June 2010 News: Boston Personal Injury News

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June 2010 Archives

Ponzi's Scheme May Be Eclipsed By Bernie Madoff?

Don't tell Bostonians that Boston may be ousted by New York City again. The Boston Herald reports that Boston's very own infamous criminal Charles Ponzi could have his famed "Ponzi scheme" phrase replaced by a new king of fraud: New York's very own Bernie Madoff.

While Charles Ponzi's scheme was the very first of its kind in the 1920s, Irving Picard told Fraud Magazine that Bernie Madoff's fraud will overshadow this type of fraud and eventually replace the term "Ponzi scheme."

Cape Cod Hospital Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of Daniel J. Ryan got some closure earlier this week when their Boston personal injury lawyer was able to settle their wrongful death lawsuit against Cape Cod Hospital. Cape Cod Online reports that Daniel J. Ryan died after being held down by hospital staff last year.

Daniel Ryan was restrained facedown on the floor by Cape Cod Hospital's staff after he was disruptive while visiting his wife. As a result of the scuffle, he fell into a coma on October 9, 2009. The Massachusetts Dept. of Health gave the hospital a citation for a federal violation of patient rights. In addition to this citation, the Massachusetts Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Daniel J. Ryan's death was a homicide.

Pedestrian Accident Highlights Safety Concerns for Elderly Drivers

The Boston Herald reports that last Tuesday, an 89 year old driver was pulling out of a parking lot when she struck a 72 year old pedestrian. The pedestrian ended up on the hood of the elderly driver's car. Unfortunately for the pedestrian once the driver had realized what had happened, she slammed on the brakes and the pedestrian was thrown off the hood on to the ground. Luckily, the pedestrian was not seriously hurt.

A few days before that, another elderly driver suddenly stopped in the middle Rte 28. The driver behind had to swerve to avoid a collision and ended up on a sidewalk.

Kellogg Announces A Cereal Recall

Reuters reports that Kellogg's is recalling its Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks cereals distributed nationwide with best if used by dates from March 26, 2011 until June 22, 2011. The cereal recall was commenced by Kellogg's because of an "uncharacteristic off flavor and smell" from the plastic bag placed inside its boxes.

While the company claims that the smell may produce nausea and loose stools in customers who are sensitive, the company claims that the recalled products will not cause serious illness. If it does though, it may help to speak with a Boston personal injury attorney.

Cribs Recall On Over Two Million Cribs: Most Cribs Are Drop Side Cribs

Parents of young infants and toddlers should be aware of the dangers posed by drop side cribs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that a total of seven manufacturers have voluntarily recalled over two million cribs. Most of the recalled cribs are drop side cribs. 

Most of the companies involved with the cribs recall are planning on providing all affected consumers with free repair kits. The CPSC recommends that any consumer a recalled crib avoid attempting to fix the crib without the repair kits.

Pit Bull Attack In Lakeville

A five year old boy and woman were victims in a pit bull attack in Lakeville this past Wednesday, according to WCVB Boston. The Lakeville Call reports that the boy and his babysitter were attacked by a pit bull that was owned by the boy's babysitter, Ms. Karen Bruno O'Leary. The boy was next door at his babysitter's house when the dog suddenly attacked him. When Ms. O'Leary attempted to get the dog off of the boy, the pit bull then started attacking her.

When police arrived on the scene, the dog attempted to attack an officer. The police fired three shots at the dog. The injured pit bull still attempted to attack medical response personnel, which compelled the police to shoot the dog dead with six more shots.

Vicious Dog Attack On Elderly Woman in New Bedford

An 81 year old woman in New Bedford was the unfortunate victim of a vicious dog attack. The Boston Herald reports that Germaine T. Jorge was attacked after walking home from Mass in broad daylight at 9:00 in the morning. She said that a "big yellow dog" ran from behind a house and bit her near her hip.

A Boston injury lawyer can tell you how New Bedford is considering a new ordinance that would place restrictions on pit bulls. One of the requirements in the ordinance is requiring them to be muzzled while they are outside. Perhaps this ordinance should apply to dogs with a volatile history as well?

Pfizer Pulls Mylotarg Drug Off The Market

The FDA announced that Pfizer will be taking the leukemia drug Mylotarg off of the U.S. market amid concerns about the drug's safety and whether or not the drug actually benefitted patients.

The Pfizer drug Mylotarg was approved by the FDA under an accelerated approval program back in May 2000. Under such a program, Pfizer was required to conduct additional clinical trials of the drug in order to verify the drug's benefit to patients.

Beacon Hill Cracks Down On Texting While Driving

The Boston Herald reports that Beacon Hill legislators just proposed a bill that bans texting while driving as well as requiring elderly drivers to increased vision tests. The safe driving legislation proposed does allow individuals over the age of 18 to talk on their cell phones though. Teenage drivers who get caught gabbing on the phone can face a fine of $100 and lose their driving privileges for 60 days. They also must complete a safe driving program prior to their first infraction. Texters can face a $100 fine for their first offense. 

A Boston injury lawyer can tell you that two deaths in 2009 were because of elderly drivers. While the legislation does call for the elderly to be subjected to more vision tests, they are not required to complete a road test. Individuals who are 75 years of age or older must go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles every five years and pass a vision test in order to keep their licenses current in the proposed bill. 

Toddler Falls Into Pool In Stoneham

WCVB Boston reports that a two year old boy was rescued after falling into a swimming pool in Stoneham. The incident occurred at 6 Keene Street. Fortunately, officials told WCVB Boston that the boy was breathing when he was transported to Winchester Hospital. He was later taken to Children's Hospital Boston.

A Boston injury lawyer can tell you that while most states have what is known as an "attractive nuisance" law, Massachusetts has a law called M.G.L. c. 231 Section 85Q. This law outlines that a homeowner must provide a standard of care to children if they have an artificial condition on his/her land that could possibly cause physical harm to trespassing children.

A Stricter Dangerous Dog Ordinance in New Bedford?

After a vicious attack by a pit bull mix on his dog, Dr. Gregory Hunt knows first hand the damage that this breed of dog can do. According to South Coast Today, the pit bull burst through a closed gate, and bit down on Dr. Hunt's dog named Sugar. He and others in New Bedford thinks it is hightime for a stricter dangerous dog ordinance.  

Dr. Hunt said that the dog was able to injure Sugar in a matter of seconds. He said: "I don't know how they're trained or bred but, once they're on, they don't let go."

Fundraiser Michael Hlady Accused Of Defrauding Nuns

The Boston Channel reports that fundraiser Michael Hlady from Rhode Island has been indicted on charges of fraud, identity theft, and larceny with regards to funds from Venerini Academy; a private school in Massachusetts. The school is run by an order of Roman Catholic nuns.

Law enforcement officials told media outlets that Michael Hlady stole more than $360,000 from the nuns after he falsely told them that he had arranged for the school to receive a large donation running into the millions. He received the funds as payment for raising the multimillion dollar donation. Unfortunately for the school, there was no donation. The donation was made by a fictitious donor.

Tylenol Recall Widens to Include Benadryl and Extra Strength Tabs

More residents in Boston may be calling a Boston injury lawyer over the latest recall. The recall involves medication that may have a chemical contamination. We have covered this recall previously in FindLaw's Common Law Blog, but ABC News reports that the Tylenol recall has been expanded to include Benadryl and Extra Strength Tylenol.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled the medication because of consumer complaints that the drugs had a "musty or moldy" odor. After an investigation, it was found that the chemical found in the wood used in the transport of the drugs broke down and created a very unappetizing odor.

Pedestrian Accidents: Manchester Woman Injures Two

In yet another one of Massachusetts' pedestrian accidents, two pedestrians were injured while walking in the town of Manchester. The Union Leader reports that Jamie Aylward has been charged with felony drunken driving after her Nissan plowed into two pedestrians walking along Merrimack Street on June 14.

One of the two pedestrians, Ms. Lee Berwick suffered from serious injuries. While they are not life threatening, she did need to be transported from Eliot Hospital to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The other pedestrian, Ms. Cheryl Connolly was taken to Eliot Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. She was released.

Gregg Rennie Involved In A Ponzi Scheme Worth $3.2 Million

The Boston Herald reports that the famous financial advisor and radio host Gregg Rennie of Quincy has been sentenced to seven years in prison this morning for masterminding a Ponzi scheme that bilked at least $3.2 million from his clients. He must also pay $3.78 million in restitution.

The former host of a radio show called "Your Money," Gregg Rennie concocted a scheme which involved getting his clients involved with "risk free" federal housing certificates and annuities. Instead of investing his clients' money, Gregg Rennie used the funds for his own personal use.

Hot New Show "Boston Med" Tackles Informed Consent

ABC News has a hot new show about risky medical dramas. No, it is not Grey's Anatomy, but a new eight part ABC News documentary series called Boston Med

While the show aims to illustrate extreme medical situations and the drama that comes with it, medical ethicists question the harm it may cause patients. The Boston Globe reports that medical ethicists claim that shows such as Boston Med can not only disrupt typical hospital protocol, but it can also be invasive for patients and affect the quality of care a patient receives.

Study Finds ARB Drugs May Be Linked To Cancer

ABC News reports that a study has recently found a link between the use of ARB drugs and an increased risk of cancer. ARB drugs, also known as angiotensin-receptor blockers, are commonly used to treat blood pressure. The study found that the ARB drugs were linked with an 8 percent increase in risk of a new cancer in patients. Some common ARB drugs are Cozaar, Atacand, Diovan, and Micardis. Sales from Diovan and its sister drug were $6 billion based on last year alone. Sales from Cozaar and its sister drug Hyzaar were $3.6 billion.

While the risk is modest, it is being seen as "disturbing and provocative" by many in the medical field. A Boston injury lawyer can tell you that if there is a risk, government regulators will probably probe into the safety of such drugs. In fact, Dr. Steven Nissen wrote an article that accompanied the results of the study in the medical journal The Lancet and urged regulators to review the findings and "promptly report" any findings of their own.  

Phoebe Prince Legacy: Anti-Bullying Measures In South Hadley

After the tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince hit South Hadley, more and more individuals felt that there was a need for anti-bullying measures in the small town in order to prevent another tragedy from occurring again.

The Boston Herald reports that the town's Anti-Bullying Task Force is asking citizens to take part in a community code of conduct that deals with bullying. The task force says that the code basically incorporates responsibility, courtesy, integrity and kindness.

This falls in line with a Massachusetts bill that was passed that addresses school and cyber bullying. Any Boston personal injury attorney can tell you that one of the major issues with cyber bullying is that it could possibly be digital defamation.

Distracted Driving Is Now A Medical Matter

Reuters reports that doctors are now being advised to inquire about a patient's distracted driving habits. According to Dr. Amy Ship of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, it is just as important as a doctor who asks about smoking habits and whether or not a person uses a seatbelt.

Dr. Amy Ship is quoted as saying, "It's time for us to ask patients about driving and distraction."

City Council President Timothy Phelan Wants Pit Bull Ban

It seems like pit bulls may get banned in Boston if City Council President Timothy Phelan gets his way. According to the Boston Herald, the push for a pit bull ban in Beantown started after there were two pit bull attacks over this past Memorial Day weekend holiday. Both of the attacks involved small children with no apparent provocation.

The first attack actually involved a 6 month old baby girl who was being carried by her father when she was bit by a pit bull that was being walked on a leash by its owner. The pit bull actually left a large gash on the baby's leg. In the second attack, an 11 year old boy was bit in the arms and chest by a pit bull that escaped its owner's home.

Study Finds Surgery Centers May Not Be Preventing Infections

The Boston Globe reports that a new federal study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that surgery centers that perform same-day procedures may not be very good at preventing infections due to lax practices. Any Boston personal injury attorney can tell you that a failure to adhere to best practices for infection control can lead to an infection and then a possible lawsuit.

The federal study found that issues with infection control were due to simple things such as a failure to wash hands, wear gloves, and clean glucose meters.

The study suggests that such bad practices could be present at more clinics nationwide that are not included in the study. The failures found at the clinics that the study did inspect are shocking because they could lead to serious complications. Some clinics even reused single use devices on other patients or gave diluted medicine doses for patients.

Recall On GM Vehicles Affects 1.5 Million Cars

A recent recall on GM vehicles has many drivers in Boston worried that they may need to call a Boston injury lawyer. According to the Wall Street Journal, General Motors Corp. had to recall 1.5 million vehicles due to a possible fire hazard in the windshield wiper fluid system.

The company is unable to repair the system due to the fact that the supplier of the system no longer does business. As an alternative, General Motors Corp. plans on removing the heated fluid component and compensating its affected customers with $100.

Pedestrian Car Accident Victim Still Suffering

Pedestrian accidents keep flooding the news. It seems that Beantown is not just known for its Celtics, but also for its increased likelihood of having a pedestrian car accident. Boston personal injury lawyers know how devastating an accident can be for anyone injured.

According to the Salem News, Quincey Gafter knows the devastation that a pedestrian car accident can wreak on a victim's life. Back in February 2009, she was struck by a van while crossing the street at a crosswalk. She says that she was dragged 60 feet and was knocked unconscious from the impact. As a result, she suffered injuries from head to toe. She injured her back, hips, kidneys, liver and even her aorta.

Uptick in Libel Cases By Judges for Boston Injury Lawyer

Howard M. Cooper, a Boston personal injury attorney who won a libel lawsuit worth $2 million for Judge Ernest B. Murphy, now says that he has seen an upswing of judges claiming libel. The Boston Globe reports that the Boston injury lawyer is now the man that judges go to when they feel like they are being defamed by media outlets over how they handle their caseloads.

According to the Boston Globe, judges felt like they could not speak out against such media outlets because of specific rules of judicial conduct that prevented them from talking about cases that currently are, or might possibly come before them. However, with media outlets possibly printing defamatory comments, judges finally feel like they have to do something because their reputations are on the line.

Shrek Glasses Recalled From McDonalds

Boston personal injury lawyers are warning McDonald's consumers about the danger of cadmium. The toxic substance has been found in the Shrek glasses sold at McDonalds in order to promote the summer blockbuster movie "Shrek." As a result, the company has recalled 12 million glasses nationwide. This recall comes after the recent recall of children's bracelets by the jewelry store Claire's

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the voluntary recall on Friday and urged consumers to stop using the Shrek glasses. The Shrek glasses came in four designs, featuring the characters Shrek, Fiona, Puss in Boots and Donkey.

Parents Allege Hospital's ER Refused To Treat Their Baby

In a story that has Boston personal injury lawyers buzzing, a family with a baby was refused medical treatment because of a hospital's ER procedures and protocol.

WCVB TV reports that the night that Avery LaPointe's parents tried to rush him to Brockton Hospital's emergency room, they couldn't find anyone to help their son. Margo LaPointe, Avery's mom said that the experience was terrifying: "He couldn't catch his breath. He was breathing in, he couldn't do it. He was panicking and it was the scariest night of my life."

Teacher, School Sued for Bullying Kid

The Phoebe Prince case really brought the issue of school bullying to light. But notice that the Phoebe Prince case was about students bullying another student.

What about teachers bullying a student? While the Phoebe Prince case shed light on one aspect of school bullying, Boston personal injury lawyers can't help but wonder what type of cases are brought across the nation when it comes to teachers bullying their students.

On a Mission to Mitigate Concussions

Concussions and brain injury are a major issue for Boston personal injury lawyers.

Head injuries are common among athletes-- sometimes being referred to as an "epidemic" in sports.

But the risk of a concussion can be reduced greatly by performing neck strengthening exercise, according to Mike Gittleson, the former strength and conditioning coach at the University of Michigan.

Recalled Herbal Diet Pills Still Selling in Boston

Despite a recall last year, a potentially hazardous diet pill is still being sold in the Boston area, raising red flags among Boston personal injury attorneys.

The drug, pai you guo, is an over-the-counter diet pill made in China. The drug was recalled last year after rounds of federal tests determined that the pills were contaminated with a potential carcinogenic. The pills were also found to contain traces of a powerful and potentially harmful prescription drug.

Diet Pill Danger: Remembering the Fen-Phen Lawsuits

Last week, we talked about the dangers of diet pills and the FDA's push to mandate warning labels on certain over the counter and prescription diet pills.

A Boston personal injury lawyer would likely have heard about the class action lawsuits in the early part of the millennium, dealing with certain diet pills, namely, Fen-Phen.

While the topic of Fen-Phen was much larger issue back in the 1990's, there are still many who remain unaware of the potential legal issues involving the use of Fen-Phen.

Ford Cars Under Investigation for Sticky Pedals

Boston personal injury attorneys are now learning that the sticky pedal situation was not limited to Toyota alone.

Federal Safety regulators are looking into the growing concern over gas pedal problems in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan automobiles. There have been several reported incidents of the gas pedals becoming stuck under floor mats.

Is Intersection To Blame for MBTA Crash?

In a story that will certainly grab the attention of any Boston accident lawyer, a woman driving a minivan has been charged with regards to the MBTA crash on Saturday in Dorcester. According to ABC WCVB Boston, Adalia Grant was charged with a failure to observe a traffic sign. The crash, which happened at around 6:30 p.m., injured 10 passengers on the bus and 4 passengers in the minivan.

While the driver has been charged with a failure to observe a traffic sign, the Boston Herald reports that one of the passengers of the minivan claims that the driver did indeed stop at the stop sign. The Boston Herald quotes Kimberly Grant as saying, "My sister stopped at the stop sign and started to go and then we saw the bus, but it was too late."

The driver herself was not injured, but according to NBC News, Adalia Grant's son, daughter, sister and nephew had to be treated for injuries. She told NBC News that the accident shook her up: "I was shocked. I didn't know what to do think...I was panicked. My sister was panicked. It was horrible, just the worst feeling you could feel."