Committed to Justice in Boston and Beyond

Leslie Nieder filed suit against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical and Johnson & Johnson after her 17-year-old daughter, Adrianna Duffy, collapsed in her dorm room and died of a pulmonary embolism. The case alleged multiple causes of action related to Johnson & Johnson’s birth control patch, Ortho Evra. Following a hearing, the lower court judge upheld Johnson & Johnson’s motion for summary judgment and ordered the dismissal of the complaint. The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the complaint.

birth control

In July 2008, Duffy and her mother met with Duffy’s pediatrician, Sara Nelson, at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea Clinic to discuss birth control options. Nelson recommended and prescribed an oral birth control. At some point thereafter, Duffy discontinued using birth control pills. In June 2009, Duffy decided she needed a new birth control method. Nieder and she met with Nelson to discuss options. Nelson prescribed the Ortho Evra patch after Duffy inquired about the patch as an easier method of birth control. (Unlike oral birth control pills, which must be taken at the same time each day, the patch is applied to the skin once per week for three weeks.)

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Former Massachusetts State Trooper John J. Malone is suing Fiat Chrysler after being pinned against a hard wall by his Jeep Grand Cherokee. This federal lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleges that Fiat Chrysler fraudulently concealed and failed to fix a gear shifter design defect that resulted in Malone’s serious injury.


Malone tore his ACL, fractured both knees, and suffered severe bruising. He was hospitalized and thereafter required periodic draining from his knee. He will eventually need a complete knee replacement. Malone is 69 years old.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to a defendant hotel owner when there was no genuine factual dispute regarding the foreseeability of the unsafe condition causing the plaintiff’s fall.


Plaintiff Frances Amara attended a conference at a Sheraton Hotel owned by the defendant. On her second trip to the restroom, Amara slipped and fell on the ceramic floor, injuring herself. She placed her hands on the floor to get up, which became very wet from a foamy substance. She also noticed the smell of something akin to furniture polish. After she reported her fall, Sheraton personnel noticed an oily substance on the bathroom floor and the smell of furniture polish. A can of furniture polish, labeled “Radiance,” was located in a cabinet beneath the sink of the bathroom, “without a cap and dripping product.” France and her husband filed suit.

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Five patients of Dr. Tzay Chiu at Cataract & Laser Center West in West Springfield, Massachusetts were left blinded following cataract surgery on the same day. The injuries have confounded cataract surgeons, who say that even one serious injury is rare. According to the surgery center’s investigative reports, Dr. Chiu — the anesthesiologist on each of the cases — possibly pierced the patients’ eyeballs with his needles. Dr. Chiu’s attorney has not provided comment. surgery

Five surgeries took place that morning, four within a 30-minute period. More than one patient was heard screaming as the numbing needle was administered. On the following day, four patients discovered they could not see from the eye on which the doctor operated. The fifth patient has a crescent-shaped blind spot that greatly restricts his sight. Two of the patients have filed lawsuits, and all five have hired attorneys.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently held that a plaintiff’s harassment order was wrongfully extended because there was insufficient evidence of harassment. Specifically, there was no evidence that the defendant acted with intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to property.


Defendant Kinzy Reason and plaintiff Elizabeth Gassman lived in the same apartment in Brighton, Massachusetts. Reason lived in an apartment unit directly below Gassman, who played the piano frequently–a source of continued annoyance and distress for Reason.

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Last month, Rikki Carlson filed suit in federal court in the District of Massachusetts against Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Otsuka American Pharmaceutical for injuries allegedly suffered from the anti-psychotic drug Abilify.


The Fall River woman claims that she suffered damages as a result of the defendants’ wrongful conduct regarding the design, labeling, promoting, marketing, development, testing, packaging, advertising, and distribution of the drug. Her lawsuit includes claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and fraudulent concealment.

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A Massachusetts appeals court recently reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to a defendant retail store following the plaintiff’s injury in the store, despite admitting that the plaintiff did not have a very strong case. pallets

Defendant Boys in Berries, LLC operates a farm and retail store in Sharon, Massachusetts. In July 2010, Maria Belanger arrived at the farm store with her husband, Ray, entering the store while her husband stayed in the car. Belanger selected a few items to purchase and went to check out. At the end of the checkout counter was a large cardboard box placed on top of a wood pallet. The box and pallet were directly adjacent to the end of the checkout counter, set back several inches from the vertical surface of the counter. From the checkout line, the top of the box was visible, but the square pallet on which it rested could not be seen. While in line, Belanger noted that the box was octagonal.

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Court documents reveal that a minimum of $550,000 was paid out to settle a lawsuit filed by a Cohasset, Massachusetts family over a 2013 crash in Port Clyde, Maine.


In August 2013, Dylan Gold was killed after being hit by a sedan driven by Cheryl Torgeson of New York. The incident occurred as the Gold family waited for the ferry. Torgeson was stopped behind a line of cars waiting to get on the wharf when her sedan accelerated unexpectedly and struck a building, the Golds, and several other vehicles.

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The parents of a Somerset, Massachusetts girl who choked on a marshmallow at a party have filed suit against the host family for wrongful death. The lawsuit was filed on July 11 and seeks undetermined pecuniary damages. The complaint alleges that their daughter would still be alive if not for the hosts’ negligence.marshmallow

Azriel Estabrooks died at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in April. The girl was taken to the Providence, Rhode Island hospital for specialized treatment after being found unconscious at a friend’s birthday party. She was hospitalized for seven days before she passed away. Ariel was 11.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently upheld a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of two daughters sexually abused by their father continuously for several years.


Defendant William Kelley sexually molested and abused his two daughters, identified in court fillings as B.K. and W.K., on myriad occasions. He allegedly molested B.K. 3-5 times per week when she was between the ages of 12 and 15, and he continued to molest her on occasion when she was 16 and 17. Kelley would enter B.K.’s room almost nightly, undress, get into her bed, and fondle her. He encouraged her to masturbate and sleep in the nude, and he explained to her how to give a hand job.

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