Negligence Claims/Insurance Disputes

  • In January of 2020, obtained a $29,000.00 settlement for a woman bitten in the shin by a dog. On October 21, 2018, the claimant, then age 40, was bitten by an unleashed dog while jogging through Millennium Park in Boston.  She suffered a 2.5 x 2.0 cm triangular avulsion wound with resulting scar.   In Massachusetts, it is well established that the owner of a dog is strictly liable for personal injury or property damage caused by the dog, unless the dog was being teased, tormented, or abused or there was a trespass involved.  SeeGen.L. c. 140, §155.  The settlement was reached as it was clear that the claimant was not trespassing and there was no evidence that she in any way teased, tormented or abused the dog in question. Valencia v. Hurley, Suffolk County.
  • In October of 2019, convinced an errors and omissions insurer to compensate a claimant who was improperly denied insurance coverage on a personal injury claim. The claimant had been sued by an individual who slipped and fell on an alleged icy walkway at a commercial property.  The claimant was the plow company for the commercial property. When the claimant notified its insurer of the incident, he was advised that he did not have the proper coverage for the claim.  The claimant’s insurance broker had promised the claimant a lower premium if he switched to him.  In doing so, the broker misrepresented the level of coverage provided, leaving the claimant exposed.  Pitol Landscaping, Inc. v. Morrill Insurance Agency, Middlesex County.
  • In May of 2019, obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of a driver injured in a reared motor vehicle accident. Liability was not contested.  The plaintiff was a retired 73-year-old male who sustained mainly soft tissue injuries with some nerve impingement in his left fingers.  He treated conservatively.  Medical expenses exceeded $30,000.00.   The matter was resolved favorably pre-suit. Tocci v. Healey, Worcester County.
  • In December of 2018, successfully defended a landscaping company in a personal injury claim where the plaintiff claimed nearly $50,000.00 in medical expenses.The plaintiff claimed that she broke her ankle when she fell because the landscaper allegedly failed to reasonably clear snow and ice from a commercial property’s parking lot.  The plaintiff settled with this defendant after she failed to timely answer interrogatories and the landscaper had requested the entry of default judgment because of the same.  Basante v. 246 Maple, LLC, et al., Middlesex Superior Court, 1781CV00297 (Yarashus, J.)
  • In February of 2018, secured a policy limit recovery of $50,000.00 (the maximum available automobile policy limits) for a driver who was injured a low speed rear-end motor vehicle accident on June 25, 2016. Acton Fire and EMS responded to the scene and Acton EMS then transported the driver to Emerson Hospital where she presented with head pain and right-sided cervical spine pain.  The driver advised that she had a headache and did not feel “right” in the head.  A cervical CT scan was performed and no intracranial hemorrhage was found to exist.  There was concern based on her symptoms that she had sustained a concussion. However, the Emergency Room personnel determined that the driver was stable and discharged her home.   The driver followed up with her primary care physician who then referred her to the Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital due to symptoms of headaches, neck pain, light and sound sensitivity, decreased visual coordination, nausea, imbalance, sleep disturbance, cognitive difficulties, fatigue and anxiety.  After conducting through historical and physical evaluations, it was concluded that the driver sustained a concussion and was exhibiting symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome that were directly caused by the motor vehicle accident. The driver was also diagnosed with right lumbosacral radiculopathy and advised to refrain from working and to limit electronic stimulation (screens).  The driver was referred for cognitive rehab, physical therapy and occupational therapy.  Medical expenses were approximately $36,000.00.  Lost income exceeded $100,000.00.  Smith v. Marion, Middlesex County.
  • In January of 2018, secured a settlement for a 73-year old woman who had stepped onto a treadmill at her gym, fell and sustained a hairline fracture of her arm. The injury did not require any surgery and the woman treated and was healed through physical therapy.  A witness thought a personal trainer left the treadmill on pause while working with a client but then failed to reset the settings before the injured woman stepped onto it to use it.  An inspection of the treadmill did not reveal any defects, there were no other complaints about it, and it was never taken out of service.  The trainer denied using it in the manner in which the witness claimed. Due to the lack of evidence to the contrary, the claim was settled.   Weber v. TSI South End, LLC d/b/a Boston Sports Club, Suffolk County.
  • In December of 2017, obtained a settlement for a woman who had been struck on the head and back by a falling sign from a nail salon along Bromfield Street in Boston. The woman was fortunately not seriously injured, requiring only a visit to the MGH ER and one follow up visit with her primary care physician.  Hartz v. GLL Real Estate Partners and Nail Time, Suffolk County.
  • In October of 2017, reached a $15,000 settlement for a 83-year old man who fell on a fallen chain link fence in Woburn, MA.The claimant had sustained a nasal injury and some facial bruising.   Despite the foregoing, the injury did not require surgery and resolved in a very short period of time.  Cianci v. First Congregational Church, et al., Middlesex County.
  • In August of 2016, secured a reasonable settlement for a driver who was injured a rear-end motor vehicle accident. The driver sustained neck and back injuries that she was able to treat conservatively to regain her function and mobility.  Dardy v. Smith 
  • In March of 2016, secured favorable settlements for a woman who was injured in two separate motor vehicle accidents that occurred three months apart. The insurer for each tortfeasor tried to avoid making a payment by unsuccessfully blaming the other accident for causing the crux of the damages.  Barcelo-Podesta v. Ibrahim; Barcelo-Podesta v. Ortiz. 
  • In September of 2015, obtained a settlement for an 82-year old homeowner in Waltham, MA whose property sustained extensive damage caused by the city’s plowing contractor during the winter of 2014-15. The plowing contractor initially refused to identify its insurer and erroneously claimed that he didn’t have to pay because the homeowner property was not code compliant. Once the contractor’s insurer was identified, it then offered the homeowner only half of his damages.  It wasn’t until the homeowner retained counsel and the insurer was served with a demand letter pursuant to Ch. 176D and 93A for unfair and deceptive practices that full payment was made.  Cianci v. J.J. O’Brien & Sons, Inc. and Acadia Insurance Co., Middlesex County. 
  • In August of 2015, obtained a favorable settlement of $35,000.00 on behalf of a pedestrian injured by a motor vehicle that rolled over his foot. Liability was not contested.  The plaintiff was a retired 70-year-old male who sustained mainly soft tissue injuries to his right foot.  He treated conservatively with a pain specialist and a physical therapist.  Medical expenses were just under $8,000.00 and fully paid by PIP. Plaintiff made a full recovery within four months.  The matter was resolved pre-suit. Tocci v. Harrington, Worcester County. 
  • In June of 2015, reached a $27,500.00 settlement for a 58-year old woman who fell on dark and unmarked steps at a well-known cafe in West Newton, MA. The claimant had sustained a broken bone in her right foot.   Despite the foregoing, she did not have any lost wages or lost earning capacity, and the injury did not require surgery.  Papalia v. The Local Kitchen & Drinks, Middlesex County.
  • In March of 2015, obtained a favorable settlement of $58,750.00 at mediation (Calcagno) on behalf of a victim injured in a motor vehicle accident. Liability was not contested.  The victim sustained mainly soft tissue injuries to her neck and shoulder.  She treated conservatively with a pain specialist and a physical therapist for an extended period of time and was not considered a candidate for surgery.   Related medical expenses were determined to be just over $10,000.00 and her lost time from work was limited to one week.  The victim’s spouse also recovered on his claim for a loss of consortium.  Gorman v. Giuliano, et al., Essex Superior Court, ESCV2014-00030. 
  • In February of 2014, successfully resolved a claim on behalf of an estate of a person who had been a victim of the theft of nearly $75,000.00 worth of jewelry by a home health aide prior to her death. The confidential resolution occurred following the defendant’s unsuccessful efforts to dismiss the action and before any depositions took place.  Estate of Tina M. Gefteas v. PM Family, Inc. d/b/a Home Instead, Middlesex Superior Court, MICV2013-00687 (Salinger, J.) 
  • In April of 2011, shortly before trial, obtained a confidential settlement on behalf of a tenant to an apartment building in Woburn who had slipped and fell on ice covered steps and sustained a severely fractured ankle. The apartment building’s gutter system, which was not properly maintained, directly contributed to a defective ice condition that caused the tenant’s fall.  French v. PD Properties, Inc., Middlesex Superior Court, MICV2008-3562. 
  • In August of 2010, obtained a substantial settlement at mediation, subject to confidentiality, for a 95-year-old woman who was seriously injured when she fell upon entering an elevator at the assisted living facility where she lived. When the elevator car doors opened, the plaintiff fell because the elevator had stopped nine inches below floor level.  Lisansky v. North Hill, Norfolk Superior Court, NOCV2009-01071.
  • In May of 2010, secured a substantial settlement, subject to a confidentiality agreement, following a bench conciliation for a woman from California who was injured at a Boston restaurant and who had subsequently sustained a permanent partial impairment stemming from a crush injury to her foot. Lyon v. Anthony’s Fine Restaurants, Suffolk Superior Court, SUCV2005-05174 (MacLeod-Mancuso, J.) 
  • Successfully defeated motions for summary judgment and reconsideration of the same, as well as subsequent motions, in a legal malpractice case that directly impacted the ability to obtain a substantial settlement for the plaintiff contractor. The Millgard Corporation v. Gadsby Hannah, LLP, United States District Court, C.A. 04-12388-RWZ (Zobel, J.). 
  • In January of 2008, obtained the maximum available recovery for a construction company in a claim against an insurance broker who failed to obtain insurance coverage for a new piece of equipment that was stolen from a job site. The case settled on the second day of trial.  L. French Excavating Corp. v. Tarantino Ins. Agency, Middlesex Superior Court, MICV2006-00000 (Fishman, J.). 
  • Second chair counsel to the Managing Partner, Thomas F. Healy, on Kaplan, et al. v. G&K, LLC, MICV2000-03660 and eight (8) consolidated cases in defending a commercial landlord from $25,000,000.00 in aggregate claims arising from a fire that allegedly caused the deaths of six people, as well as expensive property damage and business loss claims. Responsible for all facets of discovery and motion practice, including summary judgment.  Conducted approximately 65-70 depositions of experts, defendants, and percipient witnesses.  Attended and defended approximately 20 other depositions, including expert witnesses.  Participated in multi-day mediation session.  The case settled in 2006.
  • In the summer of 2005, substantially contributed as second chair counsel to the Managing Partner, Thomas F. Healy to the establishment of liability and damages in a Big Dig accident case, which efforts lead to a successful settlement of $8,000,000.00 for a 42-year-old construction laborer from the Azores who was severely injured in the course of his employment when a crane dropped its load while hoisting over an active work area. The plaintiff sustained a severe closed head injury, underwent multiple neurosurgeries, and was left with permanent cognitive deficits requiring 24/7 care.  The settlement included a full waiver of the Hunter setoff (workers compensation).  Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly identified the settlement as one of the top five in Massachusetts in 2005.  Elias v. Bechtel Parsons/Brinkerhoff, et al. , Suffolk Superior Court, SUCV2002-03760.
  • On April 19, 2004, obtained an arbitration award of $87,000.00 for an adult woman from Lexington who was bitten in the face by a dog. The claimant sustained two separate lacerations to her cheek that required treatment from a plastic surgeon.  She also sustained an emotional component as well, having developed a fear and anxiety around dogs and a self-consciousness concerning the scars.  Passman v. Khoury, MDRS No. 04-155A (Jerome).
  • On August 19, 2003, obtained a Judgment in the amount of $345,000.00 for an injured and permanently scarred plaintiff struck by a runaway eighteen-wheel tractor-trailer truck. Hein v. Luther Priester Trucking, United Stated District Court, 01-11570 RWZ, (Collings, MJ.; Zobel, J.)(Mass.2003)
  • In 2000, secured the recovery of the maximum available automobile policy limits for a girl struck and injured by a car while riding her bike. The injuries sustained left her permanently wheel-chair bound.  The Court approved the settlement.  Richard v. Ford, MICV2000-03094. (Cratsley, J.)
  • Successfully tried multiple other insurance / tort based cases as first-chair counsel to a jury in Superior Court, including but not limited to a product liability action, Santos v. Campers Inn of Raynham (Plymouth, Donovan, J.); a premises liability action, Coen v. Gleason’s Oxford Restaurant (Middlesex, Fahey, J.); a premises liability action pursuant to the Federal Employee Liability Act, Scott v. Amtrak (Suffolk, Riley, J.). Also tried cases in District Court and handled numerous cases at mediation and arbitration.