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. In the summer of 2010, our client 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.

Residents will spend weeks, months and even years recovering from the Lawrence, North Andover and Andover gas explosions. And throughout New England, many are also asking: are we safe in our homes?

On Sept. 13th, natural gas explosions and fires erupted in the three Merrimack Valley communities. At least 70 blazes in all, causing devastation, dozens of injuries and one death.

Residents were forced to evacuate as Columbia Gas shut-off service for 8,600 customers in Merrimack Valley. Emergency responders spent hours and hours putting out flames and stabilizing the area.

At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our attorneys are saddened and stunned to learn about the devastating natural gas explosions in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover. Our hearts go out to the victims, the young man who was killed and his loved ones, the dozens who were injured and the hundreds who were forced to evacuate unsafe conditions.

Like so many others, our attorneys are following the media coverage. We hope everyone stays safe. We share these resources for anyone interested in helping:

Resources
Want to help Merrimack Valley residents displaced by fires? Here’s how, The Boston Globe

This article provides a list of relief organizations which are helping victims of the home gas explosions. There is contact information for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Essex County Community Foundation and other organizations.

How to help the victims of the Merrimack Valley fires, explosions, WCVB
The Red Cross has nearly 75 people working in four evacuation centers in Merrimack Valley. You can make a donation to help fund their efforts.

Update 09-17-2018: Governor Charlie Baker has announced the establishment of the new Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund at Essex County Community Foundation.

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Thanks to MassBike for letting us show their terrific photos! MassBike hosted a bike rodeo this summer during the Lawrence Ciclovia. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated some of our bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign to Massachusetts Safe Routes to School this year. Our attorneys are pleased to see some of our helmets ended up at the Lawrence Ciclovia, when cyclists get to enjoy the open streets without any traffic.

Child riding around obstacle course at the Lawrence Ciclovia. Breakstone, White & Gluck, a Boston personal injury law firm, donated bicycle helmets for the kids.

Photo credit: MassBike

Children wearing Project KidSafe bicycle helmets at the Lawrence Ciclovia this summer. Breakstone, White & Gluck, a Boston personal injury law firm, donated the helmets as part of its Project KidSafe campaign.

Photo credit: MassBike

School bus with stop sign and lights

With students back to school in Massachusetts, local police departments are stressing safety around school buses while stepping up enforcement of drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

If a traffic enforcement sting came to your community, how many drivers would be stopped and cited for unsafe driving? Would you be among them?

We ask these questions as students head back to school across Massachusetts, in communities from Boston and Cambridge to Plymouth and Brockton to Worcester and Springfield.

Police departments across the state have set up traffic enforcement over the past few weeks, focusing on drivers who are not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks and school buses. A few of the communities include New Bedford, Attleboro and South Boston.

In South Boston, the surveillance followed the tragic death of a 2-year-old in a traffic crash. The child was being pushed in a stroller on the sidewalk, when a van and car collided. The van plowed onto the sidewalk, injuring and ultimately killing the young boy. A day after the crash, the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police set up a traffic enforcement initiative focusing on crosswalk enforcement, speeding and other unsafe driving behaviors. Within a few days, officers had issued approximately 500 citations for traffic violations. This is a very telling number, one Massachusetts drivers can’t ignore.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston law firm which specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice and car accident cases. Our firm is committed to safety for children, giving away over 20,000 bicycle helmets to children in Massachusetts through our Project KidSafe campaign. With experience representing clients who have been injured in pedestrian crosswalk accidents and other traffic crashes, we offer these tips for safe driving:

Slow down at crosswalks. Students who walk to school may have a crossing guard help them across the street. Always slow down as you approach crossing guards and children. Make eye contact with the crossing guard and assume you should stop. The crossing guard will wave you through when it’s safe to go.

But even when there is no crossing guard, drivers must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk when there is a “Walk” or green signal. Other times, drivers have a responsibility to yield the right of way by slowing or stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk. This includes times when pedestrians are in the crosswalk on the same side as the driver and when pedestrians are approaching from the other half of the lane and within 10 feet. There is a $200 fine for crosswalk violations in Massachusetts.

The best thing to do is approach crosswalks slowly and stop if you see anyone even near the entrance of the crosswalk. If you can, make eye contact with them, then wave for them to go. Depending on whether other cars stop, they may not be able to immediately cross. You may need to be patient for a few moments.

M.G.L. c.89 § 11 is the law governing pedestrian rights in crosswalks in Massachusetts. Read more about the law.

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Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Left to right: Attorney Ronald E. Gluck, Attorney Marc L. Breakstone and Attorney David W. White have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© 2019.

Breakstone, White & Gluck announces that our partners have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019. Best Lawyers© is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world, providing a resource for those searching for legal services for more than 30 years. It ranks lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and other media partners.

Best Lawyers© compiles its annual list of attorneys based on a peer-review process. Nominations can be submitted online by members of the public, clients and other attorneys. But attorneys alone provide evaluations. Nearly 87,000 lawyers around the world are eligible to participate. For the ninth year, lawyers in the Boston region chose to rank Breakstone, White & Gluck. Our rankings:

Attorney David W. White of BostonThe Boston Globe recently interviewed Attorney David W. White for an article called, “What to do if your dog bites someone.” Attorney White joined veterinarians, dog trainers and Boston animal control in explaining the legal steps following a dog bite in Massachusetts.

Breakstone, White & Gluck has decades of experience representing children and others who have been bitten and attacked by dogs. We understand that dog bites are painful, emotional and frightening for families. If you or a loved one have been injured, it is important to learn your rights. Following a dog bite, children may require multiple surgeries to recover and the emotional trauma can be crippling for their entire family. Find answers to common questions about dog bites in Massachusetts on our website. For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also send us a message using our contact form.

 

If summer must end, we like to squeeze in some last fun at the Tierney Learning Center’s Back to School BBQ. The Tierney Learning Center is a resource for many in South Boston, working to help low-income families achieve their goals for education, finances and health and well being. And it hosts one of the best summer BBQs in Boston, with good food, games, music and the opportunity to see friends.

For the fourth year, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate bicycle helmets for the children and teens as part of our Project KidSafe campaign. Attorney David W. White fit the helmets and as you can see, he had a great time. It was nice to spend time with the kids before they head back to school. We have met some of the families at past events, so it was a pleasure to see them again.

Attorney David W. White fitting bicycle helmets for kids at the Tierney Learning Center in South Boston.

Attorney David W. White helping a young cyclist select a bicycle helmet.

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High five after Attorney David W. White fits a helmet for a young cyclist. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bicycle helmets to the Tierney Learning Center's Back to School BBQ.

Attorney David W. White fits a helmet for a teenager at the Tierney Learning Center.Attorney David W. White fits a bicycle helmet for a young girl at the Tierney Learning Center in South Boston.

Attorney David W. White fits a bicycle helmet for a young girl at the Tierney Learning Center in South Boston.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is proud to support Massachusetts Safe Routes to School each year. For the fourth year, Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 400 bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School distributed the helmets to children who needed one and participated in their bicycle safety training. This is our largest donation each year and one we are proud to make. From Boston to Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Safe Routes teaches elementary and middle school students skills to walk and bike to school safely. The bicycle safety training focuses on the fundamentals of traffic laws, the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and for many, how to balance on their first ride. The program is also well known for its bike rodeos, a fun way for students to practice their new-found skills.

Massachusetts Safe Routes offers programming in over 800 schools in 200+ communities in Massachusetts. The staff tells us our Project KidSafe helmets went to children at these events:

Holyoke Roll n’ Stroll

Boston personal injury attorney Marc L. Breakstone

Read an announcement about Attorney Marc L. Breakstone and our Project KidSafe campaign in the Lexington Minuteman. Attorney Breakstone and our bicycle helmet donations in Arlington and Lexington are mentioned.