Posts Tagged ‘“Boston personal injury attorneys”’
Breakstone, White & Gluck Receives Super Lawyers Honors for 17th Year: Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Top-Rated Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Rankings
For consistently strong results for clients, Breakstone, White & Gluck and our attorneys have been recognized in the 2020 Super Lawyers rankings, including on the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list.
We are pleased to share this announcement with our clients, colleagues and friends. This is the 17th year our attorneys have been recognized as top-rated lawyers for plaintiffs in Massachusetts personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
Attorneys Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck founded our law firm 28 years ago in Boston. Each of our partners has 35 years or more of individual experience. All of our partners are committed to prompt investigation and aggressive representation for our clients, and reaching the best possible result. Our attorneys have successfully defended verdicts through the appeals stage and at the Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in Massachusetts.
As a firm, we have deep experience in representing those injured in car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Clients and their families turn to us after serious and fatal construction site accidents and gas explosions caused by negligence as well as in cases involving premises liability and property owner neglect, including dog bites, slip and fall accidents and catastrophic injuries resulting in brain injuries, paralysis and spinal cord injuries.
Marc L. Breakstone specializes in representing plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. For 2020, he has received recognition on two lists: Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers (all practice areas) and as a Top-Rated Boston Super Lawyer in medical malpractice.
This is the 13th year that Attorney Breakstone has been recognized on the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list. He has been recognized pm the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list 7 times, most recently in 2018 and 2019.
David W. White has been selected to the 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, recognized as a top-rated personal injury attorney in Boston. A past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Attorney White has previously been selected to the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers 7 times and to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers on 3 occasions.
Ronald E. Gluck has been selected to the 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, recognized as a top-rated personal injury attorney in Boston. Attorney Gluck has received Super Lawyers recognition each year since 2005. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys. With his extensive experience representing cyclists and pedestrians injured in truck accidents, Attorney Gluck has collaborated with the Charles River Wheelers in 2020, writing The Gluck Legal Takeaway, a series of safety articles for cyclists.
Super Lawyers is a rating service which recognizes outstanding lawyers in Massachusetts and other states. Selections are made using a multiphase process, including a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research and evaluation and peer reviews from within a practice area.
Our Super Lawyers profiles:
Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
Breakstone, White & Gluck represents those injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of others in Massachusetts. If you have been injured, learn your legal rights. For a free consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.
Now, a Focus on Pedestrian Safety in Massachusetts
After an extended leave, many Massachusetts families are now getting ready for back to school and a return to the workplace – at least part time to start. If you are going back and plan to commute on foot, we have some safety tips to share.
First, walking has so many benefits, including fresh air and exercise. We hope you can relax and enjoy this time and decompress. Transitioning back to work and school will be a challenge at times.
But still, it is important to remember the risk for pedestrian accidents and observe traffic conditions as you walk. If you normally drive or use public transportation, your commute will be much different on foot.
Before COVID-19, pedestrian accidents accounted 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each year, as students head back to school, there is a lot of talk about pedestrian safety. This year, attention to safety is even more critical because traffic will be unpredictable for a while. You can also expect more pedestrians as well.
Drivers, especially truck drivers and bus drivers, must be vigilant in watching out for pedestrians and cyclists. But pedestrians should also be vigilant and take precautions.
Our pedestrian safety tips:
Be Visible. Dress to stand out to traffic. Think bright – a vest, jacket, shirt or baseball cap with neon-reflective material. You do not have to spend a lot of money. You can find neon-reflective on all types of products in all price ranges.
If you are a parent, encourage your children to wear bright colors. Remember, your child’s backpack doesn’t just carry books; you can purchase one with neon-reflective material and make it a tool for safety.
Use Sidewalks and Crosswalks. Always look for sidewalks and walk on them. If there are no sidewalks, walk as far as you can left, facing traffic. Use crosswalks with pedestrian traffic signals.
Learn Your Route. Take some time to plan a good route for yourself or your children. You can use online map tools, but try to memorize your path – and a backup route. Locate pedestrian crosswalks and traffic signals. Wait for the walk signal before crossing. Look for streets which have fewer lanes of traffic to walk across. Also watch for bike lanes.
Remember School Safety. School bus drivers are responsible for getting children to and from school safely. This is the most critical commute on Massachusetts roads.
Whether you are a parent, driver or pedestrian, you can support school bus safety. When a school bus flashes its yellow lights, it is slowing down. When it stops, extends its arm and flashes red, the bus has stopped to allow children to cross. Drivers must stay 100 feet back.
As a pedestrian, you may keep walking if you are on the sidewalk and don’t interfere with the school bus. But there are times when you should stop if you are walking on the road. Allow the school bus driver to safely stop so children can board safely. Also allow vehicle to safely depart.
Watch for Large Trucks. We urge pedestrians to keep your distance from trucks. Each year, truck crashes injure and kill pedestrians in Massachusetts. The larger the truck, the greater the blindspot and the greater the risk to you.
Trucks can strike pedestrians head-on, but they can also hit them from behind or from the side. Pedestrians can be swept under a truck and dragged. This can happen when pedestrians are walking alongside the road or as they wait to cross a road and a truck approaches.
Because large trucks are everywhere in the Boston area, your best defense is to watch for them, stay on sidewalks as much as possible and find crosswalks with pedestrian safety signals. Truck drivers may not always check for pedestrians. They are more likely to tune into traffic signals in front of them.
Remember, trucks can also be deadly to cyclists. Right hook accidents occur when a driver fails to give a cyclist enough room when turning right at an intersection. What you can do to prevent a serious bicycle accident: Stay on the sidewalk as much as possible. Leave the bike lanes and outer traffic lanes to bicyclists so they have room to adjust to traffic conditions.
Check for Traffic Updates. Before leaving for work or school, check local traffic updates and police department websites. After the COVID-19 closures, some Boston area communities have made changes to accommodate more pedestrians or allowed restaurants to set up outdoor dining in streets and sidewalks. This may impact your commute to work or school. Again, this is another reason to tuck a lightweight neon vest in your bag. Be visible so drivers have a warning that they should stop for you.
Stop and Report Pedestrian Accidents: If you are negligent and hit a driver, you have a responsibility under Massachusetts law to stop and report the crash to police. As stressful as this situation may be, you have to stop, call 911 and make sure the person receives immediate medical attention.
But often, other pedestrians and other drivers witness pedestrian accidents. Stop and report the crash to 911, even if you were not involved. Never assume another witness will. About 1 in 5 pedestrian crashes involve hit and run drivers, according to AAA research. In these cases, pedestrian accident victims are left without access to the driver and their auto insurance policy, which should provide compensation for their medical bills and other financial losses.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in representing those injured by negligent and reckless driving in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy and across Massachusetts. Our attorneys are highly experienced in advocating for victims and families after pedestrian accidents and crosswalk crashes. We have secured compensation from negligent drivers as well as major bus operators, such as the MBTA. If you have been injured, learn your legal rights. For a free consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Read about some of our awards:
$7.1 Million – Verdict for pedestrian seriously injured in MBTA bus accident
Our attorneys secured a $7.1 million verdict for our client who was hit by an MBTA bus in a South Boston crosswalk.
$2.15 Million – Settlement for pedestrian injured by crash at strip mall
Our attorneys negotiated a $2.15 million settlement after our client was struck by a vehicle as he left a strip mall.
$1.375 Million – Settlement for pedestrian struck by speeding MBTA bus
Our attorneys reached a $1.375 million settlement after our client was struck by an MBTA bus in Roxbury and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
$1.25 Million – Wrongful death settlement for pedestrian hit in crosswalk
Our attorneys negotiated a $1.25 million settlement for family members of a pedestrian struck and killed in a crosswalk.
Traffic Signals Under Scrutiny After Serious Pedestrian Crashes in Boston and Somerville
Pedestrian crashes have made devastating headlines in Boston and Somerville this past week. In Boston, a van struck two pedestrians at a feared intersection last Wednesday (Sept. 11th). One victim, a young woman, later died from her injuries. The next day in Somerville, a garbage truck critically injured a woman on the McGrath Highway.
As the investigations begin, many are questioning the traffic signals. In Boston, city officials responded quickly, with Mayor Marty Walsh already announcing changes at Melcher and Summer streets. This intersection is located in the Fort Point neighborhood near the Seaport District and South Boston.
Going forward, pedestrians will have a full right of way at the intersection.
According to WHDH, the traffic signal had been giving pedestrians the light to start crossing Summer Street. Then, drivers on Melcher Street were given the green light to turn while pedestrians were still crossing. Signage warned drivers to yield to pedestrians, but residents and businesses said this wasn’t enough. They worried about their safety and complained to city officials.
Boston Police are investigating. No criminal charges have been filed against the driver of the van.
The next day in Somerville (Sept. 14th), a woman was hit by a garbage truck and transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. The 34-year-old was hit on the McGrath Highway, at the intersection of Somerville Avenue. According to NBC Boston, the woman had been attempting to cross the street around 1:45 p.m., using the marked crosswalk. The garbage truck struck her as it turned.
As in Boston, State Police are investigating. No criminal charges have been filed against the driver.
As we wait to hear more, the Somerville News Weekly is reporting the traffic signal may have been re-synchronized the day after the truck crash. The report questions whether the driver and pedestrian had overlapping traffic signals, as was the case in Boston.
Somerville saw a new traffic pattern introduced earlier this year around the intersection, according to the news weekly. Traffic accidents have followed.
Both Somerville and Boston have seen pedestrian accidents resulting in serious injury and death this year. In Somerville, drivers have hit residents, then kept traveling.
In February, a 40-year-old educator was killed in the crosswalk at Hardan Road and Powderhouse Boulevard. The alleged driver, a Norwood man, never stopped and even went out for dinner later that evening. Days later, the police search came to an end when the man’s truck was found the vehicle parked in Somerville.
Another pedestrian was killed in July. The 52-year-old woman was struck along Mystic Avenue, near McGrath Highway and Stop & Shop. This time, the 64-year-old driver from Roxbury turned himself into Somerville Police the next day. The Boston Globe also raised questions about this traffic signal in its reporting, observing pedestrians had just 12 seconds to cross the busy area.
In late August, a 69-year-old man was seriously injured in the early morning hours on Mystic Avenue and Shore Drive. Another driver found him and stopped to help, according to WCVB. As in the other Somerville crashes, neighbors were stunned that the driver fled the scene.
In Boston, several pedestrians were injured by cars this summer. One area of concern has been Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. On June 23rd, a car collided with a pedestrian during the morning commute there. She died shortly later. In July, a Boston Public Health Commission hit a pedestrian in the same area, this time causing minor injuries.
Boston Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyers – Breakstone, White & Gluck
The Boston law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck specializes in representing those injured by car accidents and pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured, learn your legal rights. For a free consultation with our attorneys, contact 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Massachusetts Tries Again at Passing Hands-Free Driving Law
Hands-free legislation has taken a step forward in Massachusetts this year. So have the studies and research showing the dangers cell phones bring to the roads.
Eight years ago, Massachusetts banned texting while driving. Since that time, lawmakers have considered several proposals to ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones, with a goal of reducing distracted driving injuries and fatalities. On May 15, 2019, the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported another proposal with a 155-2 vote. As many watch, the state Senate now plans to discuss the legislation in early June. Watch with caution though. The Senate has already approved hands-free driving bills during each of the last two sessions, according to the State House News Service.
Under the House bill (H 3793), drivers would not be able to use hand-held cell phones. If they want to talk, drivers will have to use hands-free technology such as a Bluetooth device and keep their hands away from their phones. The primary exception is drivers can make a single tap or swipe to activate the device’s hands-free mode. There is another limited exception for public safety personnel and drivers in certain emergency situations.
What about GPS? Drivers can continue to use GPS devices which are mounted onto their vehicle’s dashboard, but these must not impede operation.
Fines for violations would start at $100 for first-time offenders. There would be a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for third and subsequent offenses. The bill would take effect 90 days after passage, but drivers will receive warnings instead of fines for violations up until Dec. 31, 2019.
In addition to approving hands-free legislation, the House bill would also require an annual review of the race and demographic information for drivers who are issued traffic citations. While Massachusetts already collects this data, lawmakers say there needs to be a consistent and regular review.
Distracted Driving Increases Near Emergency Responders
As we wait for legislators to vote, we want to share a few recent studies on distracted driving.
In April, the National Safety Council (NSC) released an alarming and upsetting report on a dangerous trend: drivers using cell phones near emergency responders.
All 50 states have “move over” laws which require drivers to clear the way and give emergency responders space to work. The Massachusetts “Move Over Law” took effect in 2009 and protects the work area for police officers, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers and all roadside emergency and maintenance professionals.
Despite these laws, the NSC reports 71 percent of drivers surveyed said they take photos and video when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. While passing by, they film fires, car crashes and even routine traffic stops.
Drivers are doing more than capturing the scene. Sixty percent are also posting footage to social media. Another 66 percent are providing someone with an update by e-mail.
There is a tragic cost to this cell phone use. About 16 percent of drivers surveyed said they have actually hit a first responder or were involved in a near-crash. And despite their actions, nearly 90 percent agree: their cell phone use puts emergency responders in harm’s way.
This problem doesn’t go away once the ambulance or police car drives away. On a normal day, when emergency responders are not on the scene, 24 percent of the drivers admit they still snap pictures and record video. Another 29 percent of drivers say they engage with social media and 24 percent say send e-mails.
AAA Foundation for Driver Safety Reports on Teen Driving, Cell Phone Use
Another study comes from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and reports on the risk teen drivers bring to the roads, including when they use cell phones.
The study focused on drivers between the ages of 15 and 18, including those with learner’s permits, restricted licenses (often called junior operator licenses) and full licenses. The study reports teens are a vulnerable driving group because of their inexperience and they need education into the potential consequences of cell phone use, speeding and other reckless behavior. AAA released the study to raise awareness between Memorial Day and Labor Day, often known as the “100 Deadliest Days.”
The study reported that teen drivers killed nearly 3,500 people from 2013 to 2017. Cell phone use contributes to these car accidents. Some 52 percent of teens said they had read a text message or sent an e-mail while driving, according to the AAA study.
AAA noted police often struggle to determine if texting caused a car crash, but that the study’s researchers made use of in-vehicle dash cameras. With these tools, AAA found 58 percent of teen crashes were the result of distractions, including texting and reading text from a cell phone.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston specializes in representing those who have been injured by the negligence and wrongdoing of others. With more than 100 years combined experience, our personal injury attorneys represent clients in matters involving catastrophic injuries, car accidents, bicycle accidents, medical malpractice, head injuries and wrongful death.
For a free legal consultation, contact us toll-free at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also use our contact form.
How to Fit a Bicycle Helmet
While many people enjoy cycling, very few enjoy the process of selecting and fitting a bicycle helmet. The challenge is even greater for parents who have to find helmets for their children.
Breakstone, White & Gluck launched our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013 to help children and families, along with other cyclists, overcome some of the challenges. Read some of our tips for getting started with a bicycle helmet which fits and protects:
- Before you shop, find a flexible tape measure and measure around your head. Measure from about an inch above your eyebrows.
- Rather than shopping online, try to purchase a helmet at a local bicycle shop. Ask the staff to help you fit it properly.
- Before you purchase, ask if the helmet meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Don’t share bicycle helmets. Each cyclist should have their own helmet.
- Store your helmet inside and avoid exposing it to heat in sunlight unless you are wearing it. Don’t leave it in your car for any extended period.
- Replace bicycle helmets when they become worn or if you or your child outgrow yours. You may want to consider buying a new helmet every three years. From the outside, your helmet may appear to be in good condition. Yet the protective material inside can deteriorate without any visible signs.
- Immediately replace bicycle helmets which hit the ground in a bicycle accident or fall.
- Carry your bicycle helmet if you want to use a bikeshare. Make it a rule not to rent a bike without a helmet.
- Plan ahead: Keep an extra bicycle helmet at work or at home.
- Remember, parents who wear helmets encourage children to wear helmets.
- Take children to bicycle safety events in the community to encourage their interest in cycling and safety.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm which represents those injured by the negligence and wrongdoing of others across Massachusetts. After more than two decades of representing cyclists who have been injured, the firm’s partners launched the Project KidSafe campaign to help prevent injuries on bikes and encourage children to wear helmets throughout their lives. The firm specializes in all areas of personal injury law.
Learn more about our attorneys.
Learn more about the Project KidSafe campaign.
Watch a video demonstrating how to fit a bicycle helmet.
Breakstone, White & Gluck Recognized by Super Lawyers for 15th Year
We are pleased to announce that Breakstone, White & Gluck and our attorneys have been recognized by Super Lawyers for the 15th year. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Lawyers are rated nationwide, across 70 practice areas, with just a select number recognized.
In 2018, our lawyers have been named to a number of Super Lawyers lists, including the 2018 Top New England Super Lawyers, 2018 Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers in personal injury and medical malpractice, and the 2018 Rising Stars list.
Marc L. Breakstone has been selected to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, recognized as a top-rated medical malpractice attorney in Boston.
David W. White has been selected to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, recognized as a top-rated personal injury attorney in Boston.
Ronald E. Gluck has been selected to the 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, recognized as a top-rated personal injury attorney in Boston.
Reza Breakstone has been selected to the 2018 Massachusetts Rising Stars list.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck founded the law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston in 1992. Reza Breakstone joined the firm as an associate in 2015.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston personal injury lawyers fight for justice for those who have been seriously injured or killed by the negligence and wrongdoing of others. Our lawyers have won numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements. We specialize in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries and motor vehicle crashes. Read more.
Super Lawyers Ratings: Built on Peer Reviews
The 2018 New England Super Lawyers listings, just released, are meant to serve as a resource to help those searching for attorneys and are available for free online. Most years, they are published in Boston Magazine. When you visit a law firm’s website, you can also look for the Super Lawyers badge to see if a lawyer has been rated.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, recognizes the top 5 percent of lawyers across the state, along with a Rising Stars list highlighting the top lawyers under 40 years old (or the top 2.5 percent statewide). Lawyers are rated through a multiphase selection process, including a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research evaluation and peer reviews by other top-rated attorneys in a practice area. The peer reviews are what make the Super Lawyers listings so valuable to consumers and other attorneys. When you call a lawyer rated by Super Lawyers, you can trust other highly experienced lawyers have already reviewed the lawyer’s skills and experience in their specialty.
The independent evaluation considers the following 12 indicators:
- Representative Clients
- Special licenses/certifications
- Position within the law firm
- Bar and/or professional activity
- Pro bono and community service
- Scholarly lectures/writings
- Education/employment background
- Other outstanding achievements
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone Questions Voir Dire Rule Change in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
Requiring attorneys to get pre-approval to question potential jurors is the “wrong approach,” Attorney Marc L. Breakstone said in a recent Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article.
Breakstone was commenting on a change to the rules for voir dire in Massachusetts. Judges were long responsible for questioning prospective jurors to determine if they could sit fair and impartial in Massachusetts courts. But in 2014, the Legislature approved the introduction of attorney-conducted voir dire. For the first time, attorneys were allowed to directly question prospective jurors.
Last month, the Supreme Judicial Court approved a revised Superior Court Rule 6, which will impose new restrictions on the voir dire process. The new rule will be effective September 1.
Missing from the new rule are several recommendations submitted by the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA). Breakstone, who sits on the MATA Board of Governors, has long advocated for attorney-conducted voir dire and helped draft the MATA recommendations.
For voir dire to be effective, state court studies have shown the lawyer must be able to maintain a conversational tone with prospective jurors, Breakstone said.
“You cannot have a ‘conversation’ with jurors if you are restricted to pre-approved, scripted questions that a judge will not permit counsel to expand on,” he said.
Breakstone said he is concerned that Rule 6 raises the standard for excusing a juror for cause.
“This new [rule] sets the bar too high,” Breakstone said. “The better approach is to err on the side of caution and, if a juror expresses disqualifying bias, whether it’s mild, moderate or severe, that should be sufficient to excuse them from the jury.”
Read more comments in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Subscription access is required.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience representing those who have been injured by negligence and wrongdoing. If you have been injured, learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Massachusetts Bar Association to Honor Attorney David W. White with President’s Award
The 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.
Read the full announcement with comments from MBA President Jeffrey N. Catalano on the MBA website: http://tinyurl.com/lkttt2d.
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Article on Antiquated Sidewalk Liability Laws
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone was quoted in a front-page Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article about common law liability for injuries caused by sidewalk defects. The current common-law standard dates back centuries and prohibits many plaintiffs from recovering compensation for injuries. But a recent Appeals Court ruling may have finally set the stage for change.
Attorney Breakstone welcomes the idea. “I think that the common law is a living body of principles that has to evolve as social conditions and the realities of life evolve,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Appeals Court ruled in the case of Halbach, et al. v. Normandy Real Estate Partners, et al., concurring that a Superior Court judge had correctly granted summary judgment to the defendant, 100 & 200 Clarendon LLC, which operated, leased and maintained the John Hancock Tower and a neighboring garage in Boston.
The Appeals Court rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the defendant had been negligent in keeping the sidewalk free from defects and had failed to uphold their duty “to ensure a safe pedestrian walkway.”
The Appeals Court said the plaintiffs were suggesting “an entirely new duty” not recognized by state common law. The Appeals Court further noted that there is no affirmative duty to inspect and repair public sidewalks or notify the city.
In Massachusetts, cities generally have limited liability of $5,000 for personal injuries and property damage from defective ways, which also leaves plaintiffs who are injured with limited remedy.
In 2009, a man fell on uneven sidewalk after leaving his office at the John Hancock Tower in Boston. He suffered a bilateral rupture of his quadriceps tendon. After the fall, the defendant, 100 & 200 Clarendon LLC, did make some repairs, with no attempt to seek reimbursement from the city of Boston.
The man and his wife filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court in February 2012 and filed a motion for summary judgment in January 2014.
Appeals Court Judge James R. Milkey wrote that “the plaintiffs have a more forceful case for … a change in the law than the majority opinion suggests.”
The Supreme Judicial Court could now review the Appeals Court ruling and decide whether to extend a duty for sidewalks to private owners.
Attorney Breakstone told Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly this would be a “baby step for the evolution of our tort law.” It is a widely accepted principle that businesses making a profit from the customers they attract onto their premises have to provide safe egress, he said.
In 2010, the Supreme Judicial Court decision in Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. abolished the common-law distinction between natural and artificial accumulation of snow and ice. In Massachusetts, property owners are now responsible for clearing all areas of their property under the standard of “reasonable care,” regardless of whether they created the snow pile or if it naturally formed.
Read the full article on the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly website. Subscription required for access.
About Attorney Marc L. Breakstone
Marc L. Breakstone has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in New England. His record-setting settlements and verdicts have earned him the distinction of being selected as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in New England and Top 100 Super Lawyers in Massachusetts. He has also been selected by his peers as one of the top medical malpractice plaintiff’s lawyers in the Super Lawyer balloting. In 2002, Attorney Breakstone was honored as one of ten “Lawyers of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. More on Marc Breakstone.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
The Boston personal injury attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience handling personal injury and premises liability cases for those who have been seriously injured. If you have been injured, it is important to learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Breakstone, White & Gluck Attorneys Named to Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers List
Our partners, Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck, have been selected to various 2015 Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists, for their work in the practice areas of personal injury and medical malpractice.
We are pleased to announce this honor. This is the 12th year in a row our attorneys have been selected to various Super Lawyers lists, a recognition of excellence. Super Lawyers, part of the Thomson Reuters company, makes annual selections using a multi-phase process of peer nominations, independent research and attorney evaluations. It only recognizes 5 percent of attorneys in each state.
The Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists are published online and in the November issue of Boston Magazine. You can also read more about our attorneys here:
Marc L. Breakstone
Attorney Breakstone was selected for these 2015 lists: Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney.
Attorney Breakstone has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. He has been selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list for medical malpractice 12 years in a row, to the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list nine times and to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list four times.
A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, Attorney Breakstone has been practicing in Boston since 1986. He has represented clients who have been seriously injured by negligence, including in cases of wrongful death, medical malpractice, bus and truck accidents and propane gas explosions. Read his bio.
Attorney David W. White
Attorney White was selected for these 2015 lists: Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Top Rated Personal Injury – Plaintiff Attorney.
Attorney White is a Northeastern University School of Law graduate and has 30 years of experience representing victims of personal injury and insurance bad faith cases in Massachusetts. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Attorney White has been named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list 12 years in a row. He has been included in the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list seven times. He has also been named to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list three times.
White represents clients who have been seriously injured by car accidents, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability, construction accidents and other personal injury claims. Read his bio.
Attorney Ronald E. Gluck
Attorney Gluck was named to these 2015 lists: Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney – Plaintiff Attorney and New England Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Attorney – Plaintiff Attorney.
Attorney Gluck has consistently been named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list each year since 2005. He is a graduate of Boston College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Over his career, he has represented clients who have been seriously injured in complex cases involving wrongful death, car and trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, liquor liability and product liability.
After 9-11, he represented victims of the World Trade Center attacks. He has also served as an expert witness on behalf of the United States Justice Department. Read his bio.