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August 2010 Archives

Novelty Lighters Ban In Massachusetts

Novelty lighters which are lighters that look like toys may soon be illegal in the Bay State. The Boston Globe reports that a novelty lighters ban was passed and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick. Massachusetts will be the 14th state to ban novelty lighters. The law is expected to take effect in November. The law is intended to protect against accidental fires started by children. There will be an exemption for collectible lighters made before 1980.

Governor Deval Patrick told reporters: "Massachusetts now joins 13 other states in an effort to strengthen public safety, particularly the well-being of our children. This law will save lives by eliminating the kinds of lighters that have been involved in accidental fires and tragic deaths around the country."

Emily Malewitz Recovers From Tree Injury In Boston

WHDH reports that Emily Malewitz from Millis has returned to Boston in order to recover from a tree injury she sustained while camping with her family in Lebanon, ME. Severe weather conditions caused a tree to fall down on top of her family's tent. As a result, the girl was pinned to the ground. She suffered from severe injuries.

According to WHDH, a powerful thunderstorm ripped through the campground and knocked over more than a dozen trees. It was startling for people to see someone hurt by the storm. Monica Balboni, a neighbor told WHDH:"It was shock that a tree could fall...at a campsite, so it was, you know, scary."

While it is unclear whether or not her family has retained the services of a Boston personal injury lawyer, but if there is an injury suffered from a falling tree or tree branch, there is the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Garmin Recall Nuvi GPS Units For Overheating

According to the Christian Science Monitor, there was a Garmin recall of 1.25 million Nuvi GPS units this week. Approximately 796,000 of those units were sold in the United States. Those units that are recalled use batteries assembled by a third party manufacturer that could cause the units to overheat and possibly could catch on fire. However, it is important to note that only a few of the GPS units are affected by this recall. Only Nuvi units with model numbers 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT - xx (xx may be a two digit number and may be followed by a letter).

Engine Defect Sparks Toyota Recall On Corolla and Matrix Models

Bostonians who already questioned the safety of Toyota vehicles may be getting ready to dial their Boston personal injury attorney. The Los Angeles Times reports that there is yet another Toyota recall on more than 1 million Corolla and Matrix models because of an engine defect that causes the cars to stall. The recall involves 1.13 million Corolla and Corolla Matrix models in North American during 2005 to 2008. The engine defect is due to an improperly manufactured engine control module.

There may be a crack that develops somewhere on the engine control module. If that happens, then the "Check Engine" light will go on. The driver may experience hard shifting and in some circumstances the engine may stall. Toyota has stated that there have been three unconfirmed accidents that could be related to the engine defect. One of those accidents resulted in a minor injury.

Egg Recall Seems To Be Changing Consumer Habits

The egg recall that we covered earlier seems to be changing consumer perception about the incredible, edible, egg. ABC News reports that eating or using an egg is near impossible in the U.S. because it is used in a medley of foods and products. It is this ubiquity that has consumers worried by the new egg recall. Eggs are used in everything from food, to vaccines and shampoo.

The eggs involved in the egg recall involved as many as 1,300 cases of salmonella. If you ask a Boston personal injury lawyer, it could be even higher if other sources are traced back to the eggs.

Dog Bites Can Cost You In Home Insurance

Dog bites can be serious; just ask a Boston personal injury lawyer.

Bloomberg reports that dog bites have cost U.S. home insurers about 6.4 percent more in 2009 than the previous year. The average dog bite claim is over $24,000 for the third year in a row. The injuries from dog bites cost around $412 million in 2009. In 2008, the cost was $387.2 million. The number of dog bite claims went up by 4.8 percent.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites comprise about a third of homeowners' insurance liability claims. The costs of dog bites have risen because of medical expenses to victims. Cindy Younkin, the city attorney for White Sulphur Springs, Montana, told Bloomberg: "Health-care costs have gone up. [I]nsurance provides some sort of coverage that would take care of the costs."

Recall On Meat For Walmart Stores

A recall on meat supplied by Buffalo company Zemco Industries has been announced. ABC News reports that Zemco Industries supplied 160 tons of meat to Walmart stores across the country that could possibly be tainted with Listeria. A sample taken from a retail sample by the state of Georgia tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

A spokesman for Zemco told ABC News that the meat involved in the recall has most likely been eaten already. The USDA has not received any reports of Listeriosis, which can possibly be fatal for young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

West Bridgewater School Sets Up Text Tip Line For Bullying

WHDH Boston reports that a West Bridgewater school is taking bullying in school very seriously. The school is planning to set up a text tip line so that parents and students can let police and school administrators know about any incidents of bullying. The line, which is called the Student Safety Tip Line, is expected to allow students to report any bullying from their cell phones. Dr. Patricia Oakley, the Superintendent of West Bridgewater Schools, told WHDH: "They might feel funny. They might know that something's going on. They might know that a friend of theirs is being bullied. They don't wanna be the one that squeals on the kids. So, this way, they could just text it to the principal."

Family Of Alfonso Santana Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Alfonso Santana died on a Lawrence sidewalk back in 2005. The Boston Globe reports that as a result, Alfonso Santana's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two Massachusetts Police troopers and a Lawrence police officer because they claim that his death was caused by a police chokehold.

He was questioned outside a suspected drug house when the tussle occurred.

The lawsuit challenges the finding of cocaine in Santana's blood, but not his urine. A pathologist who testified on behalf of the family said it was a "physiological impossibility." He brings up the possibility that someone may have tampered with the blood sample.

Worker Dies From A Fall At Yankee Candle Warehouse

The Boston Herald reports that a Massachusetts worker in Deerfield has been killed after falling from a forklift in a Yankee Candle warehouse. Twenty four year old Richard Tyson of Springfield was pronounced dead at the hospital. Mr. Tyson fell about 30 feet from the forklift. As a result, he suffered from serious trauma. The DA's office and OSHA are investigating the incident.

A Boston personal injury lawyer will tell you that typically in slip and fall cases, a number of individuals or entities can be held liable. For example, if the owner of the forklift was aware of any dangerous conditions than the owner could held liable for a slip and fall accident. The owner has a reasonable duty of care to prevent injury to those on the premises under its control.

Red Sox Fan Injured By Fall In Fenway Park

ESPN reports that a Red Sox fan from Montreal had to be hospitalized after a fall from a staircase in Fenway Park. It is not yet known if the fan has retained the services of a Boston personal injury lawyer. He allegedly vaulted over a staircase railing and smashed into a concrete landing.

According to a team source, the fan sustained not only facial fractures, but bleeding in the brain. The injuries were serious, but "recoverable." The incident occurred at around 8:45 p.m. near the stairwell that leads to the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck. He was attended to by Red Sox security and emergency medical technicians. He was then transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Egg Recall Widens As Salmonella Outbreaks Are Reported

It seems that there is a follow up to the egg recall we covered earlier on this blog.

The New York Times reports that the egg recall by Wright County Egg company may involve as many as 380 million eggs instead of the estimated 228 million. The egg recall was commenced because of possible Salmonella contamination. a Boston personal injury lawyer can tell you that Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly individuals, and others with compromised immune systems.   

If Salmonella gets into the bloodstream, it can be known to cause arthritis, arterial infections, and endocarditis. The states most affected by this recall are California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. While that may be the case, the eggs are distributed nationwide, so it can possibly affect Boston residents.

Suicide By Phillip Markoff Sparks Debate Over Jail Safety

While not everyone is mourning the death of suspected Craigslist killer Phillip Markoff, the alleged lack of supervision that Markoff had while in his jail cell still startled many. The Boston Herald reports that it was revealed that Phillip Markoff was left alone unsupervised for a total of eight hours to cut, mutilate, and suffocate himself in a jail cell with a pen and plastic bags. Public safety experts are concerned about the security and safety of both guards and inmates in Suffolk jails.

City Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, chairman of Boston's Committee on Public Safety said: "I'm very concerned about it, and not because I'm a fan of Philip Markoff. The fact of the matter is he was in our care and custody. He shouldn't be killed by himself or anybody else." A Boston personal injury lawyer can expect that there may be a wrongful death lawsuit from this incident. In fact, Murphy continued by saying, "There's deficiencies in that jail, as chronicled by Philip Markoff. We might have a wrongful-death suit coming at us, and I'm sick of taxpayers picking up the bill for her dereliction of duty."

Egg Recall By Wright County Egg Due To Salmonella Risks

If you have recently suffered from salmonella poisoning, make sure you check your egg carton.

CBS reports that an egg recall involving 228 million eggs produced by Wright County Egg was commenced over possible salmonella contamination. The egg recall involves eggs that are sold under brands such as Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph's, Boosma's, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, and Kemps. The plant numbers of the eggs affected are P-1026, P-1413, and P-1946. Make sure you check the dates and codes. The dates (stamped in the Julian format) of the eggs affected are 136 to 225.

Currently, there have been seven salmonella cases due to two restaurant outbreaks in Minnesota during May and July.

Margo Martin Plans For Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Provincetown

The Cape Cod Times reports that Margo Martin, widow of Truro selectman Robert Martin, plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Provincetown and the Old Colony Tap Bar for her husband's drowning death back in 2008. Robert Martin drowned off a town beach. At the time of his death, Police Chief Jeff Jaran said it was "an unfortunate accident."

Robert Martin was very intoxicated the night of his death. He was seen by shuttle bus driver Albert Robinson stumbling and falling near the wharf's entrance. Martin had told Robinson that he was very drunk and that he needed some air. Yet when Robinson offered him a ride, Martin refused and headed towards the beach. It was only after Robinson had finished his shift that he discovered Martin's body floating in the water.

Study Shows That There Are Fewer Lawsuits When Doctors Say Sorry

It seems that if doctors say "I'm sorry", admit their mistake, and offer some compensation, it can help prevent a patient from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with their Boston personal injury lawyer. BusinessWeek reports that new research based on a program launched in 2001 by the University of Michigan Health System shows that there was a reduction in the number of lawsuits, faster resolution of disputes and lowered legal costs when patients were told about the medical error and given an apology along with an offer for fair compensation.

It seems to run counter to traditional ideas that if doctors admit fault, that they welcome lawsuits. Study author Allen Kachalia, medical director of quality and safety at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said: "Lots of people say that if we do the right thing and disclose errors, malpractice claims and liability will ruin it. What our findings show is it can be done, and in fact, liability costs and claims actually got better."

John Donahue Estate Awarded $400K In Nursing Home Lawsuit

Marlene Owens from Easton has been fighting a legal battle on behalf of her stepfather's estate for almost 5 years. The Boston Herald reports that her stepfather John Donahue died in 2005 after sustaining an eye injury at the Embassy House nursing home in Brockton. The nursing home is owned by Kindred Healthcare.

John Donahue's left eye was injured by a metal hook when an employee was using a machine to move Donahue from his bed. State investigation found that two employees were supposed to operate the machine which is known as a Hoyer lift. As a result of the eye injury, the eye was removed, but John Donahue died of sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the immune system overcompensates for an infection.

Patient Files Exposed In Local Dump

Patients in four community hospitals in the Bay State may be in for a surprise; and they may want to call a Boston personal injury lawyer soon. The Boston Globe reports that four Massachusetts community hospitals are trying to figure out how sensitive patient records replete with Social Security numbers and medical information found their way to a public dump. The hospitals implicated in this are Milford, Holyoke, Carney, and Milton.

The medical records were unshredded and included information such as patients' contact information and the results of lab tests such as breast cancer tests.

Richard Souza Accused Of Scamming Elderly Widower

Richard Souza of Dartmouth has been federally charged with defrauding an elderly man out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Boston Herald reports that Richard Souza used the money to buy himself real estate and luxury cars. Federal prosecutors say that Mr. Souza initially met the widower in 2004 and offered to work on his roof. At the time they met, the widower had a net worth of $750,000.

Federal authorities say that after 4 years of meeting Richard Souza, the widower mentioned in court documents as "Larry," was left with $145,000 in debt and lost his home. Authorities are now seeking to seize cars and homes owned by Souza that they allege he obtained through this scam.

Ron Sveden Stumps Doctors With A Pea Plant In His Lung

According to WHDH, a patient gave doctors the surprise of their life. Ron Sveden from Brewster rushed to the hospital when his left lung had collapsed on Memorial Day. For weeks, doctors tried to find a cancerous tumor in the emphysema patient for weeks when they finally found the problem. The problem? Ron Sveden had a pea plant that spouted in his lungs. In his own words, "I was told I had a pea seed in my lung that had split and had sprouted." And that wasn't just a tiny sprout either. Sveden said: "Probably about a half-an-inch, which is a pretty big thing of course."  

Doctors ran tests for cancer for two weeks until one of them discovered the pea plant growing in Sveden's lung. Ron Sveden said that he never felt anything growing, but that he had just been coughing more than usual. He said: "Whether this would have gone full-term and I'd be working for the jolly green giant, I don't know. I think the thing that finally dawned on me is that it wasn't the cancer." His wife was thrilled to hear the news that Sveden didn't have cancer. After he came back from the hospital to recover at home, he has been the recipient of gag gifts of pea seeds and canned peas from friends.

Woman Test Driving Car Crashes Into Calorusso's Bakery

An elderly woman test driving a 2011 model of the Ford Focus crashed into Calorusso's Bakery on Wednesday. According to WCVB Boston, the woman literally slammed into the bakery which was across the street from the dealership in Stoneham at approximately 11:00 in the morning. Witnesses say that the accident happened quite suddenly. Calorusso's Bakery owner Michael D'Andrea said: "She was test driving a car across the street, and just cut across the street and right into the front of the store." The driver was accompanied with a car salesman.

The accident is currently under investigation, but other witnesses say that the driver hit a car before she accelerated and crashed into the bakery. Bakery employee Lillian Catanzaro said: "A woman was test driving a car, and she hit a car, and all of a sudden, she accelerated into the window and all heck broke loose. I didn't know if she was hurt or not. The poor woman. She was very upset and didn't know what to do." 

Marlene Pineda Dies In A Bicycle Accident In Brighton

The 24 year old bicyclist who was killed in a car accident earlier this week was Marlene Pineda from Smith College, Wicked Local reports. Marlene Pineda was a volunteer swim coach at Harvard. A recent Smith graduate who was previously a captain of the college's swim team, Marlene Pineda was volunteering as a swim coach at Harvard University and working as an interim head coach over at Cambridge Master's Swim Club.

According to the Boston Globe, the bicyclist was hit by a car while riding a bike without a helmet on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. Marlene Pineda's identity was not revealed by authorities until today. Boston police have said that since the incident was ruled as an accident, the motorist will not be criminally charged. However, it is not yet known if Pineda's family will pursue a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of a Boston personal injury lawyer.

Flagger James Leydon Struck By Off Duty Cop In SUV

The Boston Globe reports that an off duty police officer from Boston struck down a civilian flagger in a construction site this week. James Leydon, a construction worker who is 58 years old, was struck by the passenger side mirror of off duty police officer Michael Long. James Leydon was struck in the elbow.

When questioned later by police, Michael Long claimed that he was unaware that he had hit anyone. The Boston police have said that they will not be filing any charges against Long. Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said: "As a matter of procedure the Boston Police Department will review the facts and circumstances of the incident. By all accounts this seems to be an unfortunate accident." It is not known if James Leydon will pursue a civil claim or if he has retained the services of a Boston personal injury lawyer.

Long thought that he hit a sign. He stopped later to ask a Dedham police officer if he hit anything. Since the police officer was unaware that Leydon was hit, he told Long that he was good to go.

Trevor Wright Recovers From Serious Bike Accident

A Lakeville teenage boy is counting his lucky stars. South Coast Today reports that Trevor Wright, a 13 year old boy from Lakeville, made a surprising recovery from a severe bike accident. Trevor was riding a bike with friends when he went over his handlebars. He was not wearing a helmet. His mother Jennifer Wright said, "You never know how badly injured someone can get without a helmet. We couldn't believe this was happening to us."

As a result of his accident, he had to undergo extensive brain surgery and was placed in a medically induced coma in order to stop possible seizures. He could not talk and was fed by a feeding tube. As his mother told South Coast Today: "We were told he wouldn't die, but it was a poor prognosis and he wouldn't be Trevor when he woke up." Luckily for Trevor's family, he is back to being a normal teenage boy.

Toddler In Lynn Falls From Second Floor Porch

The Boston Globe reports that a toddler, whose name has not yet been released, fell from a second floor porch in Lynn. The toddler suffered from injuries that are potentially fatal, authorities said. The toddler, who is two months short of being two years old, fell from an address on West Green Street. The child was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Although authorities did tell media outlets that the address where the incident took place is a listed as a licensed daycare facility, they said that an investigation is ongoing. It is now known if the daycare was operating when the incident occurred.

Boston Is Notorious For Dangerous Bike Roadways

Boston Globe writer Bella English wrote a piece about how dangerous the roads in Beantown can be for bikers. In fact, dangerous bike accidents seem to be the norm in Boston because of motorists who fail to heed the right to the road that bikers have. A Boston personal injury lawyer probably has a good idea about how often a motorist in Boston gets into an accident with a biker, but Ms. English details how her friend got injured: "A friend of a friend, an experienced cyclist who's been riding 20 years, was recently hit by a 16-year-old with a driver's permit: He suffered a fractured collarbone and shoulder blade, a punctured lung, five fractured ribs, and two pelvic fractures."

In fact, Billy Starr, founder of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge says that he has seen so many dangerous bike accidents: "I've seen assaults, I've been run off the road. I've seen what every bicyclist sees who rides on any regular basis. We are the low end of the food chain.''

American Training Company Leaves Disabled Man At Park

WCVB Boston reports that a man with Down's Syndrome was accidentally left behind at Greeley park on Thursday. American Training Company, which is based in Lowell, said it is investigating its policies to see what happened. Derek Porcaro, who is 24 years old, was on a field trip administered by the American Training Company when he was reported missing.

Derek's father Bill is upset. He said he knew something was wrong when he didn't hear word of his son: "He's usually home by 3. I got a call saying they didn't have him and he didn't come home from the field trip." He was shocked that the company was paid to care for disabled individuals, yet failed to keep an eye on his son.

Report Looks At Natural Supplements For Risks

Bostonians may be in need of a Boston personal injury lawyer if they are taking natural supplements. CNN reports that an investigation done by Consumer Reports indicates that natural supplements for dietary needs may pose serious health risks for consumers. There were a total of 12 key natural ingredients that could be linked to serious side effects. The worst part? The natural ingredients may not even provide the health benefits that they promise.

There are 12 specified ingredients to look out for: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, yohimbe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has told CNN that they have not determined what basis was used in the Consumer Reports investigation. So while Consumer Reports is warning against these particular ingredients, the FDA has only warned specifically against 7 of the 12 ingredients. The 7 ingredients that the FDA warns against are: aconite, chaparral, colloidal silver, comfrey, germanium, kava and yohimbe.

Weymouth Firefighter Slips And Falls From Ladder Truck

A Weymouth firefighter was severely injured when the firefighter fell more than ten feet from a ladder truck and landed on his head, according to the Boston Herald. He was battling a brush fire when the fall occurred. While he was not identified, he was sent to South Shore Hospital and an investigation is ongoing.

A Boston personal injury lawyer knows that slip and fall accidents on the job happen all of the time. The term "slip and fall" is used when an individual slip, trips, and falls. As a result from this fall, the individual sustains some sort of injuries. Typically a slip and fall accident occurs because of negligence to correct or warn others about a "dangerous condition" on a property. While this is typically real property, a Boston personal injury attorney may be explain if this also applies to fire trucks that are not maintained properly.

A Hole Lot Of Trouble: Pothole Liability

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Did you know that there is the possibility of pothole liability in various areas in the Bay state? While it is probably best to ask a Boston personal lawyer the specifics, we are certain that some motorists will be asking about it.

Two lanes were closed on I-93 in Medford today, the Boston Herald reports. No, it was not because of a car collision, it was because of a pothole that opened up for the second time in two days in the same spot. The pothole forced state police to close off the right and middle lanes between exits 32 and 33 early this morning. The same pothole caused issues for evening commuters last night. State police have recommended that drivers find an alternative route.

Running Red Lights Means More Car Crashes

South Coast Today reports that more and more drivers are wary about proceeding during a green light at an intersection. Why is that? It seems that there are more drivers running red lights. Now a Boston personal injury lawyer would probably tell you that if you have more drivers running red lights, then you have more drivers getting into car accidents. The Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) found that the number of accidents caused by drivers running red lights doubled from last year.

In fact, SRPEDD released a press release that indicates that approximately 25% of all car crashes can be attributed to running red lights. If you have suffered from a car crash that you think may be attributed to a red light running, you may want to consult with a Boston personal injury lawyer.

Owner Claudia Martin Wins A Judgment Over $8K Over Dog Injuries

The South Coast Today reports that a judge in Wareham District Court has awarded dog owner Claudia Martin with a judgment worth $8,804.62 over injuries that her dog sustained when it was attacked by a bull mastiff. The award amount includes damages, interest, and filing costs.

Claudia Martin filed the lawsuit against bull mastiff owner Donn. A Cordeira. Cordeira's dog attacked Martin's dog Sweetie two years ago. As a result of the attack, Martin claims that she has amassed a staggering $10,000 in vet bills. She said that while she is happy with the judgment, she tried to get Mr. Cordeira to settle with her. She said: "I tried to get him to make me some sort of an offer. He didn't want to do it." She did indicate that she was aware that he felt bad about what had happened.

Another Twin Drowning Highlights Dangers Of Swimming Pools

There was yet another tragic twin drowning in Boston over the weekend. The Boston Globe reports that Leslie Bonsu died from drowning in her family pool less than a day after her twin sister Lindsey Bonsu passed away from the same drowning. The two girls were pulled from the family's swimming pool at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. They had CPR performed on them at the site and were then transported to Children's Hospital Boston.

The twin drowning has certainly captured the attention of social workers from the Dept. of Children and Families. They are investigating the family for the possibility of neglect and abuse.