Articles Posted in Assault

A 28-year-old man was seriously injured when a Somerville resident shot him in the neck, paralyzing him from the neck down. His family filed suit for negligence, arguing that the gun the shooter used had been wrongly returned to the shooter by the Somerville police department and the city of Somerville. The police department had previously confiscated the weapon in the course of revoking the shooter’s license to carry. The Massachusetts Court of Appeals concluded that the city’s conduct was “based upon” licensing activity described in section 10(e) of the Massachusetts Torts Claims Act (MTCA) and that therefore the city was exempt from liability in this Massachusetts personal injury case.

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The victim was shot outside the shooter’s parents’ home in November 2013. The victim was visiting one of the building’s tenants and preparing to walk home when the shooter came out and confronted him and two other men. The victim had a bullet lodged in his neck and was hospitalized for a prolonged period. He’s currently a quadriplegic.

At the resulting criminal trial, the shooter’s lawyer maintained the shooting was in self-defense. He claimed that the victim and the two other men would not let the shooter back into his parents’ home and attacked him when he threatened to call the police. But prosecutors argued that a cellphone video made by the shooter showed he escalated the incident and made attempts to make it appear to be self-defense.

A former student and his parents filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Chelmsford public school system and its employees failed to take sufficient steps to protect the student from a sexual assault at a school-sponsored football camp and from subsequent bullying and harassment by teachers and other students at Chelmsford High School (CHS). The case alleges negligence, among other federal and state law violations. The defendants–the Town of Chelmsford, the Chelmsford School Committee (CSC), and various other school officials–moved to dismiss. Last month, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted in part and denied in part the motions to dismiss.

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The case alleges that for years, CHS embraced a culture that put winning first and encouraged bullying and harassment of student-athletes to make them “tough enough” to win championships. The Town, the CSC, and the former Superintendent allegedly knew about and condoned this “winning” sports culture, in which ordinary rules did not apply to star athletes.

In September 2012, the victim enrolled as a freshman at CHS. He was a special-needs student with an Individualized Education Plan under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In October 2012, during freshman football, three students forced another student to urinate in the victim’s cleats. The family reported the incident to the athletic director, and the three students were suspended for one game.

A plaintiff identified only as “Jane J.” filed suit against the state of Massachusetts under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (MTCA). She alleged that while she was involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric hospital, a male patient raped her while she was in the recreation room. The issue before the Massachusetts Court of Appeals was whether the hospital’s failure to segregate its patients’ use of the recreation room by gender established legal causation for the rape. The appeals court concluded that it did not and accordingly affirmed the order of summary judgment for the state.

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In March 2009, Jane J. was committed to the state hospital for a competency evaluation after being charged with assault and battery, pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Section 15. In her lawsuit, Jane J. alleged that roughly a month into her commitment, a fellow patient raped her in the common room.

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A former student is suing a college in Massachusetts for negligent supervision. Specifically, the 22-year-old student believes the college is to blame for his binge drinking and subsequent assault conviction.

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In 2014, he pleaded guilty in Salem Superior Court to punching three students at the college. He allegedly “sucker punched” the students as they were walking across the campus in the early morning hours of February 2nd–an act the trial judge referred to as a “knockout game.”

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A 20-year-old student–identified in legal papers only as Jane Doe–filed suit against Boston University this month, claiming the school failed to protect her from an alleged assault last fall.

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The plaintiff was a junior at BU when she allegedly awoke to find former MIT basketball player Samson Donick sexually assaulting her in her dorm room, asking her, “Baby, do you want some more?” In the ensuing criminal case, Donick pleaded not guilty after being indicted by a grand jury this May. He has since left Boston for his home in Tiburon, California.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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