Articles Tagged with Wrongful Death

Sadly, home explosions sometimes occur in which people are killed. Careful investigations of cause can be very important when it comes to fatal home explosions. Many different things can lead to home explosions occurring, including: fuel leaks, chemical reactions, defective electrical equipment and misconduct by gas/energy workers or companies. What legal options the family of a person killed in a Massachusetts home explosion has can very quite a bit depending on what an explosion’s cause was. Personal injury attorneys can look into the circumstances around a fatal explosion for the families of victims and can explore potential options for seeking relief.

Recently, a lawsuit was brought in another state in relation to a fatal home explosion.

On June 11, 2013 a home in Texas exploded. A 65-year-old woman who was a resident of the home, her 55-year-old sister-in-law and the sister-in-law’s young grandson were at the house at the time of the explosion. The two women were fatally injured in the explosion and the young boy suffered serious burn injuries.

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Sometimes, Massachusetts businesses will hire security personnel for their premises. The presence of such personnel can be of great help in protecting patron safety. However, when businesses fail to take proper steps to ensure that security guards that they have hired act properly in their interactions with patrons, there is the potential that such personnel could actually put the safety of individuals at risk. Fatalities can sometimes even result from improper conduct by security guards at a business.

A wrongful death case has recently arisen involving alleged actions by security guards. The case involves a mall in another state, Michigan.

One day, a scuffle occurred between security guards at the mall and a man who purportedly had gotten into some altercations at a mall jewelry store.

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There are many different types of misconduct by dump truck drivers that can cause accidents to occur. One is failure by the driver of a dump truck to take proper steps to prevent the objects their truck is carrying in its bed from being at risk of falling out. Accidents caused by objects that fell out of a vehicle, such as a dump truck, while the vehicle was traveling on a road sometimes have deadly results.

Recently, a fatal auto accident occurred in Massachusetts involving a mattress. According to authorities, last Tuesday afternoon in Burlington, a car and a pickup truck that were traveling on Interstate 95 got into a crash with each other. In the accident, the driver of the car was fatally injured and the driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries. According to authorities, the crash was caused by a mattress that was on the freeway.

How did the mattress end up on the freeway? Authorities suspect that the mattress fell out of a dump truck. According to authorities, the dump truck kept going after the mattress fell out. According to the article on CBS Boston’s website which reported on the accident, police are in the process of trying to find the dump truck.

As this collision illustrates, there are many different ways that fatal motor vehicle accidents can occur. Personal injury attorneys can investigate the causes of a given fatal traffic accident and can help the accident victim’s family determine what parties can/should be held responsible for the crash.

Source: CBS Boston, “Mattress Causes Deadly Crash On I-95 South In Burlington,” Jan. 28, 2014

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After living for an entire year at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center located in Northbridge, a 58-year-old dialysis patient got the news that she was going home. She wasn’t just leaving the facility, she was returning to a home where her husband and her two children waited.

When the day came, the patient’s stretcher was loaded onto the ambulance and pulled away from the nursing center. Ready for their wife and mother to return home, the family was shocked when they learned that she wouldn’t be coming home at all. The family was notified that the ambulance that was transporting her home was involved in an accident.

According to the Milford police, the driver of a Mercedes-Benz failed to stop at a stop sign on Route 140. When the Mercedes went through the intersection, it struck the ambulance with such force that the large vehicle flipped over, rolling upside down once and then right side up again. The ambulance stopped moving when it hit the guardrail lining the roadway.

During the accident, both the woman and a paramedic were tossed about in the back of the vehicle. The paramedic survived the accident with non-life-threatening injuries, but the woman’s proved to be fatal. Police said that it appeared as though the woman’s stretcher had “come loose” when the vehicle flipped over.

The victim’s family has said that they are “going to miss her.” It is a statement that likely doesn’t describe what they are feeling in this time. It isn’t just the medical bills or lost wages that a wrongful death lawsuit helps cover. It can’t bring a person back into a family’s life, but it can help compensate them for the loss of companionship and uncertainty created by the fatal incident.

Source: Boston Herald, “Patient killed in ambulance accident,” John Zaremba, Jan. 22, 2014

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Large machinery is a common sight at industrial plants. Workplace accidents involving such machinery can be catastrophic. One thing that can lead to such accidents occurring is failure by a company that runs a plant to comply with applicable safety standards when it comes to the machinery at the plant. Thus, it is incredibly important for companies with industrial plants here in Massachusetts to keep appraised of what safety standards apply to the machinery at their plants and to follow such standards.

Recently, a fatal industrial accident involving a piece of large machinery occurred here in Massachusetts.

The accident happened at a New Bedford seafood processing plant last Thursday while an employee of the plant who was working the night shift was cleaning a piece of machinery. The piece of machinery in question was a shellfish-shucking machine. According to authorities, the employee, a 35-year-old man, became caught in an engine in the machine and this resulted in him dying.

This fatal accident is under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. One of the things OSHA will be looking into is whether the company which runs the plant followed applicable safety standards when it came to the shellfish-shucking machine. The company has had safety violations issued against it by OSHA in the past.

Fatal industrial accidents can have vast impacts on the families of the victims. Families of individuals killed in an industrial accident may wonder whether they can take any actions to seek relief in relation to the accident, such as bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Experienced personal injury attorneys can review the details of fatal workplace accidents and go over potential relief-seeking options with the families of victims.

Source:, “Man dies in shucking machine accident at New Bedford seafood plant,” Maria Sacchetti and Catalina Gaitan, Jan. 17, 2014 

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Many people here in Massachusetts will be traveling this holiday season. One thing that holiday traveling sometimes involves is a stay at a hotel.

There are many different amenities hotels provide their patrons. Some hotels have swimming pools or fitness facilities available for guest use. Such amenities are meant to be of benefit to guests. However, when hotels fail to take proper steps to ensure that these amenities are safe for guests, these amenities can actually end up causing a great deal of harm. Failure by hotels to act properly in relation to the facilities they give guests access to can sometimes even have deadly consequences.

Recently, a wrongful death case involving a hotel has come up in another state.

The hotel the case involves is in Houston, Texas. One day, a patron of the hotel fell while he was using a treadmill that was in an exercise room in the hotel, according to the family of the patron. The patron’s family says that the patron suffered a severe head injury in the fall and that this injury ended up being fatal.

The patron’s family alleges that the fall occurred because the treadmill contained a dangerous and defective condition. They claim that the hotel failed to take proper steps to address this condition.

The family of the patron is suing the hotel in relation to the fatal accident. Also named as a defendant in the family’s lawsuit is a company that the family says was responsible for maintaining the treadmill.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Family asserts defect in hotel treadmill caused man’s fatal head injury,” John Suayan, Dec. 23, 2013

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When people lose loved ones in fatal accidents, Massachusetts law allows them to hold negligent parties accountable for wrongful death. This generally means that if a fatal accident is caused by another person’s act of irresponsibility, it may be possible for a victim’s loved ones to obtain compensation for funeral expenses, lost source of income and pain and suffering, among other things.

For example, a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kraft Group, the business empire of the owner of the New England Patriots, was settled earlier this month.

That wrongful death claim stemmed from the tragic drunk-driving related death of a 20-year-old Milton woman.

The young woman and her 19-year-old friend were both killed in a car accident in 2008 after drinking in the parking lot outside of Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium during the New England Country Music Festival. The car accident took place when they left the stadium, with the 19-year-old behind the wheel. 

Another young woman who was also in the car survived.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, the 20-year-old victim’s father filed a wrongful death action against the Kraft Group, claiming that it failed in its duty to police the parking lot for underage drinkers and those tailgating without tickets.

A settlement was reached in the case outside of court, and no details of that settlement have been released publicly.

As is seen in this case, wrongful death actions are important not only so that a victim’s surviving loved ones are not financial burdened by their loss, but also in order to expose dangerous situations. Hopefully, in the aftermath of this case, the parking lots at Gillette will be better secured to prevent additional tragedies.

Source: Boston Herald, “Davis, Kraft settle wrongful death suit,” Laurel J. Sweet, Nov. 5, 2013

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Even though the following accident did not happen here in Boston, Massachusetts, it illustrates the dangers that Bostonians face every day on the crowded streets and winding roads of the city.

A man in New Hampshire was walking around the town of Hampton recently when he was struck by a car, suffering serious injuries. He was hospitalized, but eventually the 57-year-old succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the at-fault vehicle, a 29-year-old woman, was arrested after the accident on suspicion of driving under the influence — though it was not made clear what intoxicant was in the woman’s system.

The woman’s drunk driving charge has “aggravated driving: attached to it, demonstrating the extreme negligence she showed by being out on the road, let alone operating the vehicle in a reckless fashion. She will face some very serious consequences in criminal court.

However, that may not be the only legal action to come against her in the next few weeks or months. The loved ones of the deceased 57-year-old man may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the young woman for her irresponsible and negligent acts.

In the wake of a tragedy, a wrongful death lawsuit may not be the thing that mourning loved ones want to think about. However, in some cases, it can be the only way to obtain a small sense of justice over the incident. It’s not about the money — it’s about holding negligent people responsible for their actions and achieving justice for your loved one.

Source: Associated Press, “NH woman accused of DWI in fatal crash,” Oct. 16, 2013

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Believe it or not, hockey season is upon us. As thousands of Boston Bruins fans flood the TD Garden to watch hard slap shots and even harder hits, some may be reminded of the recent brain injury lawsuits that were settled between the National Football League and thousand of former players.

After all, football players aren’t the only ones who have suffered numerous concussions as a result of their profession.

In fact, there have been many professional hockey players who have fallen victim to the same types of brain injuries that were at issue in the lawsuits against the NFL. The question is, will these injured hockey players follow football’s lead and sue their league?

According to the personal injury lawyer who filed the first brain injury lawsuit against the NFL, it’s possible.

“Medically and scientifically, the similarities are there,” the attorney said. “Legally, there may be distinctions that are tougher and easier.”

For example, the lawsuits against the NFL were based on the argument that NFL officials knew for decades that multiple concussions were putting players at risk but failed to do anything to keep the players safe. It is unlikely that the NHL could be accused of the same thing as the league has been proactively addressing head injuries for decades.

Even so, 2011 saw the deaths of three well-known NHL enforcers –Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak — all of whom had conditions consistent with post-concussion syndrome. Rypien and Belak took their own lives and Boogaard suffered an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers.

Boogaard’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL, blaming the league for the brain injuries Boogaard suffered as well as failing to treat the player for an obvious addiction to painkillers.

At this point, it doesn’t look like any additional players or their families will join in on the lawsuit like thousands of former football players did after the first claim was filed against the NFL. However, only time will tell.

Source: Assocaited Press, “Like NFL, former NHL players may sue, but unlikely,” Dan Gelston, Sept. 30, 2013

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A once in a lifetime experience turned into a deadly encounter for a longtime New England Patriots fan in September 2010.

The Massachusetts man and his young son — who is named after former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi — were among the first fans to arrive at Gillette Stadium for the home opener when game officials invited the son to take photos and run on the field before the game started.

However, according to a lawsuit filed by the man’s wife, a security guard confronted the man about his son’s presence on the field, and because of stress caused by that confrontation, the man returned to his seat and suffered a fatal heart attack.

Last month, the man’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her son against the National Football League and three other parties, including the security guard who confronted her husband.

The lawsuit states that the security guard ” inappropriately and unnecessarily” confronted the man and his son in a “harsh, unprofessional, confrontational, disrespectful and antagonistic manner.”

The confrontation, which lasted longer than 15 minutes, resulted in “agitation and stress” that contributed to the man’s fatal heart attack, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit blames the defendants, who also include the operator of Gillette Stadium and the stadium’s security provider, for negligently failing to properly train and supervise the security guard and failing to provide a safe sporting venue for fans.

The lawsuit, which suggests that a “relationship between stress and sudden death has long been recognized,” seeks more than $10 million in damages.

When a person is killed as a result of negligence in Massachusetts, his or her family may be entitled to damages. The plaintiffs in these cases carry the burden of proving that negligence did, in fact, adequately contribute to the death.

Source: The Republican, “Kimberly Chartier of Chicopee sues New England Patriots, NFL, in wake of husband’s fatal heart attack in 2010 at Foxborough,” Buffy Spencer, Aug. 20, 2013

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