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Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign donated nearly 200 youth bicycle helmets in Westborough this year. Our attorneys are committed to preventing head injuries and for 5 years, have partnered with the Westborough Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee to bring helmets to children who need one. (File photo: From a May 2016 Project KidSafe event in Western Mass).

We are glad the weather held off!

For the fifth year, Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign donated nearly 200 children’s bicycle helmets in Westborough. Last Spring, about 100 helmets were distributed by the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts. The helmets went to children who needed one at the annual Healthy Kids Day. But thanks to Mother Nature, giving away the rest was more challenging.

First, unseasonable weather forced the the Rotary Club of Westborough to cancel the Spring Fest. On Saturday, it looked like the back-up plan – to hold a Fall Fest – was also in jeopardy. But we are happy to report the skies cleared enough for activities to go on. Our thanks to members of the Westborough Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, who were out fitting our Project KidSafe helmets for the kids and talking to families about the importance of wearing them.

Wearing a helmet is critical for cyclists of any age. A helmet can limit the impact if a cyclist falls and significantly reduce the chances of a head injury. In Massachusetts, cyclists under 17 are required to wear helmets when they ride. The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck began our Project KidSafe campaign to put helmets on more children and to encourage children and families to wear one at all times. Our lawyers have represented many cyclists who have suffered head injuries in bicycle accidents over the years, and we know that cyclists can protect themselves by wearing a helmet, which is in good condition, meets safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and properly fits.

That’s why Breakstone, White & Gluck founded our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013. As we near the end of 2018, our attorneys are proud to have donated over 20,000 bicycle helmets across Massachusetts. We have partnered with more than 40 organizations over the years and it’s one of our priorities to support local bicycle committees, which are making Massachusetts safer one project at a time. In Westborough, the committee has worked to improve pedestrian and bike signals and supported construction of bike paths. The Westborough Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee’s website provides resources for cyclists who want help getting around.

Read about the Westborough rotary’s Fall Fest in the Community Advocate newspaper.

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Dooring bicycle accidentA recent New York Times article on dooring injuries shows the risks to cyclists continue, even after advocacy efforts in Boston and other cities.

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our attorneys represent cyclists who have been seriously injured in dooring accidents. While many dooring accidents happen in urban areas such as Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, dooring can happen in any community in Massachusetts. When drivers or passengers open doors without checking, cyclists can suffer devastating injuries, including broken bones, facial fractures and head injuries. Dooring crashes can be fatal.

Dooring crashes do not always make the news in Boston. But they are happening, more than any other type of bicycle accident. In fact, in November 2016, The Boston Globe reported cyclists faced a 225 percent higher risk for dooring than any other bicycle accident injury.

As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck has worked to promote safe cycling across the state of Massachusetts. We have been especially active in the city of Boston, donating our Project KidSafe bicycle helmets to a number of organizations. One of these organizations is Boston Bikes, which is part of the City of Boston’s Transportation Department. Over the past six years, our attorneys have given roughly 1,200 helmets to Boston Bikes’ programs, including women’s cycling classes, Roll It Forward and youth cycling in city schools.  Roll It Forward is a retired program, but it used to fix up used bikes for city residents who needed one.  Meanwhile, the youth cycling programs teach safety as soon as children start riding.

Thanks to Boston Bikes for sending these photos from the youth cycling programs. Looks like another great year!

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About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Our Project KidSafe Campaign

Bikes Not Bombs' Earn-a-Bike Class Wearing Bicycle Helmets donated by the Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign donated new bicycle helmets to students participating in Bikes Not Bombs’ Earn-a-Bike class. This is the sixth year we have made this donation and these riders certainly deserve them. Through the class, the students learned how to fix up these used bikes and are now riding them. Photo credit: Bikes Not Bombs on Instagram.

For the past six years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated bicycle helmets to the Earn-a-Bike program at Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain. And the teens who participate definitely “earn” their helmets. During the class, each cyclist is taught how to fix up a used bike and participates in bike safety rides.

Breakstone, White & Gluck donates 160 bicycle helmets each year, part of our Project KidSafe campaign, encouraging children and teens to wear helmets EVERY time they ride. But our support for Bike Not Bombs goes back many more years. Our attorneys represented a cyclist connected to Bikes Not Bombs. During this time, we learned that Bikes Not Bombs reclaims thousands of used bikes across New England each year, distributing them to young adults and teens – locally and around the world. The organization works to teach job skills and provide workers with a sustainable means of transportation.

Elderly couple on crosswalkPedestrians are facing a crisis on the roads, here in Boston and across the country. From 2009 to 2015, there was a 46 percent increase in pedestrian deaths across the U.S. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 

Now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is stepping in with a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve safety, including: Continue reading

Space heater

Space heaters and hot plates are being distributed to Columbia Gas customers in the Merrimack Valley. Our attorneys urge residents using these devices to follow these safety tips.

The space heaters and hot plates distributed to Columbia Gas customers in Merrimack Valley present serious fire and safety issues. We urge residents using these devices for heat and cooking to follow these important safety tips:

Space Heater Safety

lawrence home explosion on chickering road

If you have been personally affected by the Columbia Gas fires and explosions or the interruption of gas and electric service, we are here to help you.  Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston is currently assisting individuals injured in the explosions and fires, homeowners and tenants whose property was damaged, as well as families whose gas and electric service was interrupted.  It is important that you know your rights. Our Massachusetts law firm has extensive experience representing victims of explosions and fires.

If your family or business has been affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck to learn your rights. Please call 800-379-1244 for a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.

Physical Injuries a Emotional Distress
The 70 gas fires and explosions caused one tragic death and more than 25 injuries.  Beyond physical injuries, countless residents who smelled gas and ran for their lives have been traumatized by the events of September 13, 2018.  The fear for one’s life and safety is real in the face of random explosions and fires in your community.  If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks or anxiety you may have a right to bring a claim for emotional distress, even without physical injuries.  We are here to speak with you and advise you of your rights to bring a claim for emotional distress.

Interruption of Gas Service
8600 Columbia Gas residential and business customers have no gas service which means no hot water, no heat or no cooking.  If your gas service has been cut off, you have been harmed.  Columbia Gas just announced that it may take “several months” to restore gas service to these families and businesses in the Merrimack Valley.  This is chilling news for every Columbia Gas customer, including homeowners, tenants and businesses.

Hot Plates and Space Heaters Are Not Enough…
Columbia Gas has distributed hot plates and space heaters to 6000 gas customers who are without service.  But is this enough?  Can a family of five be fed off a 2 burner hot plate?  Can a single space heater warm a multi-room home or apartment?  What about hot water?  If you are asking these questions, you likely have a claim for the interference with the use of your home or business.  We are here to help you.

Every Columbia Gas customer (property owners, tenants and businesses) who will be without natural gas for hot water, heat or cooking will be seriously affected.  How will families live in their homes and apartments without hot water for showers and bathing?  How will people endure the winter without heat?   Even if you or your home did not have property damage, you may be entitled to be compensated for the interference with your use and enjoyment of your property as a result of the loss of your gas service.  This is recognized claim for “nuisance damages” under Massachusetts law.  Given the uncertainty about how long gas service will be interrupted, it is important that you know your rights.  We are here to help customers facing the prospect of living in homes and operating businesses without gas service.

We urge you to consult with an experienced Massachusetts gas explosion lawyer before you sign off on any payments by Columbia Gas or any of the funds established to assist fire and explosion victims.  Breakstone, White and Gluck has over 100 combined years of experience helping families who have been seriously injured or displaced due to fires and gas explosions. We are here to assist and advise you about your rights.

Call us for a free consultation at 800-379-1244 or fill out our contact form.

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lawrence home explosion on chickering road

Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion: Home explosion on Chickering Road, Lawrence, Mass. on Sept. 13, 2018

We just learned that it may take “several months” for Columbia Gas to restore gas services to 8600 families and businesses in the Merrimack Valley. This is chilling news for every Columbia Gas customer, including homeowners, tenants and businesses.

THE PROBLEM
Every Columbia Gas customer who will be without natural gas for hot water, heat, or cooking will be seriously affected. How are families going to live in their homes and apartments without hot water for showers and bathing? How will people endure the long winter without heat? Even if you or your home did not have property damage, you may have a legitimate claim for compensation.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
If you are a customer of Columbia Gas facing these hardships, you need to know your rights. You may be entitled to be compensated for the interference with your use and enjoyment of your property as a result of the loss of your gas service. This is true for property owners, business owners, and tenants. Anyone who lives in a home or apartment that is without gas for heat, hot water, or cooking has a potential claim. Every business customer of Columbia Gas will be hurt. Given the uncertainty about how long gas service will be interrupted, it is important that you know your rights. This type of claim is recognized by the law of Massachusetts.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
We are here to assist and advise you about your rights. We are Boston-based lawyers who have represented Massachusetts families and businesses that have been affected by gas explosions and fires for over 25 years. Feel free to call us for a free legal consultation: 800-379-1244. You can also use our contact form.

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explosion-accident-395-1If you were ordered to evacuate your home or business because of the recent Columbia Gas leak and explosions, you may have a right to compensation for the costs associated with your displacement. If you have returned to a home or business that has had the gas service shut off, you may also be entitled to money damages for interference with the full use and enjoyment of your property. This is what is called “nuisance” damages. Whether you own or rent, if you are living in a home or apartment with no gas, no hot water or no fuel for operating basic appliances, you have the right to bring a claim for compensation.

Thousands of customers of Columbia Gas have been so affected. Homeowners, tenants and business owners have the right to file these claims. We urge you to consult with an experienced lawyer before you sign off on any payments by Columbia Gas or any of the funds established to assist fire and explosion victims. Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 100 combined years of experience helping families who have been injured or displaced due to fires and explosions. We have also represented many seriously injured individuals in home fires and explosions.

As an example, Breakstone, White & Gluck successfully recovered $7.5 million for the family of William (“Billy”) Nichols in a wrongful death lawsuit. Mr. Nichols was an electrician, working in a new construction home when it exploded due to leaking propane gas. He suffered under burning embers for one hour before he died of his injuries. Our attorneys aggressively litigated the case which resulted in a recovery for the family.

Watch this video of Scott Nichols who talks about his experience being represented by our firm.

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Attorney Marc L. Breakstone of Boston in a television interview in 2016.

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone, speaking to a reporter in 2016.

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone was interviewed by The Boston Business Journal about the Merrimack Valley home explosions. Attorney Breakstone roughly estimated there are $100 million in legal liabilities related to the natural gas explosions, which devastated entire neighborhoods in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover last week. His early estimate was based in part on a preliminary assessment of home values in the area.

Attorney Breakstone is a Boston personal injury lawyer, with over 35 years of experience representing those who have been injured by negligence. He is experienced at representing those injured in construction accidents and home gas explosions.

If your family has been affected by the Columbia Gas explosions or fires, Breakstone, White & Gluck can assist you. Please call us at 800-379-1244 for a free legal consultation.

In the summer of 2010, one of our clients died after a propane gas explosion in the Norfolk, Massachusetts condominium where he was working. Our client was trapped for more than 90 minutes before he was rescued. He died the next day.

We later learned our client had no warning there was a propane gas leak. The chemical odorant added to emit a “rotten eggs” smell had faded. Attorney Breakstone filed a wrongful death lawsuit against EnergyUSA and Smolinsky Brothers Plumbing and Heating, alleging EnergyUSA was negligent and had under-filled a new propane tank. He later negotiated a $7.5 million settlement with the defendants in 2012.

The Norfolk explosion raised awareness of the dangers caused when companies are negligent in handling propane gas. In Massachusetts, state officials warned consumers to check recent propane deliveries. In July 2013, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a national safety alert warning the public about the risks of under-odorization.

For background on this case, read the settlement announcement. You can also visit our website.

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