Committed to Justice in Boston and Beyond

A plaintiff was injured in February 2013 when he fell from scaffolding on a construction site while employed by a contractor of the defendant. The plaintiff thereafter filed suit for negligence against the defendant, alleging that the defendant violated several Massachusetts state regulations and federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations concerning the safety of the worksite.

scaffolding

The trial judge allowed the plaintiff to introduce the OSHA regulations at trial but concluded that he could not introduce the state regulations because they were preempted by OSHA. After trial, the jury determined that the plaintiff was 51 percent negligent in causing his own injuries and that the defendant was only 49 percent negligent. The plaintiff therefore did not recover damages, and judgment was entered dismissing his complaint. On appeal, he claimed that the trial judge erroneously prevented him from introducing the state regulations at trial because they are not preempted by OSHA, and he was entitled to a new trial because the state regulations would have made a difference in the verdict. The Massachusetts appeals court disagreed and affirmed the lower court’s judgment.

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A plaintiff was injured while playing in an ultimate frisbee league game at an athletic facility owned by the defendant. His wife and he filed a complaint against the defendant, with the plaintiff claiming negligence, his wife claiming loss of consortium, and both plaintiffs claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress. The defendant answered and made a counterclaim for indemnification against the plaintiff.

ultimate Frisbee

The judge allowed the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on both of the plaintiff’s claims, ruling that he waived the claims by signing a release of liability when he registered to play in the ultimate frisbee league. The wife’s claims proceeded to a three-day jury trial. At the close of evidence, the same judge entered a directed verdict for the defendant on its indemnity counterclaim against the plaintiff, and the jury then returned a verdict for the defendant on the wife’s claims. Both plaintiffs appealed. The husband challenged the judge’s allowance of the defendant’s motions for summary judgment and a directed verdict and the judge’s award of attorney’s fees and costs. The wife challenged the judge’s allowance of two motions in limine made by the defendant. Discerning no error in any of these rulings, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals affirmed.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently rejected arguments by a couple who lost a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit involving the 2009 death of their infant child. They filed suit against a doctor and a nurse in 2010 for the loss of their late daughter, who died three days after her birth.

vitals monitor

The mother made headlines in April 2011 after she went public with allegations that she was being discriminated against after she was notified one week after her daughter’s death that her job at the state Department of Higher Education was being eliminated. According to reports, the family’s house went into foreclosure, and the family lost their health insurance. Adding insult to injury, in April 2014, a Suffolk Superior Court jury returned a verdict for the doctor and the nurse.

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Roughly a year and a half ago, Haverhill police officers shot and killed a 42-year-old man after he crashed his car in Bath, New Hampshire. His mother has filed suit against the police department and the individual officers involved in federal court, arguing there was no imminent risk to the officers’ safety. She is suing individually and as the executor of her son’s estate.

mirror

The case was originally filed in Grafton County Superior Court, but it was recently transferred to U.S. District Court. The mother is suing for wrongful death, violations of civil rights, civil conspiracy, negligent supervision and training, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery. In addition, she alleges that law enforcement violated police protocol. As defendants, she lists the Haverhill Police Department, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Office, two officers, and a sergeant. She alleges that the department’s unconstitutional policies resulted in the July 2015 shooting of her son.

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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.

university

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 woman in Rochester filed suit last month in Strafford County Superior Court for medical negligence and violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act after becoming highly addicted to the potent painkiller Subsys, which is stronger than morphine and heroin.

pills

Her Portsmouth attorney filed the lawsuit on Wednesday in Strafford County Superior Court. Among the defendants, the lawsuit names a physician’s assistant who treated and prescribed painkillers to the woman from the fall of 2012 to the summer of 2015. The center that prescribed the medication is also listed as a defendant. Finally, Colby is suing the drug’s maker, Insys Therapeutics.

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Two plaintiffs filed suit, alleging that one of them fell at the Northshore Mall as a result of slipping on water. The plaintiffs alleged that this water was on the mall floor, due to the negligence of the defendant, which was responsible for watering the plants located in the mall. A Superior Court judge granted summary judgment to all of the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed.

Mall

Applying the traditional approach to slip and fall cases, the lower court held that the plaintiffs failed to present any evidence that would allow a reasonable jury to conclude that the defendants knew or should have known that the substance on which the plaintiff allegedly slipped was on the mall floor. The appeals court agreed.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently affirmed a jury’s ruling against a plaintiff following a Worcester car accident. Just after midnight in April 2013, a defendant was driving westbound on Route 20. He was in the left-hand westbound lane, going slower than the speed limit. As far as he could see, he was the only car on the road. He had a green light as he proceeded through the intersection of Route 20 and Greenwood Street.

car accident

Meanwhile, the plaintiff, another defendant, and another woman had been visiting a friend. The plaintiff drank some tequila during the visit. A few minutes past midnight, the girls got into the other defendant’s Honda Civic to go to McDonald’s. The other defendant was driving, and the plaintiff was seated in the passenger seat behind her. They headed toward Route 20. The westbound driver on Route 20 hit the Civic when it crossed in front of him. The Civic spun around, and the plaintiff was ejected, suffering serious and permanent injuries as a result.

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On behalf of her late husband, Reisa Clardy recently filed suit in Middlesex Superior Court for wrongful death against the man accused of killing Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy in a fatal car crash. The lawsuit, which seeks $20 million in damages, alleges that Mr. Clardy died “as a result of the grossly negligence or malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct of the defendant.”

green plants

The defendant, 30-year-old Webster resident David Njuguna, collided with Clardy’s cruiser in March 2016. Trooper Clardy was stopped on the Massachusetts Turnpike, filling out a citation during a vehicle stop, when Mr. Njuguna’s sedan crashed into the rear of the cruiser without braking. Mr. Njuguna was allegedly traveling over 80 mph and was later found to have marijuana in his system. Following the crash, Trooper Clardy was taken to the hospital and shortly thereafter pronounced dead.

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Gena Paretchan brought a medical malpractice action against Dr. Edward Kwasnik, a surgeon who performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy on her, and Dr. Gaurav Sharma, a surgical resident who assisted Dr. Krasnik during the procedure. Paretchan experienced complications for a month after the procedure with repeat hospital visits, tests, and ultimately a surgery to repair a bile duct disruption. A medical malpractice tribunal determined that the offer of proof was insufficient to raise a legitimate question of liability as to both defendants. After Paretchan failed to post a bond, and judgment was entered for the defendants, Paretchan appealed. On appeal, the court reversed the judgment for the defendants.

surgery

Before considering the lower court’s decision, the appeals court reviewed the facts of the case. Paretchan had a history of symptomatic gallstones with multiple attacks. In October 2012, the defendants performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove her gallbladder. Her worsening abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting after discharge led Paretchan to seek medical attention, including multiple emergency room visits. An exploratory laparotomy was subsequently performed, and a right anterior bile duct disruption was found. Paretchan underwent surgery to repair this injury.

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