of paraquat on brain tissue, Syngenta apparently withheld that information from regulators while downplaying similar findings by independent scientists.

What is Paraquat?

Accidental falls send more Massachusetts residents to the ER than any other reason. If you suffer an injury due to a fall on the job, workers’ compensation insurance may cover your medical bills and missed days at work. But what if you slip and fall at your place of residence? In some circumstances, you can legally seek financial compensation from your landlord.

What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents at Rental Properties?

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, hazardous floors are the leading cause of accidental falls. A wide variety of floor-related and other hazards at rental properties can potentially cause you to trip or slip and fall, including the following:

If you’ve ever used a commercial weed killer on your yard or farm, you have likely used Roundup®. In fact, glyphosate — the active chemical in Roundup — is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. In the past decade, however, concerns about its health effects have caused over 125,000 people to file lawsuits claiming Roundup causes cancer.

And now, new research suggests that the controversial product may also increase the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Roundup owner Bayer announced that it will stop selling glyphosate-based herbicides for residential use in the U.S. beginning in 2023. But that does little to help the tens of thousands of people who believe they were harmed by the product.

Does Roundup Cause Cancer?

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” According to NPR, the scientists based their conclusion on the following three types of studies:

  • “Strong evidence” that glyphosate can damage cellular DNA, which is the first step in causing cancer.
  • Studies showing that when mice consume glyphosate, they get more tumors.
  • “Limited evidence” that people exposed to glyphosate have higher rates of a kind of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

While non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the form of cancer most commonly associated with Roundup, a 2022 University of California study found a link between thyroid cancer and 10 pesticides, including glyphosate.

Does Roundup Cause Neurological Diseases?

Several studies in the past few years have raised concerns about the long-term health risks of Roundup, especially regarding diseases of the brain:

  • In 2020, a study in Japan concluded that glyphosate may be a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.
  • In 2022, a Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University study showed that glyphosate and Roundup increased seizure-like behavior in roundworms, concluding that the chemical has “concerning” effects on the nervous system.
  • In 2022, researchers from Arizona State University showed that glyphosate infiltrates the brain, suggesting a possible link to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a decision in 2020 that did not identify any human health risks of concern from glyphosate exposure, it withdrew this decision in 2022 pending further review. Continue reading

After a series of train derailments, fires, injury collisions, and fatal accidents, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has come under fire for what federal regulators called its “lax safety culture.” A “pattern of safety incidents” prompted the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to conduct a months-long investigation into Boston’s rail transportation system. The review revealed overworked employees, issues with staffing, a lack of safety protocols, and a long backlog of maintenance cases. On August 31, the FTA ordered the MBTA to address 53 problem areas.

Recent MBTA Accidents

In the past year alone, multiple accidents on and around the T have resulted in injuries and deaths. The transit system has decayed over the course of decades, according to a report by WBUR highlighting the following high-profile MBTA accidents:

It was a decision decades in the making: Veterans exposed to toxins on the Camp Lejeune military base years ago can now sue the federal government for their water contamination injuries. On August 10, President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act aimed at helping military members exposed to toxic substances during their service. Included in the legislation was the long-awaited Camp Lejeune Justice Act, designed to provide judicial relief to those harmed by tainted groundwater on the base — some 40 years after it was discovered.

Contaminated Water Injuries: What Happened at Camp Lejeune?

Established in 1942, Camp Lejeune serves as a U.S. Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. Military activities started polluting the drinking water in the early 1950s and continued into the 1980s when the contamination was discovered. By the time the poisoned wells were closed in 1985, as many as a million people on the base may have been exposed to the toxic water supply.

Reports of two children becoming dangerously entangled in restraint straps prompted a massive recall of 4moms infant swings and rockers. The company recalled over 2 million products after one baby died of asphyxiation and another suffered bruising to his neck before being rescued. Both entanglement incidents occurred when babies crawled under the seats of unoccupied MamaRoo infant swings.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), families with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled baby swings and rockers and place them somewhere that crawling infants cannot access. Consumers can contact 4moms to receive a free fastener to prevent the straps from extending under the swing when not in use.

RockaRoo and MamaRoo Recall Details

On August 4, 2022, DeWALT Industrial Tool Company recalled nearly 1.4 million miter saws after receiving nine reports of laceration injuries. The rear safety guard on the power saw can break or come off, exposing the user and bystanders to potential injury from projectiles. In addition, without the protection of the safety guard, the user could suffer serious wounds by coming into direct contact with the spinning saw blade. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the miter saws were sold by numerous retailers, including Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Amazon, and hardware stores nationwide.

Miter Saw Recall Details

Including the nine reports of laceration injuries, DeWALT received a total of 571 reports of the rear safety guard assembly or components breaking or detaching. Below are the details of the DeWALT miter saw recall as listed on the CPSC website:

Which U.S. state ranks as the best for cyclists? According to the League of American Bicyclists, that honor goes to Massachusetts. In 2022, the Commonwealth topped the list of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring “A” grades for “infrastructure and funding,” “education and encouragement,” and “policies and programs.” One area where Massachusetts didn’t excel: “Traffic laws and practices,” a category in which the state received a disappointing “D” grad

So while Massachusetts is generally considered a good place for cyclists, work remains to be done in terms of safety. In the past five years, the state averaged around seven fatal bicyclist accidents and over 900 non-fatal injury crashes per year (MassDOT crash portal data).

Where Do Most Boston Bicycle Accidents Occur?

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