Articles Tagged with “Boston lawyers”

For the fifth year, Somerville 5th graders have met our challenge. Our lawyers are pleased to send 370 students into summer with a free bicycle helmet from Project KidSafe, our campaign to encourage safe cycling and prevent head injuries.

The students earned the helmets by completing the CYCLE Kids curriculum, which teaches bicycle safety fundamentals. CYCLE Kids is offered as part of physical education classes at Somerville public schools. Through CYCLE Kids, some students in Somerville learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time. Others gain valuable experience or take other cycling firsts – such as riding with friends for the first time or their first ride on the Somerville Community Path.

Boston's National Bike to Work Festival at Boston City Hall Plaza in May 2017.

Boston’s National Bike to Work Festival at Boston City Hall Plaza in May 2017.

One of our favorite events is Boston’s National Bike to Work Festival, when cyclists ride into City Hall Plaza in convoys, bright and early, ready to start a fun morning. Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to participate again this Friday morning. Our attorneys will be out at our Project KidSafe tent, greeting cyclists and workers who come out to celebrate and learn about cycling in Boston.

Please come say hello. Our attorneys can inspect your bike helmet and we are offering our Project KidSafe helmets free to cyclists who need one (available on a first-come basis, while supplies last). In addition, cyclists can sign up for free breakfast and other freebies, plus learn more about the new Blue Bikes.

Boston’s Bike to Work Festival Details: Register by Wednesday, May 16th

If you are interested, please read the City of Boston’s e-mail announcement. Cyclists can sign up to ride into the festival on one of the many convoys coming in from all over the area or just ride in on your own. You must register by Wednesday to receive an event t-shirt and take advantage of the free offerings.

WHAT: Boston’s Bike to Work Day Festival

DATE: Friday, May 18

TIME: 7 a.m.- 9 a.m.

WHERE: Boston City Hall Plaza

LEARN MORE: www.boston.gov/bike-to-work-day

Bike Activities in May
Before we continue, we want to mention all the activities being offered to cyclists this week and month. May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the American League of Bicyclists. As part of National Bike Month, National Bike to Work Day will be celebrated in Boston and communities across the U.S. Here in Massachusetts, MassBike is also presenting Bay State Bike Week from May 12th to May 20th. Check out the Bay State Bike Week calendar and the MassCommute Bicycling Challenge 2018.

Blue Bikes
Expect to see lots of blue as the City of Boston celebrates the rebranding of the public bike share system at Friday’s event. The metro-Boston’s public bike share system is owned by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville and operated by Motivate. The green Hubway bikes will be phased out, as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts becomes the new title sponsor.

New Balance was the original title sponsor for the system, which launched back in 2011 with 600 bikes. The system has since tripled in size. Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans further expansion, and the system could reach 3,000 bikes by year’s end.

According to the City of Boston, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer free rentals on Friday. Read this announcement to learn more. You can also visit www.bluebikes.com and download the app if you are interested.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck and Project KidSafe: Over 20,000 Bicycle Helmets for Children
Project KidSafe - Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaignBreakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury and medical malpractice law firm representing plaintiffs. With more than 100 years combined experience, our lawyers fight for justice for those who have been injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of others.

Our law firm is committed to bike safety and preventing head injuries through our Project KidSafe campaign. Wearing a helmet is required by law for cyclists who are 16 and younger in Massachusetts, though it is critical for cyclists of all ages. Please commit to wear a helmet every time you ride.

Over the past six years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 20,000 bicycle helmets to children, families and other cyclists through our Project KidSafe campaign. We partner with local bike committees, police departments, schools and non-profit organizations to make these donations, including these organizations in Boston:

  • City of Boston, Boston Bikes Roll It Forward
  • City of Boston, Youth Cycling Program
  • Boston Police Department
  • Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership
  • CommonWheels Bicycle Collective
  • Boston Cyclists Union
  • Bikes Not Bombs
  • Bicyclecentro of East Boston
  • Mattapan on Wheels
  • Tierney Learning Center of South Boston
  • The Home for Little Wanderers

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Attorney David W. White is interviewed by NBC Boston on the Dorchester building fire

Attorney David W. White is interviewed by NBC Boston on the next steps ahead for buyers after the Dorchester building fire tragedy.

(June 29, 2017) Attorney David W. White was interviewed by NBC Boston on the potential legal options ahead for buyers of condos destroyed by a massive blaze in Dorchester. The fire went up on Wednesday, just a day before a fire inspection was reportedly scheduled.

The six-story Treadmark building had 83 units, including 32 for home ownership and 51 for affordable rentals. It was located in the Ashmont section of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.

Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck in BostonThe Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) has announced it will honor Attorney David W. White with the MBA President’s Award at its May 4th Annual Dinner. The President’s Award is bestowed upon those individuals who have made a significant contribution to the work of the MBA, to the preservation of MBA values, to the success of MBA initiatives and to the promotion of the MBA’s leadership role within the legal community of Massachusetts.

Attorney White is a past president of the MBA from 2007-2008. While serving as MBA president from 2007-08, White formed the Drug Policy Task Force, which made numerous recommendations for criminal sentencing reform and drug treatment in Massachusetts. He also led the Lawyers’ Eco-Challenge, encouraging law firms to fight global warming by changing their office energy use and recycling practices. He has been involved in several MBA section councils, educational programs and annual conferences.

Attorney White was also recognized for his community service beyond the MBA. Since serving as MBA president, he has been active in building Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign, which donates bicycle helmets to children to prevent head injuries. Founded in 2013, the safety campaign has now distributed more than 15,000 bicycle helmets in Massachusetts.

Driving on U.S. roads became more dangerous in 2016. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, a 6 percent increase from 2015.

  • This was the first year more than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents since 2007.
  • According to The New York Times, 2015 and 2016 saw a 14 percent increase in traffic deaths, the largest two-year increase in more than half a century.

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.

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20150112_honda.jpgLast week we learned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued Honda Motor Co. two safety fines totaling $70 million. The fines were announced last week but had been issued before the New Year. These are the largest penalties the NHTSA could impose. With them, automakers finish the year paying $126 million in civil penalties, the most ever for one year. The amount also exceeds the total amount collected in all 43 years of the NHTSA’s operation.

Honda’s Fines

  • Honda was fined $35 million for failure to report submit early warning reports (EWR reports) identifying potential or actually safety issues. The company failed to report 1,729 death and injury claims between 2003 and 2014.
  • Honda was fined a second $35 million for failure to report certain warranty claims and claims related to its customer satisfaction campaigns, in which a manufacturer quietly agrees to fix defects on cars even beyond the normal warranty period.

Honda was ordered to submit injury reports as part of the NHTSA’s investigation on defective Takata airbags last year. Some of the drivers who died as a result of the Takata airbag defects were driving Honda vehicles. The airbag defects are linked to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries in the U.S. Automakers have recalled nearly 14 million cars with these airbags worldwide. Takata, a Japanese company, has limited its recalls to Florida, Hawaii and other warm weather states, despite pressure from the NHTSA to expand the recall nationwide.

Other Companies Which Were Fined
Among the companies the NHTSA fined last year: Gwinnett Place Nissan, Ferrari S.p.A. and Ferrari North America, Chapman Chevrolet LLC, Hyundai Motor America, General Motors Company and Prevost and Southern Honda Powersports.

Then of course there was General Motors, which was fined $35 million for how it handled a recall of more than 2 million vehicles with ignition switch problems. It also paid a separate $441,000 fine for failure to fully respond to a special order by a specified due date.

Toyota is not on the list of companies which paid civil penalties in 2014. But it paid the U.S. government a $1.2 billion criminal fine for it actions during a safety investigation.

Proposed Safety Changes for 2015
In the New Year, the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA are proposing to increase the maximum fine for auto safety violations from $35 million to $300 million. The agencies also want the NHTSA to have additional authority to compel companies to recall unsafe products.

Related:
U.S. Department of Transportation Fines Honda $70 Million for Failing to Comply with Laws That Safeguard the Public, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Before you shop, please check out the Worst Toys of 2014 list by W.A.T.C.H. Since last year, there have been at least 17 toy recalls in the U.S. and Canada, accounting for 5 million defective toys, reports the watchdog group which releases its list annually.

Shop carefully, even at familiar and trusted stores. Of course you should avoid the toys listed below. But make your own judgments on the safety of the toys you are considering. The main things to beware of are:

  • Marbles and small pieces
  • Sharp edges
  • Small magnets
  • Flimsy toy accessories or pieces which are loosely attached
  • Toys with strings (such as musical instruments and necklaces)
  • Toys which shoot sharp projectiles

Also, remember to buy toys which are age-appropriate, read the warnings on the toy box and watch out for toy packaging materials. Toys and many products come with an almost-invisible plastic lining on mirrors, digital screens and other pieces. Many also come with a lot of plastic wrap. These are all choking hazards and you should remove them before giving toys to children.

Here are the W.A.T.C.H. nominees for the “10 Worst Toys” of 2014.

1) Air Storm Firetek Bow
This toy is designed for children 8 years and older, but it shoots arrows up to 145 feet high in the air and can cause eye injuries. It has glow pieces and is marketed for day or night use, thought it warns against use in the “complete dark.” Finally, the packaging carries several other warnings, more than most people want when buying a toy. It sells for under $25 at Walmart and Amazon.com.

2) Radio Flyer Ziggle
Toy2.jpgThe seat on this bike is too low, just 8 inches off the ground, W.A.T.C.H. said. The bike’s packaging also features young children who are not wearing bike helmets, which puts them at risk for head injuries. The $39.99 bike is sold at Target, Toys R Us and Amazon.com and is recommended for children ages 3 to 8 years old.

3) Catapencil
This pencil is also a catapult. The packaging encourages children to enjoy target practice from their desktops and reads, “Because the pencil is mightier than the sword.” There are no safety warnings or age recommendations. This $3.99 toy is sold at Amazon.com, Ebay.com and Learning Express.

4) Alphabet Zoo Rock and Stack Pull Toy
This toy has a 20-inch cord, which is eight inches longer than industry safety standards. It creates a strangulation risk for young children and the manufacturer even warns parents about this risk on the packaging. This toy is sold for $19.99 at Amazon.com, Toys R Us and Magic Beans stores.

5) SWAT Electric Machine Gun
Junxing Toys Industrial Co. warns buyers on the packaging that its toy gun may be mistaken for an actual firearm by law enforcement officers and others. W.A.T.C.H. rightfully says there is “no excuse for outfitting children with realistic toy weapons designed to produce potentially dangerous and unnecessary thrills.” The recent killing of a 12-year old, who was carrying a toy gun mistaken in for a real gun, in Cleveland is a serious reminder of this risk.

6) Wooden Instruments
This toy is designed for children 12 months and older, but includes a 4 ½ inch long drumstick which children can mouth and get lodged in their airway. Additionally, there are no warnings on the toy, which is sold at Walmart.

7) Bottle Rocket Party
This toy makes use of projectiles which can strike and injure a child. There are safety goggles advertised on the packaging, but they are not packed in the box. This toy by Norman & Globus is recommended for children age 8 and older and is sold for $14.99 at Walmart.com, Amazon.com and the Village Toy Shop.

8) Lil’ Cutesies – Best Friends
Toy8.jpgWhile advertised as the “perfect friend for your little one,” this toy is dangerous, according to the W.A.T.C.H. report. The decorative bow can detach from the doll’s head and pose a choking hazard. The toy is designed for children age 2 and older. It is sold for $7.99 or less at Kmart, Toysrus.com and Amazon.com.

9) True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer
This hammer is marketed to children as young as 3 years old, yet it comes with a hammer which stretches nearly 2 feet. Do not look for safety warnings and instructions–there are none! It is distributed by Toys R Us and sold at stores for under $15.

10) Colored Hedgehog
The hedgehog’s hair can be easily pulled out, posing a risk for ingestion and aspiration injuries, W.A.T.C.H. says. This infant toy is sold for $10.99 at Toys R Us.

Read the full Worst Toys of 2014 list. Photo credit on this blog: W.A.T.C.H. and the Worst Toys of 2014 report.
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More than two million bean bag chairs have been recalled after heartbreaking accidents in which children suffocated and died.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced last week that Ace Bayou Corp. of New Orleans, Louisiana has voluntary recalled 2.2 million bean bag chairs, including both traditional and L-shaped bean bag chairs.

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The bean bag chairs have zippers which can easily be opened, a violation of the CPSC’s voluntary standard. Children can crawl inside, become entrapped and suffocate from lack of air or choke on the chair’s foam beads.

Prompting the recall were the deaths of a 12-year-old boy from Texas and a 3-year-old girl from Kentucky. The children were found inside bean bag chairs after suffocating. The boy’s mother told the media that the bean bag chair had been in her son’s room for years and she never thought he would climb inside.

The CPSC instructs consumers to check for these bean bag chairs in their homes. For the full list of recalled models, see the end of this blog.

The chairs have two zippers. Consumers can contact Ace Bayou for a free repair kit to permanently disable the zippers. Consumers should take chairs which can be unzipped away from children.

The defective products were sold at Bon-Ton, Meijer, Pamida, School Speciality, Wayfair and Walmart and online at Amazon.com, Meijer.com and Walmart.com. They were sold prior to July 2013 for $30-$100.

Another option is to simply remove these products from your home altogether. Call Ace Bayou and ask them how to safely dispose the product. (Remember, you should never give someone a recalled product or resell it to anyone. Reselling a recalled product is against federal law.)

Bean bag chairs have a history of injuring children. In the 1990s, the CPSC received reports that 5 children died from suffocation inside bean bag chairs and 27 were injured but recovered. It then launched an industry investigation and recalled 12 million bean bag chairs. More than a dozen manufacturers were involved in that recall effort.

More Recall Information

CPSC Recall Notice

Ace Bayou Recall Page
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bike-lane-200.jpgBay State Bike Week starts Monday, May 14 and runs through Sunday, May 20. The annual celebration features several days of activities and educational programs throughout Massachusetts.

MassCommute Bicycle Challenge
Each year, one of the most anticipated events is the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge. For this one week, employees, students and others participate in teams to see who can pedal the most miles in the name of reducing traffic congestion, helping the environment and making time for fitness. Click the above link for information on how to participate.

Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit on May 17
One event to watch this year is the Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, May 17 at the State House. The event is co-sponsored by MassBike and WalkBoston, which seek to pass the Vulnerable Road Users Bill. If passed, the bill would increase fines for motorists who kill or injure vulnerable users. The term “Vulnerable Road Users” would include pedestrians, a person operating a bicycle, handcycle, tricycle, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates or non-motorized scooter.

The bill was filed in January 2011 and is now in the Joint Committee on Transportation. MassBike has until June 1 to persuade legislators to advance the bill. The bill is supported by WalkBoston, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Conservation Law Foundation, Boston Cyclists Union, and Transportation for Massachusetts. Click the above link for information on how to participate.

Other Events
Bay State Bike Week will feature events and activities for all ages throughout the state, from Boston to Worcester to western Massachusetts. Most events are open to the public for free and are a great opportunity to learn more about cycling and the growing opportunities in Massachusetts. Click the above link for the full calendar.
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