August 31, 2015

Back to School is Time for a Family Talk About Texting While Driving and Distracted Driving

As students head back to classes, this is a good time for families to talk about cell phones and distracted driving.

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Each day, nine people are killed in the U.S. in crashes involving distracted driving behaviors, such as using a cell phone, texting while driving or eating. More than 1,100 are injured.

There are now 46 states which ban texting while driving, including Massachusetts, which banned the practice in 2010. Junior operators are not allowed to use cell phones at all in Massachusetts.

For Parents

No Cell Phone Rule. Lead by example. Put your cell phone away while driving your children to school. Tell them to put theirs away too because it creates a distraction for you on the roads. Make this a rule for school drop-offs and pick-ups. If you can, extend it to other travel times.

Drop-Off Zone. After you drop your child off at school, resist the urge to immediately check your cell phone in the drop-off zone. Drive away and check later.

Children and Teens

No Cell Phone Use While Commuting. Keep telling your children the cell phone is not for use while commuting to school. Even if they are young and many years away from driving, they can learn now how distracting any cell phone use can be in the car.

Children should not use cell phones while walking or riding bikes to school, either. They can check in with social media, e-mail and text messages at home. If they must, tell them to step several feet off the sidewalk. Make it clear it is not safe to stop in a parking lot.

School Bus. Encourage your child to keep their cell phone packed on the ride so they can be aware of what is going on around them.

Reward Your Child For Not Using a Cell Phone. When your children do as you ask and leave the cell phone packed up, let them know you noticed.

Teen Drivers

Talk to Your Teen Drivers. Take some time to remind them not to use their cell phone behind the wheel. They could seriously injure someone or be stopped by police and face fines and a temporary loss of license.

No Passengers. Do not allow them to carry other teenage passengers with them until they become experienced drivers, and even then they should limit the number of passengers in their cars. Your teenager needs all their energy to focus on the roads and avoid car accidents.

Your teenager may not be happy with your rules, but younger drivers under 25 are two to three times more likely to text or e-mail while driving than others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You want to protect your teenager and help them develop safe habits.

Share Safety Materials. Do not be your teen's only source of information. Occasionally share safety campaign information or news articles about texting while driving with them. One resource is the AT&T It Can Wait campaign.

Continue reading "Back to School is Time for a Family Talk About Texting While Driving and Distracted Driving" »

August 19, 2015

Breakstone, White & Gluck Answers Safety Questions about Bicycle Helmets

Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to be donating children's bicycle helmets again this year through our Project KidSafe campaign. As part of this work, we get to go out and meet children and families at community events. Over the years, we have been asked some great questions about bicycle helmet use. Here are some of our answers:

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Do I Have to Wear a Bicycle Helmet?
Yes! Massachusetts law requires cyclists 16 years old and younger to wear bicycle helmets when they ride. If you want to learn more, the statute is M.G.L. c. 85 § 11B.

While the law does not require parents to wear helmets, we encourage you to do so. If you wear one, your children will follow your lead and take the message to heart. Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective step you can take to prevent a serious head injury if you are involved in a bicycle accident. This is a good lesson for your children to learn early on.

What Else Should I Know About the Law on Bicycle Helmets?
M.G.L. c. 85 § 11B states helmets must be secured to a person's head by straps and meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

When Should I Replace a Helmet?
Always replace helmets after a fall or bicycle accident, even if it does not appear damaged. Also replace the helmet if it no longer fits or the straps have worn. If the helmet is over three years old, it should be replaced.

Can Helmets be Handed Down from Child to Child?
Unlike bicycles, it is probably a better practice to not pass helmets down to younger siblings, unless they are still in excellent condition. If you are still considering re-using a helmet, think about how long the first child wore it and if they had any cycling accidents or falls. It is hard to know how many times a child has fallen, so the safe bet is to get a new helmet.


About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe
Breakstone, White & Gluck, a Boston personal injury law firm, launched our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013, with a goal of encourage safe bicycling. We have donated over 7,000 bicycle helmets to children throughout eastern Massachusetts and have worked with organizations such as Boston Bikes' Roll It Forward, Massachusetts Safe Routes to Schools, Bikes Not Bombs and local bicycle committees and police departments.

Our attorneys have published safety and other informational materials for cyclists on our website:

What Every Massachusetts Cyclist Should Know About Car Insurance Many cyclists are unaware they can purchase coverage for bicycle accidents through their car insurance policies. This is important because many drivers are underinsured or uninsured and many injured cyclists have to recover medical costs and other damages through their own car insurance policies. Read more.


Massachusetts Bicyclists' Rights and Responsibilities
Read a summary of the responsibilities of cyclists and motorists in Massachusetts.

July 30, 2015

Breakstone, White & Gluck Donates Bicycle Helmets at Dedham Bike Rodeo For Third Year

Breakstone, White & Gluck returned to the Dedham Bike Rodeo yesterday for the third year in a row. We were happy to donate 120 new bicycle helmets to the kids at the rodeo.

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Photo: Attorneys Ronald E. Gluck and David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck with Dedham police officers, including Neil Cronin and Bob Nedder.


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Photo: Attorney David W. White with Isabella and Jessica, both 11. We have fit them for helmets in the past and this year, they were thrilled to fit into our largest size.

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Photo: Attorney David W. White with 4-year-olds from the Courtyard Learning Center in Dedham.

The Dedham Bike Rodeo was one of the first events we participated in after starting our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013 and we always look forward to it. It is an annual event organized by the Dedham Police Department and Dedham Parks & Recreation Department. Local children are invited to ride around at the Endicott Estate, then offered a free lunch. The Dedham Police Department raffles off free bicycles to a few lucky children. For the finale, the Dedham Fire Department brings in the hose truck and lets the kids run under the water to cool down. That was much needed yesterday, with the temperature over 90 degrees!

Attorney David W. White fitted the children for new bicycle helmets and talked to them about the importance of always wearing one. A child who wears a helmet significantly reduces their chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident. In Massachusetts, wearing a bicycle helmet is also the law for children and teenagers 16 years old or younger.

David has fitted some of the Dedham kids two or three times now over the years and it was nice to see them back, willing to wait in line on such a hot day. A lot of helmets from years past were still being worn by other kids.

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the helmets as part of our Project KidSafe campaign, which we launched in 2013. To date, we have donated over 5,000 helmets and expect to reach 8,000 by year's end.

Our goal is to encourage children to wear bicycle helmets and ride their bikes safely. Even though it is widely known that bicycle helmets can protect cyclists, many children still do not wear them or use ones which do not fit properly or are in poor condition.

It is important for children to wear helmets which fit properly and meet safety standards. Children are especially vulnerable to bicycle-related injuries and deaths, accounting for half of all cyclists who are treated in emergency rooms each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 26,000 children are treated for traumatic brain injuries related to bicycling accidents.

We also encourage parents to always wear their helmets too. When children see their parents consistently wearing helmets, the use of helmets by children increases dramatically.

Continue reading "Breakstone, White & Gluck Donates Bicycle Helmets at Dedham Bike Rodeo For Third Year" »

July 7, 2015

Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe Donates 400 Bicycle Helmets to Somerville Public Schools

Breakstone, White & Gluck recently joined the fifth graders at West Somerville Neighborhood School as they graduated from the CYCLE Kids program. Our firm was proud to donate 400 bicycle helmets this year to Somerville elementary school students participating in CYCLE Kids. We made the donations as part of our Project KidSafe campaign.

Attorney Ronald Gluck handed out new bicycle helmets to the 34 students who received certificates of completion at the West Somerville school. The certificates were handed out by Somerville Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra and physical education teacher Neil Holloway, who coordinate the program.

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Photo: Attorney Ronald Gluck hands a helmet to a fifth grader who completed the CYCLE Kids program at the West Somerville Neighborhood School.

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Photo: A hand-written message from a fifth grader at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, where Breakstone, White & Gluck donated bicycle helmets 

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Photo: A Thank You from the fifth graders at the West Somerville Neighborhood School. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated bicycle helmets to the children for completing the CYCLE Kids program.


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Photo: Another note from a student at the West Somerville Neighborhood School.

CYCLE Kids is a curriculum which teaches children about bicycle safety, literacy and nutrition. It is developed by the non-profit CYCLE Kids organization, based in Cambridge. In Somerville, the curriculum is offered to fifth graders as part of physical education class.

Students are taught how to ride a bicycle, use hand signals and that they must always wear a bicycle helmet while riding. For many students, it is their first experience riding a bicycle. They learn in class and through essay writing and take-home activities. Here is an excerpt from one student's essay:

"At first, I didn't have confidence but after talking with my friends in my homeroom with Ms. Carafotes, they all encouraged me to have confidence. That was the most important lesson because in the beginning I was afraid that I might fall. I fell twice but I just got right back up again and tried until I didn't fall anymore. That would be my advice to anyone learning is to have confidence in yourself because if you don't, you won't accomplish your dreams."

This student ended his essay with this note: "The best part of this program was getting a free Helmet at the end of our experience. I hope this continues every year for kids who don't know how to ride a bike."

About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a personal injury law firm. We have partnered with the CYCLE Kids program for three years, proving bicycle helmets in the Cambridge Public Schools in 2013 and the Somerville Public Schools in 2014 and 2015.

Our Project KidSafe campaign works to keep children safe and encourage safe bicycle riding. Since 2013, we have donated over 4,500 bicycle helmets to children who need one in eastern Massachusetts and worked with organizations such as Boston Bikes' Roll It Forward, the Somerville Kiwanis Club, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, Bikes Not Bombs and local bicycle committees. 


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Photo: Students reading their essays about learning to ride a bicycle in the CYCLE Kids program. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 400 bicycle helmets to the Somerville public schools for fifth-graders who completed the CYCLE Kids program.

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Photo: Students at the West Somerville Neighborhood School with their certificates of completion for the CYCLE Kids program, which provides instruction on how to ride a bicycle safely.

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Photo: A student wearing a Project KidSafe bicycle helmet. For the second year, Breakstone, White & Gluck partnered with CYCLE Kids and the Somerville Public Schools and donated these helmets for students.

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Photo: Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra, Attorney Ronald Gluck and students who completed the CYCLE Kids program at West Somerville Neighborhood School.

July 2, 2015

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone Says Clients Feel Former New England Patriots Player Brandon Spikes "Got Off Lightly" With Probation

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Click here to view the interview on WCVB.

Former New England Patriots player Brandon Spikes pled guilty yesterday to criminal charges in the hit-and-run car crash which injured a family of three on I-495 in Foxborough. He was sentenced to one year probation and loss of license.

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck represents the family.

"They feel that he got off lightly for engaging in conduct that could have killed them frankly," Breakstone told WCVB.

Early on June 7, Spikes was driving his Mercedes-Benz Maybach on I-495 in Foxborough and struck the Nissan Murano carrying Breakstone's clients. He was traveling without headlights and hit the family's car at a high-speed, but never stopped.

They were treated at a local hospital. Police found his vehicle abandoned nearby, after his on-board navigation company reported the driver stated he had hit a deer. Spikes, who had just returned to the New England Patriots a month earlier, was released by the team shortly later.

Yesterday in Wrentham District Court, Spikes was found responsible for speeding and a marked lanes violation as well. He also admitted prosecutors had sufficient facts to convict him on charges of negligent operation and driving an uninsured vehicle. Those charges were continued without a finding for one year and Spikes could avoid conviction if he stays out of trouble.

Breakstone told The Boston Herald his clients are, "very lucky not to have been killed. They're still traumatized by this incident. This guy, hopefully, learned a lesson that will change his behavior going forward."

Driving without auto insurance is against the law in Massachusetts and punishable by a fine or up to one year in a house of correction.

"This is a trifecta of irresponsibility; no insurance, reckless driving, leaving the scene in a cowardly fashion," Breakstone told Fox 25 TV.


Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Coverage: The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, WCVB, Fox 25 TV Boston and WHDH.

June 23, 2015

Our Project KidSafe Campaign Continues in Arlington, Cambridge and Ashland

kids-pierce.jpgBreakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign recently donated bicycle helmets in Arlington, Cambridge and Ashland. This has been our busiest year yet and we have been enjoying working with our friends, old and new.

Windsor Street Health Center in Cambridge. We recently gained a new partner, the medical students at the Windsor Street Health Center in Cambridge. The helmets will be donated to children who visit the center and need one. Many families served by the health center will not or cannot purchase bicycle helmets on their own, even after doctors explain the risk of a head injury, said Jonathan Blake Watson, a fourth-year Harvard Medical student who works at the clinic.

"It is a wonderful feeling knowing that we will be able to send our young patients home with something that will keep them safe," Watson said.

Pierce School in Arlington. The elementary school's students were focused on being active this year, with monthly "Walk to School Days." Many students participated. When the school set up a bicycle rack, many also started biking. For National Bike Month, the students received a bike safety lesson and guidelines for following the rules of the road. Project KidSafe helmets were distributed to children who needed one and participated in a raffle.

Ashland Farmers Market. We returned to the Ashland Farmers Market for a second year and fitted bicycle helmets for 60 young children. We attended on Sustainability Day and were joined local farmers and other vendors, such as the Massachusetts Sierra Club and community members updating the public on the Upper Charles Rail Trail, a bike path which will pass through Ashland when complete.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe
Breakstone, White & Gluck launched Project KidSafe in 2013, with a goal of providing bicycle helmets to children who need one. Since then, we have donated more than 5,000 bicycle helmets and worked with organizations such as Boston Bikes' Roll It Forward, CYCLE Kids, Bikes Not Bombs and Massachusetts Safe Routes to Schools.

Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective way for cyclists to prevent head injuries and young children are the most vulnerable. Visit our Bike Safety page and watch the video on how to properly fit a bicycle helmet.

June 13, 2015

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone Responds After State Police Announce Former Patriots Player Brandon Spikes Will Be Charged With Leaving Scene of Personal Injury Crash

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone spoke to Fox 25 News Boston after State Police issued a citation charging former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes in the hit-and-run accident that injured a family of three. Breakstone is representing the family.

"It's surprising to them that Mr. Spikes would drive so recklessly and then just leave the scene," Breakstone told the news station. "It will affect them for a long time. This could have been a story with a tragic ending."



Spikes will be charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, operating a motor vehicle negligently to endanger, speeding and failure to stay within marked lanes. He was cut by the New England Patriots after State Police opened the investigation.


June 9, 2015

Attorney Marc Breakstone Speaks for Clients in Hit and Run Accident With Possible Link to Former Patriot Player's Mercedes

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston


As State Police investigate a weekend hit-and-run car crash in Foxborough, attorney Marc L. Breakstone spoke on behalf of his clients who were injured. Breakstone told The Boston Globe there is "overwhelming evidence" that his clients' vehicle was struck by the Mercedes-Benz Mabach registered to ex-New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes.

Breakstone, a personal injury attorney at Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston, is representing the Billerica family who was struck in the early Sunday morning crash. The parents and child were taken to the hospital with minor injuries after their Nissan Murano was struck suddenly.

Breakstone said the car that struck his clients was likely traveling at least 80 to 85 miles per hour and that his clients never saw any headlights.

"It is an extraordinary act of negligence for one vehicle to strike another vehicle that's traveling 60 miles an hour on the highway," Breakstone told the Globe. "I suspect that whatever that driver was under the influence of is the reason that the driver left the scene."

Around the same time, State Police were notified the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Maybach registered to Spikes had been abandoned nearby in the median strip of Interstate 495 in Foxborough. A Mercedes roadside assistance service operator contacted State Police, telling them the driver of the vehicle reported hitting a deer.

State Police say the investigation is ongoing and they have not established who was driving the Mercedes-Benz Maybach or whether the Maybach hit the other car.

Spikes was released by the Patriots on Monday. He played for the Patriots from 2010 through 2013, then joined the Buffalo Bills for the 2014 season. He had recently returned to the Patriots on a one-year deal which would have been worth up to $2 million.

Breakstone told the Globe his clients are working to move past the hit-and-run accident.

"They want their normal lives back," he said. "They want their good health and their comfortable state of mind. ... They're alarmed, first, that they could have been killed. They're alarmed that it may have been an NFL player behind the wheel, and they would just [prefer to] not be in the spotlight and just have a return to normalcy."

Related Coverage:
Accident Blindsided Family, Lawyer Says, The Boston Herald.

Patriots release Brandon Spikes amid crash investigation, WCVB.

Police probing whether ex-Patriots linebacker Spikes' car hit Billerica family's, The Lowell Sun.

Continue reading "Attorney Marc Breakstone Speaks for Clients in Hit and Run Accident With Possible Link to Former Patriot Player's Mercedes" »

May 27, 2015

Three Bike Helmet Donation Events from Our Project KidSafe Campaign

Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective way to prevent a serious head injury on a bicycle. It is most important for young children who are still in development and building their strength.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is continuing its commitment to bicycle safety by donating children's bicycle helmets through our Project KidSafe campaign. Here are a few recent and upcoming events:

Kiwanis Club of Somerville. For the third year, we partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Somerville at Bike Safety Day on May 16th. Each year, the Kiwanis holds the event in a different neighborhood; this year's event was held at the Dr. Albert F. Argenziano School at Lincoln Park. There was a great turnout and the Kiwanis and Attorney David W. White donated nearly 120 bicycle helmets. Children were also offered free bike inspections, reflectors, safety information and the chance to test out their skills on bicycle obstacle courses. Read more about the Kiwanis Club of Somerville.


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Photo: Bike Safety Day in Somerville, Massachusetts. Somerville Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra, Attorney David White of Breakstone, White & Gluck and Dave Blumsack of the Kiwanis Club of Somerville, along with children who participated in the event.


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Photo: Bike Safety Day in Somerville, Massachusetts. Somerville Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra and Attorney David White of Breakstone, White & Gluck.

Worcester Earn-a-Bike. This community bicycle shop teaches local residents the basics of bicycle maintenance while letting them work to earn a free bicycle. If you are under 17 years old, you must volunteer for 5 hours to receive a free bicycle and anyone over age 17 must volunteer for 10 hours.

Worcester Earn-a-Bike is also known for its popular annual Kids Bike Sale. This year's event will be held on June 6th. This is a fun event because every child's bicycle is on sale for just $5. Breakstone, White & Gluck participates by donating free bicycle helmets to children who need one. This is the second year we have partnered up with Worcester Earn-a-Bike. Read more about Worcester Earn-a-Bike.

Friends of Lexington Bikeways. The Friends of Lexington Bikeways donated bicycle helmets from Project KidSafe to children at Discovery Day on May 23. The group showed children how to properly fit the helmets and spoke about safety with parents and children. This is the second year we have partnered up with the Friends of the Lexington Bikeways, which is active in promoting and supporting safe cycling and development of bike routes. Read more about the Friends of Lexington Bikeways.

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Photo: A volunteer helps a child adjust a bicycle helmet at Discovery Day in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Continue reading "Three Bike Helmet Donation Events from Our Project KidSafe Campaign" »

May 15, 2015

Breakstone, White & Gluck Participates in Bike Friday

Today was Bike Friday, sponsored by Boston Bikes, the city office which promotes safe cycling. Bike Friday is one of the last events of Bay State Bike Week. It included a number of organized rides and a gathering at Boston City Hall. Breakstone, White & Gluck was there to share information about our Project KidSafe campaign.
 

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Attorney David W. White and Attorney Marc L. Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck participated in Bike Friday at Boston City Hall Plaza. The two attorneys were there to support the cyclists as they rode in and to share information about the firm's Project KidSafe campaign.


Boston Bikes organizes Bike Fridays to celebrate those who ride their bikes to work and to encourage others. More than two dozen organizations and vendors signed up for today's event. While 200 cyclists registered for the event, organizers estimated up to 350 cyclists actually pedaled in and enjoyed a free breakfast, courtesy of Boloco.

Breakstone, White & Gluck participated for the first time and set up our Project KidSafe tent to show support for the cyclists. Attorneys David W. White and Marc L. Breakstone were among the crowd waiting for the cyclist convoys, which came in from Lexington, Newton, Somerville and many other communities.

Other organizations which participated included MassBike, Boston Cyclists Union, Livable Streets Alliance, Hubway and Landry's Bicycles.

Marc and David spoke to a number of cyclists about our Project KidSafe initiative, through which we donate bicycle helmets to children who need one in the Boston and Worcester areas. We have donated more than 4,000 bicycle helmets since 2013, through partner organizations such as CYCLE Kids of Cambridge, Somerville and Cambridge public schools, Bikes Not Bombs, Massachusetts Safe Routes to Schools, the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. We have also worked with Boston Bikes' Roll It Forward program, which refurbishes used bicycles and donates them to city residents who may not otherwise have access to a bicycle.

After the event, Marc said, "It is rewarding for us to be able to give back to the community in a way that promotes safety for children. We look forward to continuing our Project KidSafe program, and to expanding it in the years to come."

The next Bike Friday events are scheduled for June 26th, July 24th and August 28th. Read more about the event.

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The cyclists came in in convoys this morning, traveling in from Lexington, Arlington and other communities. While 200 cyclists registered in advance, organizers estimate 350 actually rolled in.

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Continue reading "Breakstone, White & Gluck Participates in Bike Friday" »

May 11, 2015

Bay State Bike Week is Here: Breakstone, White & Gluck to Donate Children's Bicycle Helmets in Somerville

20150511-bike-helmets.jpgFor cyclists, this is one of the best weeks of the year: Bay State Bike Week. It started Saturday and runs through next Sunday, May 17th.

May is National Bike Month and Bay State Bike Week is how we celebrate in Massachusetts. This is a truly statewide event, with groups organizing gatherings, rides and photo exhibits throughout Massachusetts. These events are a great way to learn about cycling in Massachusetts, as well as safety. There are some groups working hard to prevent bicycle accidents in our state and this is the time to see their work.

Bay State Bike Week is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MassBike and MassRides. If you are a cyclist, check out the list of events.

Here are a few events of note. Watch for us! We may be participating in a few.


A few events to watch:

Cambridge. This will be a busy week in Cambridge, with a wide range of events, from pancake breakfasts to lunches with the Cambridge Police Department and city planning staff, where cyclists can ask questions. On Saturday, cyclists gather for a two-hour ride in honor of the late talk host Tom Magliozzi of Cambridge, who was best known for hosting Car Talk on NPR alongside his brother.

There are also bicycle maintenance workshops throughout the week, where cyclists can take home a few tips for free.

Waltham. Waltham is hosting its Second Annual City of Waltham Bicycle Update on Wednesday at 6 p.m., at the Government Center Auditorium on School Street. With more than 60,000 residents, large employers and colleges, the city is looking to encourage safe cycling as an alternative form of transportation.

Lexington. Free bike safety checks will be offered throughout the week. On Friday, a light breakfast is free on the Minuteman Bikeway, near the Lexington Depot. Then Richard Fries, executive director of Mass Bike Director, will lead a bicycle convoy from Lexington to Boston City Hall.

Bike Friday at Boston City Hall. On Friday, the commuters will ride in from all over for Bike Friday, where they are rewarded with a free breakfast. This is a popular event organized by Boston Bikes. It is held once a month in the summer and will be one of the last events of Bay State Bike Week. Attorney David W. White will be out with our Project KidSafe tent as the cyclists pull in.

Somerville Bike Day. For the third year, we will join the Somerville Kiwanis at the city's annual Bike Day at Argenziano School on Washington Street. We will donate 120 new helmets and help fit the helmets for the children. Children will receive a free bicycle inspection, reflectors, and safety pamphlets and get to test their skills on a bicycle obstacle course. The Somerville Police Department will be on hand to register bikes for children.

Western Massachusetts Events. There will be commuter breakfasts, mayor's rides and photo exhibits in Westfield, Amherst, Springfield and Northampton.

Cape Cod Events. There are several rides and interesting events in Cape Cod this week, but one of note is the Cape Cod Summer Citizens - Bike Safety Outreach Program. Each year, thousands of international students arrive on Cape Cod to arrive in work and travel programs. They primarily have to travel on bicycles and this program starts this week. This program provides education to all cyclists throughout the busy tourist season.

Continue reading "Bay State Bike Week is Here: Breakstone, White & Gluck to Donate Children's Bicycle Helmets in Somerville" »

May 6, 2015

A Day of Donating Bicycle Helmets in Westborough

We had a great day in Westborough last weekend: Two fun community events, great weather and we handed out 160 free bicycle helmets to children. For this, we partnered up with the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts.

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bicycle helmets as part of our Project KidSafe outreach. Attorney David W. White helped distribute the free helmets at Westborough's Spring Festival, an event featuring just about everything which is hosted by the Rotary Club of Westborough. In addition to bicycle helmets, there was an amateur dog show, children's carnival, road race, food vendors and the list goes on.

Attorney White and Bruce Tretter, chairman of the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, then went to hand out helmets at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central, which is nearby in Westborough.

"We had a lot of fun, though at times it was a little hectic because so many people were anxious to get helmets for their kids," attorney David White said. He added, "Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most important step you can take to protect yourself as a cyclist and I hope the children and families left with new helmets and a new commitment to wear them every time they ride."

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated these bike helmets through our Project KidSafe initiative. We have donated over 3,500 helmets to children in Massachusetts since 2013. By year's end, we expect to have donated 6,000 helmets. Read more about our Project KidSafe outreach or our bicycle safety tips.

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Photo: Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck helping a child at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts in Westborough.

20150502-IMG_1751[1]-Edit.jpgPhoto: From left in back: Bruce Tretter, Chairman of the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee; Betsy Moquin, Director of Marketing & Advancement of the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts; and Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck.

20150502-IMG_1747[1].jpgPhoto: Bruce Tretter, Chairman of the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, helps a child find a helmet.

Continue reading "A Day of Donating Bicycle Helmets in Westborough" »

May 5, 2015

Jury Awards $1.5 Million to Attorney Marc L. Breakstone's Client in Medical Malpractice Case Against American Medical Response Ambulance Company

Ambulance Crew Dropped Patient from Stretcher onto her Head, Causing 

Fatal Head Injuries and Wrongful Death

American Medical Response, the largest ambulance company in Massachusetts and the United States, has been found responsible for the death of Barbara J. Grimes and awarded her family $1.5 million in wrongful death damages.

The May 4, 2015 verdict followed a two week trial in Middlesex Superior Court.
The jury found that EMTs Wesley Garber and Peter Crowell negligently dropped
Ms. Grimes, a 67 year old dialysis patient on her head while rolling her on a
stretcher which tipped over. The incident occurred on January 31, 2009 in the
parking lot of Fresenius Medical Care in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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Photo: Barbara J. Grimes on right, next to her sister Patty Zaccarelli

Comments from the Family and Family Attorney Marc L. Breakstone

According to family attorney Marc L. Breakstone, Barbara Grimes, then 67 years old, was being transported on an ambulance stretcher after receiving dialysis treatment in Plymouth, MA. While rolling the stretcher to the back of the ambulance, the AMR crew carelessly tipped the stretcher over causing Ms. Grimes to strike her head on the pavement. The blow caused a massive brain hemorrhage which took her life 5 days later.

The incident was investigated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
which found numerous clinical deficiencies. AMR was cited by the Massachusetts
Department of Public Health for these deficiencies. During the trial, it was revealed that AMR withheld documents from a state investigator from the Office of Emergency Medical Services, which regulates ambulance services in Massachusetts.

Attorney Breakstone:
"This was an unnecessary death which should have been prevented by simple precautions. If the ambulance crew had only followed company safety policies regarding stretcher operation, it would not have toppled over. This needless death was easily preventable," Breakstone added.
Breakstone also said "The ambulance crew claimed that the stretcher malfunctioned, but AMR never inspected the stretcher and no defect was ever found. Their explanation was simply not believable and the jury rejected it squarely."
Family Members:

Peter Zacarelli, Jr., the brother of Ms. Grimes, called his sister's death "senseless." He said, "These EMTs should have been more careful. They were not paying attention when they rolled the stretcher sideways without holding it to make sure it did not tip over. It is shocking that they could be so careless. Our family is haunted by this senseless loss. We are so thankful to the jury for seeing through the lies and deceptions of AMR which treated our sister like a sack of discarded trash. After more than six years, the truth finally came out at trial."

"Barbara was the most caring and loving person you could ever want to meet," according to her sister Patricia Zacarelli. "She was all about doing for others and taking care of family. It is such a shame that she should die in the hands of EMTs whose job it was to safely transport her home from dialysis," Ms. Zacarelli stated.

American Medical Response, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is the largest ambulance company in the United States. It has more than 18,000 employees in 40 states, 2100 communities and boasts more than 3 million patient transports in 2014.

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Background Information About Marc L. Breakstone

Marc BreakstoneMarc L. Breakstone has established a reputation as one of the top personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers in New England. He has been selected as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in New England (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013) and one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts (2006-2014). He has also been selected by
his peers as one of the top medical malpractice plaintiff's lawyers in the Super Lawyer balloting from 2004 to 2014. In 2002, Mr. Breakstone was honored as one of ten "Lawyers of the Year" in 2002 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

May 1, 2015

Check if Your Trek Bicycle Has Been Recalled

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Nearly one million Trek bikes have been recalled after a cyclist was left paralyzed by an accident caused by a defective front disc brake.

About 900,000 bicycles in the U.S. and 98,000 bicycles in Canada were recalled recently by Trek Bicycle Corporation of Waterloo, Wisconsin. The recall involves bicycles sold nationwide from September 1999 through April 2015 for between $480 and $1,650.

Bicycles involved in the recall have a quick release lever on the bicycle's front wheel hub that can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of serious injury to the rider. Defective bicycles have a front quick release lever that expands beyond 180 degrees.

Trek issued the recall after reports of three injuries, including one person who suffered quadriplegia. A second person suffered facial injuries and another suffered a fractured wrist.

Consumers should stop using these Trek bicycles immediately. Call an authorized Trek retailer for a free inspection and installation of a new quick release on the front wheel of your bike. Trek is trying to encourage cyclists to seek the repair by offering a $20 coupon toward Bontrager merchandise.

Trek has not released a list of specific bicycle model numbers. Cyclists need to check their own bicycles and see if they are impacted by this recall. Some bicycles involved in this recall were purchased many years ago and owners may not have the original paperwork. Or you may have purchased one of these bicycles secondhand.

Do your due diligence and seek out a Massachusetts bicycle shop which sells Trek bicycles. Ask for a free inspection and have them make the free repair if needed.

Find a Trek bike dealer.

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April 30, 2015

Free Bike Helmets for the Children at Framingham Earth Day Festival Last Weekend

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Photo left to right: Bill Hanson, chair of the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, volunteer Maura Kelly, Framingham police officers and Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck.

Breakstone, White & Gluck, the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and the Framingham Police Department teamed up and gave away 120 bicycle helmets to children last weekend at the 5th Annual Framingham Earth Day Festival.

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the helmets through our Project KidSafe initiative and attorney David W. White participated in the event, along with advisory committee members, including Bill Hanson, chair of the advisory committee, member Joseph Repoli, volunteer Maura Kelly and Framingham police officers.

Framingham Earth Day is held on the Framingham Centre Common and each year the event grows. It began in 2011 with 55 vendors encouraging residents to make eco-friendly choices. This year, nearly 100 vendors turned out. Breakstone, White & Gluck first participated in the festival last year.

Through our Project KidSafe initiative, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 3,500 bicycle helmets to children in the Boston and Worcester areas. We expect to have donated more than 6,000 bicycle helmets by year's end. Our goal is to encourage children to wear a bicycle helmet every time they ride.

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Cyclists of all ages should wear bicycle helmets to protect themselves from a serious head injury. But bicycle helmets are especially important for children, and they are required to wear them by law in Massachusetts.

Children suffer more than half of all bicycle-related injuries and deaths which require emergency department care each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and teenagers are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency rooms.

Watch this video on how to properly fit a bicycle helmet or visit our bike safety web page.

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