Verdicts and Settlements

Click on the links below to read about some of the many cases litigated by Rawson, Merrigan & Litner:

Type of CaseInjuries AllegedCourtSettlement/ Judgment
Products LiabilityCrush injury to forearm and handMiddlesex County Superior Court$9,000,000
Products LiabilityArm, shoulder and hand fractureHampshire Superior Court$2,100,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceTraumatic Brain InjuryPlymouth Superior Court$1,600,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceVertebrae, clavicle, rib fracture and nerve damageFranklin County Superior Court$1,100,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceMultiple bruising resulting reflex sympathetic dystrophy and post traumatic stress syndromePlymouth Superior Court$375,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceHead and brachial plexus injuriesNorfolk Superior Court$370,000
Construction Site AccidentRight carpal tunnel syndrome, left ulnar nerve entrapmentMiddlesex Superior Court$290,000
General Liability/Slip and FallFractured left distal radius and fractured humerusHampden County Superior Court$290,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceHead traumaFranklin County Superior Court$290,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceFractured femur, fractured pelvis, and right pulmonary contusionFranklin County Superior Court$260,000
Dog BiteFacial Scarring and DisfigurementMiddlesex Superior Court$250,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceFacial scarringTexas Superior Court, San Antonio, TX$225,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceFractured hipWorcester Superior Court$225,000
General Liability / NegligenceCheek fracture, infraorbital nerve damage and mouth traumaFranklin County Superior Court$195,000
Dog BiteDog bite to foreheadSettled prior to filing suit$190,000
General Liability / Snow and IceFractured and dislocated ankleSuffolk Superior Court$150,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceShoulder injury/surgeryMiddlesex Superior Court$125,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceDisc protrusion and nerve damagePlymouth Superior Court$125,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceCervical injuries and vertigoFranklin County Superior Court$123,000
General Liability / NegligenceHead traumaFederal District Court$120,000
Dog BiteFacial scarringMiddlesex Superior Court$100,000
Motor Vehicle NegligenceCervical radiculopathy and fractured teethArbitration/Alternative Dispute Resolution$75,000


Products Liability

Injuries AllegedCrush injury to forearm and hand
CourtMiddlesex County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$9,000,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff was feeding soft candy into the candy making machine when the glove on his right dominant hand became caught, thereby pulling his hand and forearm into the exposed nip points of the machine. The employer could not get the machine open to extricate the plaintiff's arm. The fire department employed the "Jaws of Life" to open the machine's rolls. The intense heat from the machine, over 300 degrees, caused extensive third degree burns and blood loss to the plaintiff's right hand and forearm.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with a crush injury and compartment syndrome to his right forearm and hand. Due to the severity and complexity of the injuries, the plaintiff was immediately transferred to the operating room for the first of eleven surgeries. After extensive medical treatment, the plaintiff's right hand and forearm were left with essentially no function. The claim was based on theories of breach of warranty for defective design and failure to warn. This products liability case was brought against the Italian manufacturer of a candy making machine, the prior owner of the machine and the U.S. distributor.

The Italian manufacturer was defaulted. A damages assessment hearing resulted in an judgment of $9 million, inclusive of interest. Claims against the other two defendants were settled for a total of $475,000.


Products Liability

Injuries AllegedArm, shoulder and hand fracture
CourtHampshire Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$2,100,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff, an employee of a Massachusetts manufacturer of plastic sheeting, was seriously injured when he became entangled in a winder designed and manufactured by the defendant. The plaintiff was hospitalized for four days. The permanent injuries sustained by the plaintiff were extraordinary. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff's left hand, arm and shoulder were crushed; the tendons and muscles in the plaintiff's arm were torn, and severed. After extensive medical treatment, the plaintiff was left with two small plates in his forearm and a large plate in his humerus. The left radial nerve running from the plaintiff's upper arm into his fingers was permanently damaged causing frequent intense pain with the slightest of contact. The client's left wrist was left with virtually no wrist movement.

After several years of litigation, the case settled at mediation for $2.1 million plus a worker's compensation settlement of $275,000.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedTraumatic Brain Injury
CourtPlymouth Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$1,600,000.00

Case Summary:
The plaintiff in this case was a college student traveling on a two lane road nearby her local college when the defendant suddenly and without warning crossed over into her establish lane of travel. The plaintiff, then aged 21, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and left femur fracture. The plaintiff received emergency care and remained inpatient for 11 days before being transported to an inpatient Rehabilitation facility. A brain MRI taken during her inpatient rehabilitation revealed a severe diffuse axonal injury. During much of the plaintiff inpatient treatment, the plaintiff was non-responsive and in a confused state. By the time of the plaintiff’s discharge from in-patient rehabilitation, the plaintiff was ambulating with supervision. The plaintiff was discharged home to the care of her parents under constant supervision. The plaintiff required intense, prolonged outpatient physical therapy to regain ambulation and to improve her cognition, behavior, motor functioning, functioning mobility and activities of daily living over time. Although the plaintiff made tremendous strides in recovery, the plaintiff continued to endure significant difficulties with the plaintiff’s memory, concentration and ability to process information. Friends and family also reported noticeable personality changes.

The plaintiff incurred approximately $239,00.00 in medical expenses and treatment spanned nearly three years. The plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries, extensive rehabilitative care, diagnostic testing, and neuropsychological testing. After an unsuccessful mediation, the case settled short of trial of $1,600,000.00.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedVertebrae, clavicle, rib fracture and nerve damage
CourtFranklin County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$1,100,000

Case Summary:
Client was chopping ice in the driveway at his home. A passing commercial motor vehicle lost control and veered off the road, striking the plaintiff and pinning him against his house. The force of the impact was so strong that the house moved several inches on its foundation. The plaintiff was hospitalized for almost two weeks with a collapsed lung, a severe break of the right clavicle, several fractured vertebrae, all right-sided ribs were fractured, 11 stitches for a deep gash in his right forearm, severe crush injury to the right arm with permanent nerve damage, and severe scarring of the right arm accompanied by an unusual tissue growth. The use of the client's right dominant hand, and upper right extremity were permanently impaired by nerve injuries resulting in loss of strength and function in his right arm and right hand.

Suit was filed immediately in the county court against the driver and his employer. Discovery revealed that the driver was under the influence of medication. The parties agreed to a stipulation of liability against the employer and the suit against the driver was dismissed. The issue was one of damages. The case went to mediation. Previously, there had been no offers. After a day long mediation, the parties were unable to resolve the case, although the mediation narrowed the gap. Approximately three weeks later, the case settled for $1.1 million.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedMultiple bruising resulting reflex sympathetic dystrophy and post traumatic stress syndrome
CourtPlymouth Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$375,000

Case Summary:
While driving on a public highway, the Client was struck from behind by another vehicle. She was treated and released that same day by a local emergency room. She suffered bruises on the inside of her knees, upper arms and chest, ribs, back, as well as the front of her left shin. She also developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in her left leg and back and had to walk with a cane in order to be able to get around. The plaintiff was unable to stand or sit in one position for any length of time as standing caused swelling and severe pain. Since the accident, she suffered from anxiety attacks caused by Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The defendant heavily contested the extent of the client’s injuries and disability. The client’s medical bills totaled $12,000. The highest offer prior to mediation was $12,000. Suit was filed in Plymouth Superior Court. Following the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed to submit the claim to Mediation just prior to the scheduled trial date. At mediation the case was settled for $375,000.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedHead and brachial plexus injuries
CourtNorfolk Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$370,000

Case Summary:
This 19-year-old client was a pedestrian in a crosswalk on a public street. The client entered the roadway at the crosswalk and stopped at the centerline because unidentified vehicles traveling east failed to yield to him in the crosswalk. He remained trapped at the centerline waiting for traffic to stop when a pickup truck traveling west into the crosswalk operated by Defendant 1 struck him. Defendant 1 passed a Jeep operated by Defendant 2, which was turning right at the crosswalk as the pickup passed. After impact with Defendant 1’s vehicle, client was thrown into the opposite lane of travel before being struck by a second motor vehicle traveling east operated by Defendant 3. Client was dragged approximately fifty feet along the roadway by the Defendant 3’s vehicle. Defendant 2 never struck the client. It was alleged that all Defendants were negligent for failing to stop before the crosswalk. Liability was hotly contested by all defendants except by Defendant 1, who struck client first. Thus, it was necessary to file suit.

As a direct result of the accident, client sustained horrific injuries which necessitated emergency, life-saving care followed by multiple surgical procedures and extensive rehabilitation. Said injuries included a subdural hematoma, a cerebral contusion, brain swelling, a left-sided pneumothorax, multiple facial fractures, multiple facial and back abrasions, left orbit fracture with cranial nerve palsy, left brachial plexus injury, a left tripod fracture, and multiple scarring to the head, face, arms, hands, and back. Furthermore, he was left with no use of his left arm due to a brachial plexus nerve injury. After we engaged an Accident Reconstructionist to reconstruct the accident scene and full discovery by all the parties was completed this case was mediated and settled for $370,000. This settlement represented all of the insurance proceeds of Defendant 1 who bore 99% of the responsibility for this accident and the majority of the insurance proceeds available to our client who did not want to pursue claims against any of the remaining defendants personally.


Construction Site Accident

Injuries AllegedRight carpal tunnel syndrome, left ulnar nerve entrapment
CourtMiddlesex Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$290,000

Case Summary:
The client was a 31-year-old employee of a waterproofing company who was injured when the jackhammer he was operating struck a live electric wire which was embedded in concrete topping on the third level of a parking garage in Boston, Massachusetts. The waterproofing company was a subcontractor to the general contractor on the project. The general contractor was under contract with the owner of the garage to make major renovations and repairs to the garage.

The client was admitted overnight immediately after the accident at Brigham & Woman’s Hospital. He was released the following day after all x-rays were negative and examinations revealed no burn injuries. Subsequently, he underwent two surgeries for right carpal tunnel syndrome. An additional surgery was performed for a left ulnar nerve entrapment. He underwent physical therapy and work-hardening programs at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Medford, Massachusetts. His symptoms included a lack of range of motion in his hands, weakness, burning sensation, and numbness. The accident also limited his ability to effectuate meaningful care and affection for his wife and daughter. He was considered totally disabled for 17 months, during which time he received Workers’ Compensation benefits in the amount of $72,339.63. The client returned to full employment duties after 18 months. Ultimately, a Settlement was reached 1 week prior to trial after nearly 3-1/2 years of litigation in order to prepare this case for trial it was necessary to hire and procure testimony on the behalf of our client from experts in commercial construction, electrical engineering, economics and orthopedic surgery.


General Liability/Slip and Fall

Injuries allegedFractured left distal radius and fractured humerus
CourtHampden County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$290,000

Case Summary:
The Plaintiff was a 43-year-old non-English-speaking Russian immigrant who was a self-employed wood carver. The Plaintiff was helping a relative carry a roll of carpet down a flight of stairs when he lost his footing and tumbled down approximately twelve stairs to the landing below. The stairway itself was lined with a one-piece strip of carpet that had been fastened to the stairway by the owner of the building. While descending the stairway, and holding the rolled up carpet, the plaintiff’s foot slipped on the carpet beneath him which he alleges was not properly fastened to the stairway itself. As a result, the Plaintiff alleged that the carpet beneath his foot became folded and wrinkled, thereby causing him to be thrown forward and down the stairs. The Plaintiff underwent emergency surgical intervention, as well as several other surgical procedures following his accident. Although the Plaintiff was not employed at the time, he alleged that his ability to earn wages as a wood carver was adversely affected by the injury, which was to his non-dominant hand. A lawsuit was filed against the property owner for failure to maintain the stairway, by allowing the stairway carpeting to become torn, unsecured, and loose, thereby creating a tripping and/or slipping hazard for which the Defendant knew or should have known about. The homeowner’s insurer defended on the grounds of liability in light of the circumstances surrounding plaintiff’s accident. After a failed Mediation, the parties continued to negotiate and the case was resolved prior to trial.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries allegedHead trauma
CourtFranklin County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$290,000

Case Summary:
The Plaintiff was a thirty-year-old passenger in a motor vehicle, which was traveling on a Massachusetts Interstate highway. The Plaintiff’s vehicle came to a complete stop due to construction in the roadway, at which time his vehicle was struck in the rear by a flatbed truck with an attached and loaded trailer. The force of the impact pushed the Plaintiff’s vehicle forward into the rear of a stopped tractor-trailer truck. The Plaintiff was transported by ambulance to the emergency room where he was treated for contusions, lacerations, and head trauma. Following a course of emergency room care, Plaintiff was discharged. A lawsuit was eventually filed against the operator of the motor vehicle, which struck the rear of the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Although liability was not contested, the insurer did contest the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. The Plaintiff did not miss any time from work, except for physical therapy appointments. His medical bills totaled $11,760, consisting mostly of physical therapy, diagnostic testing, and emergency room services. After a failed Mediation, negotiations continued and the case was resolved prior to trial.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries allegedFractured femur, fractured pelvis, and right pulmonary contusion
CourtFranklin County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$260,000

Case Summary:
The Plaintiff was a seventeen-year-old driver of a motor vehicle that swerved to avoid a vehicle in front of her which braked suddenly to make a U-turn on Interstate 91 in Deerfield, Massachusetts. In so doing, the Plaintiff swerved to the right, lost control of her vehicle, at which time her vehicle swerved back to the left, entered the downward slope into the median, and rolled over several times. The Plaintiff was ejected from the vehicle. The Plaintiff was hospitalized for seven days with a fractured femur, fractured pelvis, and a right pulmonary contusion. The Plaintiff underwent two surgeries, which necessitated the insertion, and the eventual removal, of a plate and screws to stabilize her fractured femur. Following her discharge from the hospital, the Plaintiff underwent months of physical therapy, several months of being unable to work, and several weeks missed from school. Her medical bills and lost wages totaled approximately $70,000.00. The lawsuit was filed in Franklin County Superior Court against the Defendant, an out-of-state resident, who was unfamiliar with the roadway upon which he was traveling. The Defendant realized he was traveling in the wrong direction and attempted to make a U-turn to change directions. Not expecting such a maneuver, the Plaintiff failed to see what was taking place and at the last minute swerved to the right to avoid striking the Defendant in the rear. The Plaintiff was prepared to take the case all the way to trial, but the defendant/insurer asked for an opportunity to try to resolve the plaintiff’s case through Mediation. After a lengthy Mediation, the Plaintiff’s case was settled for what was considered the full value of her damages.


Dog Bite/ Facial Scarring

Injuries allegedFacial Scarring and Disfigurement
CourtMiddlesex Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$250,000

Case Summary:
This case arose from an incident at the plaintiff’s home. The defendant arrived at the plaintiff’s home along with the defendant’s full size Pit Bull which was leashed and muzzled. While the dog was muzzled the dog appeared playful and friendly. At some point, the defendant took the muzzle off the dog and assured the plaintiff the dog was safe. The plaintiff engaged in a game of fetch with the dog using a stick as a toy. After throwing the stick and the dog returning it to the plaintiff multiple times, the plaintiff reached down to pick up the stick again when he was unexpectedly jumped on and thrown to the ground by the dog. While the plaintiff was on the ground, the dog viciously attacked the plaintiff biting and mauling the plaintiff’s face.
The plaintiff sustained extensive facial injuries including severe facial lacerations, cuts, and disfigurement. The attack specifically resulted in a two to three inch portion of the plaintiff’s face with partial, removed, detached, and missing skin. The plaintiff further sustained injuries to facial muscles and nerves. The plaintiff was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and received emergency medical care. Despite efficient medical treatment, the plaintiff remained with extensive facial scarring.
The plaintiff incurred medical bills of approximately $3,500.00 and lost wages of approximately $1,500.00. The case settled at mediation for $250,000.00.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedFacial scarring
CourtTexas Superior Court, San Antonio, TX
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$225,000

Case Summary:
Our client was a nine-year-old girl traveling as a passenger in a van during a recreational outing on a roadway in Texas. The van was struck in an intersection during a driving rainstorm. As a result of the impact, the client, who was not secured by a safety belt, was ejected from the van onto the roadway. The child was transported from the scene via ambulance for emergency evaluation. She was found to have sustained multiple lacerations to her face, scalp and upper and lower extremities. Emergency surgical intervention was performed to address the facial lacerations. Fortunately, she sustained no significant injuries beyond the lacerations. Professional photographs were obtained at various intervals following the accident. Claims were directed against the insurers of the respective involved vehicles, any and all excess liability carriers as well as the client’s parents’ underinsured home policy. The respective insurers defended on the grounds of liability for the accident in light of inclement weather conditions together with their position that the claimant had made a significant recovery and that her scars had greatly improved. After extensive negotiation and discussion, the case resolved for the maximum amount of insurance coverage available. The significant portion of the proceeds was placed into a structured settlement to fund the client’s college education and beyond.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedFractured hip
CourtWorcester Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$225,000

Case Summary:
Our client was a 76-year-old passenger in her daughter’s vehicle. The Defendant made a left-turn across a two-way road causing a T-bone collision. As a result of the forceful impact, the client sustained a fractured right hip necessitating surgical intervention. She incurred medical bills approximating $40,000 and lost wages from her part-time job of approximately $1,500. A lawsuit was filed in Worcester Superior Court. The Defendant argued that liability does not fully rest with him and also asserted that the value of the client’s claim was modest in light of her advanced age. An orthopedic surgeon was retained and planned to testify as to the permanency of our client’s injuries. Beyond the financial affect of the accident and her physical injuries, we focused on the emotional effect the accident and the limitations of mobility cast upon her. At the time of the accident, our client’s husband resided at a nursing home in declining health. The accident and resulting injuries caused her to miss out on many of the final visits she would have had with her spouse prior to his passing. The case settled following our Motion for Speedy Trial.


General Liability / Negligence

Injuries AllegedCheek fracture, infraorbital nerve damage and
mouth trauma
CourtFranklin County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$195,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff was riding her bicycle on a public street, when dogs owned by the defendants attacked her. Although the dogs were not overtly vicious, they were unrestrained, running at, barking, chasing and accosting the plaintiff. They were at her heels and feet, and running in and around her tires and her bike. One of the dogs ran about the plaintiff's bicycle, barking aggressively, terrifying the plaintiff. As the plaintiff attempted to escape, the dogs persisted, causing the plaintiff to fall to the ground where she struck her face hard against the pavement. The plaintiff was initially treated at the emergency room where she presented with trauma to the right eye and cheek. The plaintiff underwent intensive surgery with a plate and 4 screws in the plaintiff's right cheek to repair the fracture. The plaintiff required five front teeth root canals and several crowns as a result of trauma to her teeth. The plaintiff also treated with a neurologist who opined that the cycling accident produced the plaintiff's cervical pain due to disc impingement.

At mediation, the plaintiff agreed to a settlement of $195,000. There were no offers prior to mediation.


Dog Bite

Injuries AllegedDog bite to forehead
Settled prior to filing suit
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$190,000

Case Summary:
The client, age 4, sustained injuries arising out of a dog attack. The client sustained a laceration about the forehead and scalp. Following emergency evaluation, he underwent extensive debridement and repair of a facial laceration. Upon reaching a medical end result, he suffered no discomfort or pain as a result of the healing scars. Medical bills totaled $937. This case was resolved in 11 months prior to suit.


General Liability / Snow and Ice

Injuries AllegedFractured and dislocated ankle
CourtSuffolk Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$150,000

Case Summary:
Our client walked into a video store in Everett, Massachusetts accompanied by her two preteen children. It was a typical New England winter day with subfreezing temperatures. Precipitation in the form of snow and freezing rain had been falling over the previous days and on the morning of the subject incident. At approximately 5:45 p.m., our client followed her two sons out the exterior front door of the video store onto a concrete landing. The surface of the landing was a complete sheet of ice. Her feet went up into the air and she landed on her right leg and ankle. We obtained evidence that the door opened outward making it impossible for our client to hold on to the railing as she made her steps onto the landing. The layout of the premises required her to walk out onto the icy landing beyond the opened door to grab on to the railing. Photographs of the premises revealed an absence of a central railing between the double doors and merely depicted railings at opposite ends of the wide landing. As a result of this incident, our client sustained a fracture and dislocation of the right ankle necessitating surgery. The insurer for the video store and the strip mall denied liability asserting that the injuries were caused by a natural accumulation of snow and ice. We filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court and retained the services of a professional engineer to conduct an evaluation of the locus to render an opinion with respect to the cause of the fall. Deposition testimony during the litigation from a supervisor of the video store also bolstered our client’s case with respect to the store’s failure to obtain rock salt as the store had run out allegedly hours prior to the incident. Just prior to the setting of a trial date, the parties participated in a mediation. To set forth her case on liability, we presented the witness depositions, the opinions of the forensic engineer, the contractual responsibilities spelled out in the lease between the store and the strip mall owner and produced sections of the State Sanitary and Building Codes respecting landowner responsibilities to prevent the accumulation of water and ice on exterior landings. The Defendants, in turn relied heavily on the weather of the day and argued that our client herself was negligent with respect to her awareness of the icy conditions and her failure to adequately protect herself from a known risk. After a lengthy mediation session, the parties reached settlement at mediation for $150,000.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries allegedShoulder injury/surgery
CourtMiddlesex Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$125,000

Case Summary:
The Plaintiff was a 33-year-old woman traveling in stop and go traffic on Route 128 when the Defendant struck her vehicle in the rear. The Plaintiff did not seek any medical attention until later that day when she presented to her primary care physician with complaints of pain to her cervical area. She underwent chiropractic care and physical therapy for injuries primarily isolated to her cervical spine. Over time, the Plaintiff continued to complain of pain that traveled from her cervical spine into her shoulder. She was eventually referred for a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon who evaluated her and recommended surgery. Approximately one year post accident, the plaintiff underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery involving a subacromion decompression and excision of the distal clavicle. The Plaintiff missed approximately two weeks of work following her surgery. Although liability was not contested, the nature and extent of the Plaintiff’s injuries was heavily scrutinized by the Defendant’s insurer. The Defendant was prepared to testify that the traffic was stop and go, and that the impact to the rear of the Plaintiff’s vehicle was not substantial. The Defendant was also prepared to testify that both he and the Plaintiff waited for the State Police to arrive for over an hour and the Plaintiff did not complain of any injuries whatsoever. The Plaintiff underwent an MRI of the shoulder, which raised the question of a tear of the left anterior labrum. A subsequent arthrogram MRI did not reveal any such tear, nor was there a tear in the rotator cuff, or any portion of the labrum. The Defendant’s expert was expected to testify regarding said findings, as well as the surgery itself, which in his opinion did not appear to be necessitated by any traumatic injury. Rather, it was the opinion of the Defendant’s expert that the Plaintiff’s symptoms were primarily due to degenerative changes, which were successfully treated with the surgery performed post-accident. Approximately one month prior to trial, the parties attended Mediation, which failed miserably. Thus, the Plaintiff was prepared for trial. Due to a scheduling conflict, defense counsel filed an Assented to Motion to continue the trial, which was denied. The trial was scheduled to start the following Monday. The parties reached a settlement agreement in the amount of $125,000.00 during the day on the Friday before trial.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedDisc protrusion and nerve damage
CourtPlymouth Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$125,000

Case Summary:
The client, in a motor vehicle, was at a complete stop behind two vehicles at a red light. After being stopped for approximately 5 to 10 seconds, he was forcefully struck in the rear. After leaving the scene and later reporting for medical treatment, he was diagnosed with a strained neck and back as a result of the motor vehicle accident. An MRI demonstrated a left-sided herniated disk. Surgery was performed to treat for a herniated disc. The client returned to full duties as a laborer after 3 months post surgery. The liability insurer contested the nature and extent of the plaintiff's injuries as well as the causal relationship to the motor vehicle accident. An independent evaluation by an orthopedic doctor diagnosed the client with chronic thoracolumbar muscle strain and herniated disc. He further opined that said diagnoses were causally related to the motor vehicle accident. The highest offer received was $38,803. Suit was filed in Plymouth Superior Court. Following the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed to submit the claim to Binding Arbitration. After both parties presented all of the evidence at an arbitration hearing, the Arbitrator awarded damages in the amount of $125,500.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedCervical injuries and Vertigo
CourtFranklin County Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement$123,000

Case Summary:
The Plaintiff was a 45-year-old driver of a motor vehicle, which was struck in the rear by the Defendant’s vehicle and forced into a vehicle that was parked on the side of the road. The Plaintiff was transported to the emergency room by ambulance where she was treated primarily for complaints of cervical pain. Upon discharge, the Plaintiff’s cervical pain worsened and she began to experience the onset of headaches, lightheadedness, and symptoms of vertigo. Over the following two-year period, the Plaintiff underwent numerous consultations with her primary care physician who prescribed a CT scan of the head and a cervical MRI, both of which appeared normal. Nevertheless, the plaintiff continued to suffer considerable physical pain as well as anxiety, apprehension, and sleep deprivation, which she attributed to the subject accident. She underwent a course of treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome. Further, in an attempt to effectuate a cure for her physical injuries, the Plaintiff tried a number of treatment alternatives, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, a neurological consultation, and a consultation with a physiatrist. Due to her complex presentation, the plaintiff was referred by her treading physiatrist to a pain management specialist. The Plaintiff underwent a number of cervical facet injections which did alleviate her pain, but only on a temporary basis. Her treating pain doctor was prepared to testify that the plaintiff suffered from a permanent, irreversible condition, which in his opinion was clearly related to the subject motor vehicle accident. He was also prepared to testify that the Plaintiff should consider changing her occupation, which was that of a physical education teacher. The Plaintiff missed approximately 56 days from her occupation and she incurred medical expenses totaling approximately $42,000. The parties agreed to arbitrate the matter prior to trial.


General Liability / Negligence

Injuries AllegedHead trauma
CourtFederal District Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$120,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff, then 81 years old, went to a big box department store to pick up a prescription. While in the store, the plaintiff was abruptly cut-off by a hurried store employee. As the employee intersected with the plaintiff's path immediately in front of the plaintiff, the plaintiff immediately rose upward before falling backwards. When the plaintiff fell, he hit his head hard on the floor and blood came from his ear.

An ambulance was summoned and the plaintiff was taken to the hospital where he remained in ICU for six days, after which, he was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Center where he remained until he died on March 11, 2006. Although on the day of his fall, the plaintiff had many health problems, he was very active and ambulatory. After his fall, the plaintiff never regained full consciousness. It was the opinion of the defendant's medical expert that the plaintiff was in very poor health, had fallen previously and that his vital signs on admission to the hospital were consistent with a fall and demise from natural causes.

At mediation, the case settled for $120,000.


Dog Bite

Injuries AllegedFacial scarring
CourtMiddlesex Superior Court
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$100,000

Case Summary:
Our client was a seven-year-old girl who was scratched and bit about the face by a dog while she was lawfully playing in the common area of her residential condominium complex. She received facial lacerations to her right cheek and to her right jaw line/neck area along with multiple scrapes to the left side of her chin. The lacerations resulted in permanent yet non-obvious scarring to the affected areas. Massachusetts law dictates that the owner of said dog was strictly liable under M.G.L. c. 140, §155 to our client. However, the dog owner rented his condominium unit, was not insured and was essentially insolvent. As the attack occurred within the common areas of the property while the dog was tethered to a stake, we focused our investigation into the dog’s frequency in said location as well as into the history of violent/aggressive behavior predating the attack on our client. We were able to obtain significant evidence, through extensive discovery, that the owner of the unit where the dog resided knew of the dog’s presence and knew or should have known of the propensity for aggressive behavior. Furthermore, we looked into the condominium complexes knowledge of the dog’s presence within the common area and the specific by-laws pertaining to pets on the property. By setting forth allegation, through obtained evidence, we presented a colorable argument that the unit owner and condominium complex were jointly liable for negligent conduct in relation to the dog so as to become liable in negligence for the consequent injuries to our client. Following settlements with the representatives for the unit owner and then the condominium complex, we obtained an award from the presiding Middlesex Superior Court Justice in the amount of $100,000.


Motor Vehicle Negligence

Injuries AllegedCervical radiculopathy and fractured teeth
CourtArbitration/Alternative Dispute Resolution
Amount (Judgment or Settlement)$75,000

Case Summary:
Our client was a 26-year-old electrician who was the restrained operator of his pick-up heading home just after midnight after watching a football game with friends at local pub. As he traveled around the bend of a windy roadway, he was struck head-on by a vehicle which crossed the centerline. Our client was transported to the emergency room with chief complaints of significant pain about his mouth and neck. The attending physician noted that tooth #9 appeared fractured. A history of the subject motor vehicle accident was taken along with the past medical history of a serious fractured right wrist and two thoracic spine fractures resulting from a prior motor vehicle accident seven years earlier. In addition to dental care including route canals, pour client as a result of the subject accident underwent chiropractic care and physical therapy. He also partook in a personal exercise regimen. In deference to his dedication to his business, he refused to stay out of work despite the nature of his injuries. The liability insurer for the adverse vehicle initially was unwilling to present a reasonable offer. However, after demanding the payment of the policy limits of their insured together with notice of our intention to file suit and seek damages including those available under M.G.L. 93A, the insurer tendered the policy limits of $20,000. We then presented an underinsured claim pursuant to our client’s personal automobile policy. Said insurer presented an offer of $5,000 to settle which was summarily rejected. The claim proceeded to arbitration. Counsel for the insurer presented arguments at the hearing respecting relatively modest amount of care our client received following the emergency room visit, the lack of any objective evidence of musculoskeletal injury, the causal effect of our client’s prior trauma on his claimed injuries and the fact that our client did not miss any time from work as a result of the accident. We, in turn, set forth our position as to the serious and chronic nature of our client’s injuries and focused upon his character and dedication to his business taking precedence over his ability to obtain necessary and time-consuming treatment. Following the hearing, the arbitrator found in favor of our client and issued a total award in the amount of $75,000.