After the accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” set in 2021, her family agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s producers. In 2023, her parents and sister filed a new suit against Alec Baldwin and other parties, alleging negligence, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium. While you may have heard of the other kinds of claims, what exactly is “loss of consortium”?

A loss of consortium claim seeks financial compensation for the damage to a relationship caused by the death or injury of a family member. Specifically, it is a type of personal injury claim by individuals who have lost the benefits of a close relationship, such as comfort, companionship, affection, marital intimacy, or assistance with parenting or housework.

In some states, only spouses can claim loss of consortium. In other states, parents and children may also be able to make a claim. Massachusetts loss of consortium claims are available to married couples whose spouse is injured, minor children whose parent is injured, dependent adult children whose parent is injured, and parents whose minor child is injured.

More than 150 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over a 60-year period, according to a report recently released by the Maryland Attorney General. The report details the results of an investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore that found that the sexual abuse of minors occurred from the 1940s through 2002 while church leadership “looked the other way.”

The Maryland report follows numerous investigations into clergy sexual abuse at archdioceses across the United States. In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an investigation into sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in New Orleans. In 2018, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General revealed findings of abuse of children by priests and a systematic cover-up by senior church leaders in the state and the Vatican.

Recent Clergy Sex Abuse Cases

The woes continue for the troubled Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). According to an April report in the Boston Globe, the agency told members of its board of directors that MBTA trains came dangerously close to workers in four serious episodes over the last month. The incidents were reportedly caused by miscommunication between dispatchers and construction crews. In a separate event, an employee on the Blue Line went to the hospital after being injured while working on overhead electrical wires.

As a result of the series of worker safety issues and near misses, the Department of Public Utilities (the T’s oversight agency) sent the MBTA an “immediate action letter.” These are only the most recent developments in a long line of safety concerns that prompted a 2022 investigation and report by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) ordering the MBTA to correct 53 problem areas.

MBTA Safety Timeline

The powerful weed killer paraquat has been used in commercial agricultural applications for decades. Although direct ingestion of the herbicide can be fatal, manufacturers have maintained that paraquat is safe when used as directed. Recent research, however, has suggested that chronic exposure to the chemical may lead to Parkinson’s disease (PD).

A growing number of farmers, agricultural workers, and others exposed to paraquat have filed suit, claiming the herbicide is to blame for their illness. In fact, paraquat lawsuits have been grouped into an MDL (multidistrict litigation) that added more than 200 plaintiffs per month in 2022. The cases continue to mount in 2023, with hundreds of new paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits joining the MDL.

The Paraquat Parkinson’s Link

Every year, dangerous baby products are recalled for a variety of reasons: choking hazards, toxic substances, suffocation risks, and more. In fact, the average year sees over 100 children’s product recalls, according to the nonprofit organization Kids in Danger (KID). Just this month, more than 3.2 million Calico Critters figures were recalled after two children’s deaths involving pacifier accessories that came with the toys.

Calico Critters Recall

On March 9, Epoch Everlasting Play recalled all of their Calico Critters animal figures and sets sold with small bottle and pacifier accessories, which can pose choking hazards. The recall came after reports of three incidents involving the pacifiers, including two deaths — a 2-year-old child in New Mexico and a 9-month-old infant in Japan.

Every year in the United States, over 100 people die and thousands more suffer injuries in ladder-related falls. While some accidents result from improper usage, others happen when the ladders themselves are defective. Even when you buy well-known brands at major retailers, products can sometimes have design flaws or manufacturing defects.

In 2018, U.S. company Werner Co. recalled about 78,000 aluminum telescoping ladders after receiving a report that the ladders can break while in use, posing fall and injury hazards. The recall affected five models of ladders sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores nationwide in April and May of that year.

If you have a recalled Werner ladder as posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, immediately stop using it and return it to the store of purchase for a refund. If you were hurt while using a recalled Werner model or any brand of defective ladder, a personal injury attorney can help evaluate whether you qualify for financial compensation for your injuries.

Companies are reminding consumers not to use two recalled models of baby rocker sleepers, after more infants have died since the recalls were issued in 2019. Both announcements also include a warning that it is illegal to sell or distribute the recalled sleepers, many of which may still be in circulation.

Fisher-Price announced the recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after at least eight additional deaths were reported, bringing the total to approximately 100 infants who have died while using the product. Kids2 announced the recall of nearly 700,000 Rocking Sleepers after at least four more babies died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 15.

Dangerous Infant Sleep Products

A problem with Exactech joint replacements that led to one recall in 2021 and an expanded recall in 2022 is now at the heart of a growing number of lawsuits from patients across the U.S. Exactech has recalled about 200,000 knee, hip, and ankle replacements since August 2021 due to an issue with the polyethylene components that can cause them to degrade prematurely.

Surgeons have already implanted over 147,000 of these potentially defective joint replacements, meaning thousands of Americans could be at risk of injuries and medical complications. Plaintiffs filing Exactech lawsuits complain that the implants fail early, leading to a variety of health symptoms and sometimes requiring revision surgery.

Exactech Joint Replacement Recall Details

A customer has filed suit against Massage Envy, its managers, and a therapist for a sexual assault she says occurred during a massage at the chain’s Medford location. According to the Boston Globe, the woman reported the assault to the manager on March 3, 2021, but the manager took no action. Two days later, the same therapist allegedly raped another customer.

The lawsuit argues that the company was negligent in hiring and supervising its therapists and violated consumer protection laws by claiming that its spas are safe. In addition, the woman has sued massage therapist Gilberto DaSilva for assault and battery. DaSilva was not criminally prosecuted in this case because law enforcement was already pursuing rape charges on behalf of the second woman, according to the report.

Medford Massage Envy Therapist

In determining the cause of a 2021 Green Line crash that injured 27 people, federal investigators faulted a speeding train operator—as well as a missing safety feature they say would have prevented the accident. Two and a half years after the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report concluding that the driver’s “loss of situational awareness” and “full-power” acceleration caused him to collide with another train.

The investigation also revealed that the accident didn’t have to happen. According to the report, the current Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operations and control system lacks a key engineering feature that would have prevented such a crash. The recommended technology can both detect collision threats and prevent trolleys from violating speed policies. According to the Boston Globe, the NTSB first recommended the crash-avoidance system more than 14 years ago, but it has not yet been installed.

Green Line Train Accident

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