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October 2012 Archives

Rendering Emergency Aid: Massachusetts' Good Samaritan Law

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we're bound to hear some stories of heroism -- namely, people who came to the rescue of those in danger or need.

This brings us to the question of Good Samaritan Laws and the implications of helping someone in need.

Is there a duty to help someone in need in Massachusetts? If emergency assistance goes wrong, what are the limitations on liability for helping someone in need?

Beware Slip and Fall Lawsuits This Halloween!

It’s Halloween week and what better time to talk about slip-and-fall injuries than now?

Slip and fall injuries aren’t the only potential injury concerns at Halloween. But they’re a major category to consider, especially if you plan to give out candy this year.

In some areas, masses of youngers turn out for trick-or-treating. With crowds, excitement, sugared-up little tykes and darkness, you’ll want to keep an eye out for hidden dangers on your property.

Here are a few pointers to avoid a slip-and-fall lawsuit this Halloween:

Criminal Medical Staff and Employer's Vicarious Liability

Over the past few months, there have been many news stories involving individuals contracting various diseases through tainted medications.

This summer, a medical technician was arrested for allegedly causing a multistate hepatitis C outbreak, and now UPMC in Pittsburgh is being sued over the technician's negligent hiring in a class action lawsuit, reports the Baltimore Sun. Several patients were infected with hepatitis C, after David Kwiatkowski left tainted needles behind.

While Kwiatkowski was caught and subsequently fired by UPMC, the issue in the lawsuit bears to the question as to why he was hired to begin with.

DOJ Sues Bank of America for Mortgage Fraud

Bank of America is being sued by the federal government for mortgage fraud.

According to Reuters, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal district court against Bank of America, citing that the bank sold toxic home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This time, the mortgage fraud case isn't criminal. It's civil. Which makes it ripe for a personal injury discussion.

Cambridge Man Kicks Nun in Somerville

This isn’t your classic personal injury story but it’s worth a read. A man in Somerville has been arrested for kicking a nun, reports Wicked Local.

So, where’s the personal injury aspect of this story, you ask? After all, an arrest is a criminal case. True. But he was arrested for assault. And assault can also be a tort, i.e. a personal injury claim.

45 Massachusetts Residents Named in Boy Scouts Perversion Files

The Boy Scouts of America sex abuse scandal has hit home, here in Massachusetts.

Some 45 Massachusetts residents are named in the "perversion files," a secret document that was released yesterday, reports The Boston Globe.

The perversion files were part of the $18.5 million settlement reached between the Boy Scouts of America and the plaintiffs in the sex abuse case.

The Oregon Supreme Court ordered these secret documents to be released, naming those volunteers who were suspected of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Weston Students Try to Poison Teacher, Should Parents be Liable?

When do parents take the fall for something their children did? If a child (or teenager) does something wrong and harms someone, can the parents be sued?

Two middle school students in Weston reportedly put cleaning fluid in their teacher's water bottle, The Boston Globe reports.

South Grafton Boy Gets Salmonella From Peanut Butter at Trader Joes

A South Grafton family has filed a lawsuit against Trader Joe's after their four-year-old son was stricken with salmonella, reports Patch.

The salmonella case stems from a nationwide recall of peanut butter. Last week, the Center for Disease Control issued an advisory on the recall by Sunland Inc. of their peanut butter, sold in stores across the nation, including Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.

These peanut butter products are sold under many names, including Earth Balance and Archer Farms (at Target).

First Meningitis Lawsuit: Minnesota Woman Sues NECC

The lawsuits in the meningitis outbreak have started.

A Minnesota woman has sued the New England Compounding Center for "bodily harm, emotional distress, and other personal injuries," reports The Chicago Tribune.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal District Court in Minnesota by Barbe Puro. Puro is the first to sue in the meningitis outbreak that has taken the country by storm.

Kids Don't Get into Harvard, So Family Sues Educational Advisor

We hear of parents who are serious about sending their kids to Ivy League schools. They put their kids in the top private elementary schools. They fill their weekend schedules with tutoring and various lessons.

They even hire outside consultants to advise them on how to get their child into Harvard, reports The Boston Globe.

But what if all of this fails?

Then they sue.

Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Framingham Pharmacy

A pharmacy in Framingham is under scrutiny as more people have been infected with meningitis after receiving steroid injections for back pain.

The meningitis outbreak has been linked to the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, reports The Boston Globe.

New Bedford Police Sued Over Erik Aguilar's In-Custody Death

A wrongful death lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a New Bedford man who died in police custody, reports The Associated Press.

The 42-year old man, Erik Aguilar, was cuffed in a convenience store parking lot while being left face-down in July 2010. During that time, he stopped breathing and his heart failed. According to the lawsuit, police waited four minutes before administering CPR on him.

Nissan Recall Includes Pathfinders, Xterras, Frontiers

It's been a bad week for automobile recalls.

Nissan announced this week it's recalling three models. According to MSN Autos, some Nissan Pathfinder, Xterra and Frontier models are being recalled for faulty front wheel hubs which have the potential to crack. This could potentially lead to a loss of steering control.

What is it with the steering wheel defects this week? Earlier, we reported that Honda was recalling some of its Accords for issues involving leaky steering wheel fluid.

Honda Recalls Accords, But Parts Not in Until 2013

Recall news! Honda has announced that it will be recalling 600,000 Accords, The Associated Press reports.

The issue is the Accord's power steering hose, which has the potential to leak fluid. The leakage of fluid is a fire hazard, according to the AP.