Welcome back cyclists! Bay State Bike Week is here and many of you are commuting to work for competition, attending commuter breakfasts, and participating in events to make this work week pass a little faster. The goals are to help protect the environment, reduce traffic congestion, get a little exercise, and have fun with other cyclists.

bike-friday-2015-500.jpgAttorney David White and Marc Breakstone on Boston City Hall Plaza with our Project KidSafe tent and Project KidSafe helmets during Bay State Bike Week 2015. The event was Bike Friday and it was organized by Boston Bikes.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to participate as well. On Friday morning, we will join cyclists at the Bike to Work Day event on Boston City Hall Plaza. If you attend, please stop by our Project KidSafe tent and say hello to some of our lawyers! Boston Bikes is organizing the event: http://bostonbikes.org/biketoworkday

As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck recently made two donations to help children in Boston and Cambridge ride their bicycles safely.

Children wearing bicycle helmets at the Windsor Street Care Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Windsor Street Care Center

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 100 bicycle helmets to the Windsor Street Care Center in Cambridge. This is the second year we have partnered with the center. Doctors and staff give the helmets to children who need one, while also showing parents and older children how to properly fit the helmets themselves.

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 140 bicycle helmets to children in Easthampton yesterday, with help from many hands in the community who care about bicycle safety.

We donated the helmets through our Project KidSafe campaign at an “Event to Celebrate Bike Safety in Easthampton,” organized by the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition, the Easthampton Public Schools, the Easthampton Police Department and Northwest District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office.

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Photo: School Resource Officer Alan Schadel; Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan; Stephen Linsky and Ruth Ever of the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition; Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck and from the schools, Nancy Follansbee, Superintendent of Easthampton Schools; Judy Averill; Maple School Principal, Allison Rebello, Principal of Center and Pepin elementary schools; Andrea McCallum, Assistant Principal at Center Elementary School.

With a donation from Breakstone, White & Gluck, the Cambridge Police Department will distribute bicycle helmets to children who need one during National Bike Safety Month.

Cambridge Police has announced its first “helmet voucher” program as part of its National Bike Safety Month initiatives in May. Police officers will specifically be looking for children who are riding bicycles without a helmet throughout May and hand them a “helmet voucher,” which can be redeemed for a free bicycle helmet at the Cambridge Police Department.

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 140 bicycle helmets to the Cambridge Police in hopes of keeping children safe and preventing traumatic brain injuries from bicycle accidents. The donation was part of our Project KidSafe campaign, which has donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets to children since 2013.

DW-250.jpgDuring prom and graduation season, students should be enjoying their friends and last days of high school. But this time can turn painful if you or your teenager allow underage drinking in your home.

Breakstone, White & Gluck cares about the safety of teenagers on the road and offers these tips and reminders about the Massachusetts Social Host Law, M.G.L. c. 138, § 34.

“Very few parents realize just how much is at stake when they allow underage drinking in their home,” said Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck. “You may have to live with the painful knowledge that you contributed to a car accident which caused serious injury or death. Plus, you may have to serve jail time and could even lose your home to a lawsuit.”

Breakstone, White & Gluck kicked off our 2016 Project KidSafe campaign yesterday, continuing our commitment to children’s bicycle safety. Attorney Marc Breakstone visited the iCan Shine Bike Camp in Arlington, where we donated bicycle helmets to the 25 riders.

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Attorney Marc L. Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck with a cyclist and volunteer at the iCan Shine Bike Camp at the Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Mass.

This is the third year Breakstone, White & Gluck has supported the iCan Shine Bike Camp in Arlington. iCan Shine is an international non-profit organization, with local organizers who host five-day camps which teach children and young adults with autism and other disabilities how to ride a bicycle.

Fox 25 TV has reported the driver who hit and killed a Massachusetts state trooper has left the hospital. He is scheduled to appear in court and be criminally charged, but has not been formally charged yet.

David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, is expected to appear in Dudley District Court in about a month and be formally charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stay within marked lanes and speeding, State Police told the news station. He is currently out free without court bail conditions, though his driver’s license has been revoked.

marcbreakstone_125.jpgFox 25 TV asked Attorney Marc Breakstone, who has represented car accident victims in Massachusetts for 30 years, why criminal charges have not been filed already.

Walking, even in the crosswalk, is becoming more dangerous.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is projecting a 10 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in traffic crashes across the U.S. last year. This marks the largest increase in four decades, since data was first collected.

The official tally shows an estimated 2,368 pedestrians were killed between January and June of 2015. Researchers expect annual figures to reach the 10 percent mark.

A front page story in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reported that judges in the Commonwealth have embraced attorney-panel voir dire. The process was introduced in February 2015 and in the first year, lawyers conducted panel voir dire in 14 percent of Superior Court jury trials.

Speaking at a recent Massachusetts Bar Association voir dire workshop organized by Attorney Marc L. Breakstone, Judge Maynard M. Kirpalani reported that just over 700 impanelments were conducted in a one-year period and 14 percent or roughly 100 cases employed panel voir dire. Some 56 percent involved attorney-conducted voir dire of individual jurors; and 30 percent were judge-only voir dire.
There was a pilot project for a group of judges to use panel voir dire in most cases, except for life-felony matters or cases with good cause not to use it. While 15 Superior Court judges were part of the program, 38 of the 80 judges ended up trying panel voir dire.

reza-breakstone-web.jpgBy Reza Breakstone

In a major victory for the rights of injured workers, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that pain and suffering damages, to which injured workers are entitled in their accident cases, are not subject to liens from workers’ compensation insurance companies. As a result of the ruling, workers will be able to keep more of their personal injury settlements and verdicts.

Until today, there was confusion over the relationship between workers’ compensation liens and damages paid by a third party to employees for worksite injuries. If an employee gets injured, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other specific damages. But workers’ compensation insurance does not pay for pain and suffering damages.