Time Limits on Medical Malpractice Suits in Massachusetts

If you have been injured due to medical negligence and are looking to make a medical malpractice claim in Massachusetts, keep key deadlines in mind. State laws address how long a patient has to file a complaint; damage caps; and other important factors. These limitations can be difficult to keep in mind when beginning the claims process. Finding a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney in Massachusetts will help keep your claim on time while also utilizing their experience to get the best outcome possible.

Standard Deadline is Three Years
In Massachusetts, victims have up to three years from the date of incidence to file a medical malpractice suit in a Massachusetts court. If a lawsuit is not filed in those three years, the victim may lose the right to sue for medical malpractice, unless the case falls into one of the exceptions. [Read more…]

Arbitrator Reverses Five Day Suspension of Springfield Police Officer

In a recent arbitration award, Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. (“RJA”) successfully represented a Springfield police officer in connection with a five day suspension.

Prior to the five day suspension, the officer, who was not at that point a member of the Massachusetts Police Association Legal Defense Fund, had been suspended from his duties based upon various allegations, including that the officer had not been in proper uniform at the start of his shift.  Without the benefit of the Legal Defense Fund at that time, the officer served the suspension.

Following that discipline, the officer joined the Legal Defense Fund.

Later, in 2015, the officer was working a private road detail in the City.  At the time, the officer was carrying a radio and a firearm, but was not wearing a hat, badge, uniform shirt and was not carrying a baton, handcuffs or pepper spray.  A supervisor who encountered the officer on that detail ordered the officer back to his locker at the station to retrieve those various items before returning to the detail.

The officer did as instructed.  Thereafter, the officer was asked for a report concerning the matter and, after submitting his report, was issued a five day suspension by the appointing authority, the Police Commissioner.

The officer, now a member of the Legal Defense Fund, challenged the suspension before an arbitrator. [Read more…]

Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior Under G.L. c. 272, §16 Requires “Shock” or “Alarm” to Another Person

In the case of Commonweatlh v. Maguire, 476 Mass. 156 (2017), the Supreme Judicial Court addressed the elements of the felony crime of Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior under G.L. c. 272, §16.  Based upon a failure to prove that the defendant’s conduct of exposing his penis to several females sitting on a bench at the Hynes Convention Center subway platform produced either “shock” or “alarm” for the females or the MBTA officer who made the arrest, the Court reversed the conviction.  The officer testified that he was disgusted at the defendant’s actions and concerned that the women were being victimized by those actions, but the Court ruled that evidence was insufficient to meet the subjective shock or alarm requirement for conviction of the felony.  It reversed the conviction and remanded for entry of conviction for the lesser included crime of Indecent Exposure. [Read more…]

Consequences of Devastating Head Injuries

These statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show the impact of head injuries in the United States in a single year: 50,000 people lose their lives, 280,000 people are hospitalized, and 2.2 million people are treated by emergency rooms. The magnitude of these numbers is worthy of discussion, particularly since a traumatic head injury can result from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and assaults.

Head Injuries Pose Potential for Long-Term Consequences
While a head injury can have immediate repercussions for victims, including headaches, temporary memory loss and feelings of sleepiness, they should not ignore the long-term consequences. Even those victims who suffer very mild symptoms of a head injury after a car accident need to use caution; repeated head trauma has been associated with a higher incidence of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Those who experience symptoms of severe head injuries immediately after an accident can suffer from:

  • Problems with thinking – some victims are unable to use their power of reasoning and may have long or short-term memory problems.
  • Problems with sensation – it is possible to have difficulty maintaining balance and vision problems after a head injury.
  • Problems with language – victims often have problems communicating and in some cases comprehending language.
  • More serious problems – in cases of more serious head injuries, victims may also be depressed, suffer from weakness in their legs and arms, and show signs of aggressiveness.

These are only some of the potential problems that a victim of a head injury can face, and none of them should ever be taken lightly.

When Head Injuries Impact Your Life
In severe cases of a traumatic head injuries, victims may need round-the-clock nursing care, may be unable to communicate with family members, and may be unable to return to work. These are very serious outcomes; they impact the family and the victim emotionally and financially. This is why anyone who suffers a head injury because someone else was negligent needs to consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney.

Victims should not have to deal with the financial burden associated with care after a traumatic head injury. You should contact a personal injury attorney to determine whether you have the grounds for a civil lawsuit. Should an attorney determine a suit can go forward, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation costs and for lost wages.

Do Not Ignore Your Slip and Fall Injury

If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident in a local grocery store or other business, you might be looking to put the event behind you as soon as possible. After all, slipping and falling in such a public venue can be embarrassing, and you might not want to make a bigger deal out of it or call more attention to it than is necessary. However, if you suffered an injury in one of these accidents, you need to take it very seriously, and you should not just ignore the situation or avoid filing a personal injury case. Here’s why.

Your Injuries Could Cost You More Than You Think
After slipping and falling, you might think that a little time and taking it easy will make your injury better. However, chances are that your injuries could be a lot more costly than you think. Medical care is not cheap, and if you don’t file an accident report detailing the incident, then you may not have a case when you realize your injuries are more serious than you originally thought. You might be on the hook to pay for your medical expenses yourself. You also have to factor in the amount of money that you might lose from being out of work. You should not be responsible for these costs, if the accident was not your fault.

Responsible Parties Should Be Held Responsible
Business owners should ensure that their establishments are as safe as possible for their patrons. If they aren’t held responsible for accidents that happen, they might not be more careful in the future. This could put others at risk of being hurt. By pursuing a case, you can help hold responsible parties responsible for the injuries that they cause, even indirectly, to their patrons.

A slip and fall accident isn’t something that you should ignore or “just let go.” Understand your situation and your options by contacting our law office for a free case evaluation.

Commercial Truck Accidents – Taking On Big Corporate

We travel the roads throughout our community to work, home and school. We pay little attention to the different types of vehicles we are sharing the roads with as we go about our business. There are mostly privately owned cars, SUV’s, pickups, and motorcycles on the roads we travel, but we also share the road with hundreds of commercial vehicles throughout the day, and with all the unseen hazards associated with these vehicles. There are dozens of construction vehicles sharing the road with us as well as tractor trailers, garbage trucks, cement trucks, and scores of smaller delivery box trucks from UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and the United Postal Service.

The roads of Massachusetts are congested with all types of vehicles, especially in and around Greater Boston. Commercial drivers are under enormous pressure to get to their destination as quickly and cheaply as possible. Their employers are under the same pressure to meet deadlines and to make a profit on their drivers’ efforts. [Read more…]

Is Your Home Safe Enough For Your Active Toddler?

Just how safe is your home for your little toddler? You’ve purchased cabinet locks, door handle protectors, socket covers, and you’ve put soft pads on the corners of the coffee table. So you’re all set, right? Maybe, maybe not. Unfortunately, there are hidden dangers with certain pieces of furniture that you may have missed.

Furniture and Television Tip-Overs
We hear on the news all too many times about a young toddler being seriously injured by a falling television, bookcase, or dresser. Thousands of children are injured and killed every year in the United States by furniture tip-overs. Children often use the drawers or the shelves of a dresser or bookcase for climbing, not realizing that their weight can topple the furniture. Following are some tips on how to protect your child, and visiting children, from the dangers of tip-over furniture.
Anchoring Furniture is Best
Take the following steps to anchor properly your furniture to avoid tip-over accidents:

  • Purchase anti-tip brackets for top-heavy furniture. Anchor all large and tall furniture with drawers and shelves to the studs in the wall.
  • Be sure to set furniture firmly on a hard surface floor so it is not wobbly or that it shifts due to cushioning in a carpet or rug.
  • Only purchase and use sturdy furniture that is made specifically to hold televisions.
  • Mount flat-screen televisions to furniture or the wall.
  • Secure TVs that cannot be mounted to the wall by anchoring them to the wall.
  • Remove toys and other objects that may tempt a child to climb the furniture.

Even if you don’t have children, aren’t expecting children or don’t anticipate any children visiting, these tips still ensure the safety of everyone in the home, including your pets.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to a furniture tip-over, please call our office for a free consultation and to learn your options.

Police Need ‘Particularized Evidence’ to Seize Electronic Devices Without a Search Warrant and Must Diligently Apply for a Warrant After the Seizure

In Commonwealth v. White, 475 Mass. 583, 59 N.E.3d 369 (2016), a Boston police detective investigated an armed robbery and shooting at a convenience store.  His investigation led him to the defendant as one of the suspects.  Visiting the defendant’s high school, the detective learned from one of the administrators that, under the school’s policy, she was holding the defendant’s cell phone.  At the time, the detective had no information that the phone was used in the planning, commission or cover up of the crime, but he was aware that crimes committed by multiple suspects frequently involved the use of cell phones by the suspects.  He thought there might be useful information on the phone; he obtained it from the administrator so that the suspect could not remove or destroy any evidence on it.  He logged it into the department’s evidence room.  Sixty-eight days later, the investigation developed enough information that the police were able to obtain a search warrant to search the phone.  Once charged, the defendant moved to suppress the evidence found on the cell phone.  A Superior Court judge allowed the motion, and the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision after the Commonwealth appealed. [Read more…]

RJA Gets Dismissal of Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit for Fall River Sergeant Who Came On Scene At Incident Conclusion

It could happen to you.  You respond to the scene of an incident, arriving as matters are all wrapped-up.  The bad guy is in handcuffs and secure.  You stay on scene for 5 minutes, waiting for everyone else to leave. You show-up, do nothing but be present and then you get sued in federal court two years later.  This scenario frequently plays out because you, as a responding police officer, get your name written in an arrest report as being present.  Looking at the lawsuit complaint, you read about your illegal arrest, search and excessive force.  There are no details as to your conduct, but you are lumped in with the all of the other police officers whose names were in the report.  You are dumbfounded — how could this happen?

Unfortunately, this happens all too often.  The arrestee hires an uninformed lawyer who sues everyone named in the report without looking into the facts of the case or investigating, or even asking who did what to whom.  This recently happened to a Fall River Police Sergeant who made a wise decision some years earlier to join the MPA Legal Defense Fund. The Sergeant contacted MPA LDF counsel who filed a motion to dismiss the suit with the court shortly after service of the complaint.  The well-crafted motion filed on behalf of the Sergeant compelled the federal judge to dismiss him as a defendant from the complaint.  Meanwhile, several other similarly situated police officers represented by other counsel remain in the lawsuit.  Civil rights law suits can linger for a couple of years in federal court, sometimes often longer in Superior Court. [Read more…]

Worcester Super Lawyers – Vigliotti and Gambaccini

Vigliotti Named A Super Lawyer For The Second Time And Gambaccini Named A Rising Star For The Eighth Time

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that John K. Vigliotti, an associate with the firm, has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2016. This is the second consecutive year that Vigliotti has received the award. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the Super Lawyers’ research team to receive this honor. The annual selections, based upon the standards of a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti was twice named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

In addition, Andrew J. Gambaccini, another associate with the firm, has been selected as a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This award is the eighth time that Gambaccini has been selected for the honor. The award follows a rigorous, multi-phased process of review, limited to attorneys under the age of forty or who have been members of the bar for less than ten years and who already have distinguished themselves in the practice of law. No more than 2.5% of the attorneys in the state are given this award, recognition for which is published annually in Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition and in Boston magazine.