Articles Tagged with Massachusetts

ATM skimming

Take the right steps to protect yourself from ATM skimming. Many Massachusetts consumers have been targeted.

You insert your ATM card and out comes cash for the week. Simple, right? Next time, pay closer attention. Many Massachusetts consumers are being scammed – or skimmed – for their financial information, at a tremendous price.

ATMs – automated teller machines – are a convenient way to get cash or make deposits. Unlike banks, they are always open and accessible.

But they are vulnerable to ATM skimming, when thieves install hidden electronic skimming devices on an ATM to record a consumer’s financial information. Massachusetts has seen several recent cases.

Just this week, Cambridge Police issued an alert, seeking a man who fraudulently ran up $800 on a Cambridge woman’s ATM card. Police say he may have skimmed her financial information at an ATM in Boston. ATM skimming rarely claims just one victim, though. In June, the Lowell Sun reported on two men who pled guilty after ringing up over $100,000 on 100 credit card numbers they skimmed in the Boston area.  Other stories have also been reported in Framingham, Burlington and on the South Shore

The problem is skimming devices are often small and look like part of an ATM, so consumers may not notice them, even if they are looking.

Use caution at the ATM machine. We suggest the following tips to help you protect your financial information:

  • Examine the card slot before inserting your card. Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged or scratched. If you observe anything suspicious, do not swipe your card. We suggest you read this article, “How to Spot and Avoid Credit Card Skimmers,” by PC Magazine.
  • Thieves also need your PIN code. They often record your information through hidden cameras. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to prevent your PIN from being recorded.
  • Walk away from an ATM if you notice someone watching you or you sense something is wrong with the machine.
  • Avoid ATM machines with minimal supervision. For instance, try not to use stand-alone ATM machines in convenience stores, bars or parking lots.
  • Also beware of skimming devices when paying at gas stations.
  • If an ATM does not return your card when a transaction is over, report the incident immediately to your financial institution.
  • Never give out your bank account number or the PIN for your ATM card. If someone calls you and asks for your information, hang up and report the call to your local police department.
  • Monitor your account for unauthorized transactions and report them to your financial institution immediately. Most banks offer online access, which allows you to check your statements easily.
  • Set a daily cash withdrawal limit. Ask your bank and credit card company to notify you of transactions—these can be sent right to your cell phone.
  • Check in on senior citizens in your family or neighbors. Tell them you are concerned about ATM skimming. Remind them to check their bank accounts, and also, to never give their financial information out to callers over the telephone.
  • The most important step? Contact police and your bank if you suspect anything suspicious. The sooner police and your financial institution can start investigating, the better for everyone using the ATM machine.

If you do find yourself a victim, remember you have rights. Under Massachusetts law, consumers are only liable for up to $50 if they are the victim of credit card or debit card fraud. But you must report the fraud immediately to avoid any financial losses. Read this article to learn more.

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Quincy police officers and kids wearing bike helmets

Photo Courtesy: Quincy Police Department Facebook Page. Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign recently teamed up with Quincy Police to donate 100 bike helmets to fifth graders.

On a bike, wearing a helmet is the most important step, Quincy police officers said yesterday.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and the Quincy Police Department teamed up to give away 100 new bike helmets on Monday, during the department’s annual D.A.R.E camp at Pageant Field. But first, Lieutenant Bina and other bike safety officers shared tips for riding safely.

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Attorney David W. White (center) with William G. Gross, Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department (left) and Sgt. Gino Provenzano (right) of the Boston Police Department. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 200 bike helmets to the Boston Police Department this summer to help kids ride safely.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign are proud to partner with the Boston Police Department to keep children safe on bikes.

Our attorneys recently donated 200 brand-new bicycle helmets to the Boston Police Department. Over the summer, officers will give helmets away to children who need one as part of the department’s community policing efforts. So far, officers have put new helmets on children at the Villa Victoria Bicycle Safety Day, the Dorchester/C-11 Bike Rodeo and at the Condon Community Center in South Boston. These events are meaningful because kids get more than a new helmet. They get the opportunity to learn about bike safety and meet a police officer in their own neighborhood in a fun, relaxed setting, building trust and community relationships while learning how to ride safely and protect themselves from head injuries.

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Attorney David W. White and the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission donated bike helmets to kids at Westborough Spring Festival on June 10th. Helmets were donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign.

Summer is here and Breakstone, White & Gluck wants to remind children and families to wear your bicycle helmets.

Helmets are the most effective way to protect yourself from bicycle-related head injuries.  Helmet use reduces the chance for head and brain injuries by up to 88 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please wear your helmet every time you ride – and make sure family members do the same.

Through our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck recently donated children’s bicycle helmets at several community events. Children had the opportunity to receive a new helmet and have it fitted by an experienced cyclist or volunteer.

Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. Attorney David W. White joined the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission at Spring Festival on June 10. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated nearly 200 bicycle helmets in Westborough this year, at the Westborough Spring Festival and the Healthy Kids Day at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts (which was held in April). This is the fourth year we have partnered with the Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission on these donations.

The Westborough Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission was appointed by the Board of Selectmen five years ago. Since then, the commission has actively worked to make Westborough safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Over the past few years, they have advocated for crosswalk and rotary improvements. This year, construction began on the new Westborough multi-use path. The first phase is 1/3 mile and will connect the Westborough Shopping Center to the east side of town. Great work to the commission! This path is sure to make cycling safer in Westborough.

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Medford-2017

Photo courtesy of Medford Bikes, which distributed 70 bike helmets to children at Medford Day on June 4, 2017. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bike helmets through our Project KidSafe campaign.

Medford Day. On June 4, the Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission gave away 70 helmets to children and teens at Medford Day at Andrews Middle School. This was our first time partnering with the commission. It was a home run. Members did a great job and are enthusiastic about teaching children and parents about bike helmet use.

“A helmet is one of the most important pieces of bike safety equipment you can wear, but if it doesn’t fit right, it’s not going to do what it’s designed to do when you most need it—which is protect your head from serious injury after a crash,” said Patrick Bibbins, chair of the Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission.

Bibbins, an instructor with the League of American Cyclists, has written about bicycle safety for families. He recently published this article: “Bike Safety 101: A Guide for Parents.”

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Photo courtesy of The Kiwanis Club of Somerville Facebook page. Bike Safety Day was held on June 10, 2017. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate helmets for the kids.

Kiwanis Club of Somerville. For the past five years, Breakstone, White & Gluck has been pleased to donate bicycle helmets to the Kiwanis Club of Somerville and its annual Bike Safety Day. This is always a fun event which teaches kids fundamental bicycle safety skills in their own community.

This year’s event was held on June 10th at East Somerville Community School. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 120 helmets for the kids. In addition to the Kiwanis Club of Somerville and Breakstone, White & Gluck, the event received donations and support from Belmont Wheelworks, Shift Community Bicycle Collective, the Greater Boston Young Professional Kiwanis, the Somerville High School Athletics and the staff at the East Somerville Community School.

View the Facebook photo album.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 330 bicycle helmets to Somerville fifth-graders from our Project KidSafe campaign. Attorney Ronald E. Gluck is shown above, giving a young cyclist a helmet at the West Somerville Neighbhorhood School on June 15, 2017.

For the fourth year, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate bicycle helmets to every fifth-grader in Somerville who completed the CYCLE Kids bike safety training. We donated 330 helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign this month, in partnership with the Somerville Public Schools, Somerville Police Department and CYCLE Kids. 

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck was on hand today as fifth-graders at the West Somerville Neighborhood School graduated from the CYCLE Kids program and received their new bicycle helmets. Somerville Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra handed out certificates of completion while Attorney Gluck handed out the new helmets. Somerville Police Chief David Fallon, Somerville Police Captain Jim Donovan, Neil Holloway, a physical education teacher at West Somerville Neighborhood School, and Steve Simolaris, supervisor of health and physical education for the schools, helped congratulate the kids and say “Great Job.”

And from all of us here at Breakstone, White & Gluck, “Great Job Somerville Fifth-Graders.”

CYCLE Kids is a curriculum which teaches safe bike riding, helmet use and nutrition. It is taught in Somerville as part of fifth-grade physical education class. For the past four years, we have tried to encourage these lessons by giving each child who completes the CYCLE Kids program a helmet. It was worth our donation this year. At West Somerville Neighborhood School, the students learned about the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and were even fitting their own! 

To the fifth-graders of Somerville and your parents, Breakstone, White & Gluck wishes you a safe and healthy summer! Don’t forget to wear your helmet every time you ride.

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Bicycle Helmets are the Law for Children in Massachusetts
Helmets are required for cyclists who are 16 years of age or younger. For more information, read M.G.L. Chapter 85 Section 11B.

Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Support for Cycling Safety in Somerville
Breakstone, White & Gluck is active in supporting cycling safety in the Somerville community. In addition to the public schools, our law firm recently donated 120 bicycle helmets to the Kiwanis Club of Somerville for its annual Bike Safety Day, which was held last weekend. We have made this donation for the past five years and are pleased to see the Kiwanis Club continue with it each year, giving children an opportunity to receive a helmet, learn bike repair and practice safe riding in the Somerville community.

Our other partners in Somerville are Shift Bicycle Collective, a community organization which promotes bicycle safety, and Groundwork Somerville, which teaches teens agricultural skills. The teens wear the helmets as they ride around between work sites across the city of Somerville each summer.

To learn more about Project KidSafe and bike safety, visit www.bwglaw.com/bikes. To learn more about Breakstone, White & Gluck and our work for clients, visit www.bwglaw.com.

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Boy at a crosswalk, holding a grown-ups' handAs we approach summer, the message for Massachusetts drivers is to please slow down. Last month, in a matter of days, several car accidents seriously injured or killed pedestrians, some in crosswalks.

On May 19, just after 7 a.m., an Acton 8th grader was struck by a van in a crosswalk at the intersection of Main Street and Hayward Road. She suffered serious injuries, leaving the scene by medical helicopter.

On May 22, a minivan crashed into two elderly women in Sandwich. The women, ages 70 and 88, went into cardiac arrest and later died at Cape Cod Hospital. At the time of impact, the women were in the crosswalk at the intersection of Route 6A and Merchants Road.

As we continue our 2017 Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck wants to share a few recent bike helmet donations and some bicycle safety tips for children over the Memorial Day weekend.

norwood-police-2017Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 100 bicycle helmets to the Norwood Police Department for the third year. Attorney David W. White delivered the helmets to Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks III in early May. The Norwood Police Department now plans to distribute the helmets at a bike safety event being planned for June. If you live in Norwood, watch local community calendars.

It was also our pleasure to donate 170 bicycle helmets to Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain. Founded in 1984, Bikes Not Bombs works to repair used bikes locally and internationally to help individuals. This was the fifth year we have made this donation.

In Boston, Bikes Not Bombs offers a popular Earn-A-Bike program, which teaches children and teenagers how to ride in the city and repair bikes during a six-week session. Students are taken on group rides and get to help refurbish a bike to take home. Each graduate also takes home a new bicycle helmet from our Project KidSafe campaign.

In addition to Earn-A-Bike, Bikes Not Bombs offers other programs for teenagers in the Boston area, aimed at helping them learn safe cycling skills and bike repair. These programs include Girls in Action and BOCA, a program which combines cycling and community action.

You may see a Bikes Not Bombs tent at local community events this Spring and Summer. The organization collects and rehabs bikes for people without access to transportation in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean. Bicycles provide a means of transportation and help individuals fight political oppression and rebuild communities. If you have an extra bike, consider making a donation. Learn more on the Bikes Not Bombs website.

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Graduates of Bikes Not Bombs’ Earn-A-Bike program in April 2017. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate new bike helmets.

Through our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children in the Boston area since 2013. During the fifth year of our campaign, our goal continues to be to encourage children to wear a helmet every time they ride.

Study after study has shown wearing a helmet is the most effective way to protect you or your child from a head injury if you fall or are in a bicycle accident. Yet studies also show children are not always wearing helmets, even though many states have laws requiring helmet use for children. In Massachusetts, the law says children who are 16 years old and younger must wear helmets.

Earlier this month, the Today Show reported more than 400,000 kids are hurt each year while riding bikes, scooters, skateboards and skates or roller blades. Of the children injured on bikes, only 68 percent were wearing bike helmets, according to their parents.


As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, here are some reminders for helping young cyclists ride safe:

  • Wear a bicycle helmet. Select a helmet for your child which meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. Properly adjust it so it has a snug fit and will provide protection in case of a fall or a bicycle accident. If you need help, there is an instructional video on our website. Then, tell your child it is important to wear a helmet every time they ride. Be sure to wear your helmet, too. These last two steps are the most important.
  • Wear neon and bright colors. Stock your child’s drawers up with neon t-shirts and other clothing. You want to help your child stand out to traffic, pedestrians and other cyclists. Search “neon clothing” on Amazon.com for ideas.
  • Ride with your children. Enjoy cycling with your children and teach them safe riding techniques at the same time.
  • Control your bicycle. Keep both hands on your handlebars and tell your child to do the same. Keep school backpacks light or use a bike basket. Encourage children to always look ahead and not turn around to talk to you or other cyclists while pedaling.
  • No cell phone use. Do not let your child ride with their cell phone. If they must, make sure it is packed away in a backpack and turned off.  Cell phone use is likely to lead to a bicycle accident.
  • Check equipment. Before they ride, check your child’s bike. Make sure tires are properly inflated and that the brakes work.
  • Avoid riding at night. Children should not ride at night until they are older and have more experience on the roads. If you ride at night, be aware that you are required to use lights and reflectors under Massachusetts law.

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From 2016: Attorney Ron Gluck and Attorney David White joined Cambridge police officers and students at the Cambridgeport School. Breakstone, White & Gluck was there to donate bicycle helmets as part of our Project KidSafe campaign.

Read Cambridge Police Department’s 2017 National Bike Safety Month announcement.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to partner with the Cambridge Police Department again to encourage children to wear bicycle helmets during National Bike Safety Month. As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, we recently donated 180 bicycle helmets for Cambridge police officers to give to children who need one.

Over the past four years, Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign have donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and other communities. In Cambridge, we have worked with the police department, as well as CYCLE Kids, a non-profit cycling organization which teaches children safe riding and healthy eating here in Massachusetts and across the country.

Bicycle helmets are a critical tool for cyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported bicycle helmets are 85-88 percent effective in preventing head and brain injuries. Helmets make all the difference for cyclists, especially young children who are vulnerable to injuries as they learn to ride and grow.

Under Massachusetts law, cyclists 16 years old and younger are required to wear helmets. This has been the law for more than 10 years in Massachusetts, yet many children still ride without one. There are many reasons, from the high cost of helmets to the fact that kids often outgrow them quickly. Also, until you are shown, helmets can be challenging to properly fit.

In Cambridge, cycling and pedestrian safety is a paramount topic. As home to more than 100,000 residents, Harvard University and major pharmaceutical companies, Cambridge has some of the most heavily traveled streets in Massachusetts. Over the past year, the city has seen two cyclists killed in bicycle accidents in Inman Square and Porter Square.

Over the next few weeks, Cambridge Police and the Cambridge Community Development Department are hosting a full line-up of events for National Bike Safety Month. Students began the month with Walk to School Day. Over the next few weeks, older cyclists are invited to stop in at community breakfasts, where there will be bike lights and other giveaways. Need tips on fixing your bike? Two bicycle maintenance workshops will be offered on May 17th, along with a citywide “Bow Tie Bike Ride” on May 20th.

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Improper food preparation can lead to food poisoning.

Improper food preparation is one source of food poisoning.

Chicken & Rice Guys shutdown restaurants and food trucks in Boston and Medford earlier this month for more than a week, after 14 people became ill with E. coli. Ten people had to be hospitalized. Given the widespread food poisoning outbreak, it is likely that there will be liability claims against Chicken & Rice Guys for the poisonings.

According to The Boston Globe, the illness was caused by the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0157:H7, the most common strain of E. coli in the United States. The Mayo Clinic reports a person can contract this type of E. coli through:

Attorney David W. White of Breakstone, White & Gluck in BostonThe Metro news website interviewed Attorney David W. White and other legal experts in the wake of Aaron Hernandez’ suicide at Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts this week. Hernandez, a former New England Patriot who once received a $40 million contract extension for five years, had been serving a life sentence in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. As prosecutors prepared the Odin Lloyd case, they also charged Hernandez with a double murder in Boston in 2012. Hernandez was acquitted on the Boston murder charges just last week in Suffolk Superior Court. As he headed back to prison, his lawyer spoke about hopes for appealing the Odin Lloyd conviction and seeing Hernandez walk free someday.

But Hernandez apparently had no plans for appeal. Come Wednesday morning, he was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell at the Shirley prison. The state medical examiner concluded the cause of death was suicide by asphyxia from hanging. The football player’s brain will be sent to Boston University researchers who are studying CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative disease of the brain which can only be diagnosed after death. It has been found in other football players.

The suicide changes everything for Odin Lloyd’s family, who was pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against Hernandez.

During a 2015 trial, Hernandez had been convicted of the first degree murder of Lloyd. Hernandez had an automatic right to appeal to the state’s highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court, but had not completed that appeal. Massachusetts follows a legal doctrine known as abatement ab inito. If someone dies after a conviction but before their appeal is complete, the person’s legal records and convictions are null and void.

“Now that the conviction will be vacated, the family of Odin Lloyd has lost their collateral estoppel claim and they will have to start from scratch to prove he is guilty,” White said in the Metro interview.

Hernandez appeared to have a bright future with the Patriots, then came June 26, 2013. Police arrested him at his North Attleborough home in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who had been dating the sister of Hernandez’ fiancee. Less than two hours later, Hernandez was released by the New England Patriots, who had signed him to the $40 million five-year contract extension the previous summer. The contract included a $12.5 million signing bonus. On August 27, 2012, The Boston Globe predicted, “The Patriots are going to have the tight end of duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at least through the 2018 season.”

Read the article in the Metro (April 19, 2017).

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