How can a homeowner’s liability vary based on the visitor?

Homeowners are often liable for the injuries that take place on their property. There are some exceptions, though, especially when it comes to the type of visitor on the property. There are three types of visitors who could be in a home: invitees, trespassers, and licensees. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that people who enter the property are not subject to preventable safety hazards. For instance, if the homeowner invites a person onto the property and he trips on damaged walkways, the homeowner could be held liable for his injuries. Why? Because it was his responsibility to keep Continue Reading

Ski lift accident injures 7, shakes up Massachusetts family

Skiing can be risky, which may be the reason some Boston residents like it. Most participants probably expect they’ll at least reach the top of a ski slope or mountain safely before encountering any problems.That wasn’t the case for several recent visitors to a New England ski resort. Sugarloaf officials blamed a malfunctioning gear box for the failure of braking systems on the King Pine quad chairlift. The lift chairs moved backward 450 feet before a technician used an emergency brake to stop them. Seven people were hurt and three were hospitalized. A Massachusetts man was among the terrified skiers Continue Reading

Can a government be named in a Boston premises liability claim?

At one time, sovereign immunity laws provided full protection for governments against civil claims. The federal government and each state government still maintain sovereign immunity laws, but revised legislation added exceptions to the original rules. In some cases, under certain circumstances, governments can be held accountable for accidents resulting in personal injuries and wrongful deaths. There are no uniform nationwide standards for government immunity in premises liability cases. Immunity laws are state specific. In Massachusetts, for example, local governments may be liable forsnow or ice-related injuries or defects on public property, provided a plaintiff can show the defendant was negligent. Continue Reading

Property owner negligence in Boston premises liability cases

Boston home and business owners are obligated to maintain properties to prevent employee and visitor injuries. Premises liability claims argue property owners are responsible for visitors’ injuries caused by unsafe conditions like inadequate security or lighting, wet floors and icy sidewalks. An owner, operator, occupier – in many cases, an occupier is a tenant — or third party can be blamed for negligence when a customer is injured, by slipping on an untreated icy patch or tripping over an unrepaired pothole in a parking lot. Property owners have been accused of failing to provide proper security to prevent an assault. Continue Reading

How defendant inactions influence a premises liability claim

Boston residents visit commercial establishments daily. Visitors assume places they frequent are safely maintained. Massachusetts property owners are responsible for meeting that reasonable standard to prevent accidents. Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, but injuries happen for different reasons. Sometimes, visitors can be faulted for engaging in risky behaviors, like texting while walking or running in inappropriate footwear. However, business owners and operators are required to try to prevent as many accidents as they can, even if they can’t avert them all. The time for preventive actions begins before dangerous property conditions exist is built. For example, health Continue Reading

Lawsuit filed over Boston sports park elevator fall

It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes commitment to operate a venue as large as Boston’s Fenway Park. Massachusetts property owners and operators are responsible for keeping residences and businesses of every size in reasonably safe condition to prevent visitor injuries. A woman who was seriously injured after tumbling down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park in May, recently filed a premises liability claim. The defendants included Otis Elevator Company, a servicing contractor and Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox. The lawsuit alleged negligence caused the 22-year-old woman’s injuries. The victim suffered internal contusions, a traumatic brain Continue Reading

Premises liability and winter weather

Colder temperatures are moving in, and soon Massachusetts residents will see the first hint of the winter to come. While everyone knows that snow can make for treacherous driving conditions, it can also mean slippery walking surfaces and an increased risk of injuries from falls. If you or someone you know is injured after falling on an icy patch outside of a home or business, you may have legal options to pursue monetary compensation for medical expenses or other losses. Under Massachusetts law, home and business owners have the responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure that their properties do Continue Reading

Family of Boston student killed in fire files suit

The tragic fire that occurred at on April 28, 2013, and claimed the life of a Boston University marine science major has resulted in a wrongful death suit. According to reports, the fire took place at 87 Linden St., a building that was rented out to several tenants. The fire reportedly started in one of the lower levels of the building, but the third-floor residents — including the 22-year-old student who died — were not aware of the fire until a smoke detector in the attic went off. By that time, reports indicate the flight of stairs that was the Continue Reading

Overcrowding a safety hazard in Boston’s off-campus housing

A 2013 interpretation of a Massachusetts statute may be having a negative effect on the level of safety precautions landlords are taking before renting to low-income people in the greater Boston area. One population that seems to be particularly affected are college students living in off-campus housing. The Massachusetts Lodging House Statute requires that all lodging houses must have the proper licenses and be subject to safety inspections. Lodging houses must also put in place fire-prevention strategies like hard-wired manual pull stations and sprinklers to comply with regulations. Under the statute, if a landlord did not take the necessary safety Continue Reading

Massachusetts family reaches settlement in boy’s escalator death

Young children love to explore the world around them. Seeing new things automatically makes them want to go check those new things out. Children who visit stores that have escalators are usually drawn to the moving stairs. For one 4-year-old Massachusetts boy, getting on the escalator on the second floor of the Auburn Mall ultimately led to his death in March of 2011. The little boy fell approximately 18 feet from the escalator. He landed on a display case. He died the following day from head injuries caused by the accident. The boy’s death led to an increased focus on Continue Reading

Massachusetts teen dies in Vermont snowboarding accident

Many Massachusetts residents enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding during the winter months. However, these can be extremely dangerous sports, especially if ski and snowboarding hills are not properly maintained. Sadly, a Randolph, Massachusetts, teen died over the weekend at a Vermont ski resort on his first snowboarding outing. Police reported that the 16-year-old crashed into a sign at the Stratton Mountain ski resort Saturday and died as a result of his injuries. The resort ski patrol said they found the teen shortly after the crash and could not find a pulse. However, emergency workers at the ski resort were reportedly Continue Reading

Escalators: a question of safety

Escalators have become a mainstay in many Massachusetts area malls and are one of the main popular means of indoor bodily transportation after the elevator. Unfortunately, as with any modern convenience, the escalator comes with its own risks that users must be aware of before boarding. These risks, which have resulted in numerous injuries and even deaths, have inspired two university researchers to develop a new innovated alternative to escalators. Injuries have been documented on escalators since its inception in the late 1800s. One injury involving a child resulted in the loss of a toe. Another injury involved a man Continue Reading

Woman plunges 17-stories to her death after balcony collapses

A New York woman died after falling from the 17th floor of her apartment. The accident took place on August 1, 2013 just before 1 a.m. The woman was sitting on the railing of her balcony to smoke a cigarette when the railing collapsed and she fell. She died after landing on construction scaffolding that was on the first-floor of the apartment building. Massachusetts residents may be interested to know that a complete investigation of the property was conducted to ensure that other residents’ balconies were safe. The woman was 35-years-old and was on a first date the night of Continue Reading

Amusement park rides not covered by federal regulations

After a woman died in July when she fell out of a roller coaster at a Six Flags theme park, safety advocates in Massachusetts and throughout the nation are questioning the lack of oversight at theme parks in the country. There isn’t an agency that oversees the number of fatalities at amusement parks. One witness reported that the 52-year-old woman was concerned about being properly restrained before the ride began. Another friend who was with her said she tumbled out when the ride plunged down the track. While Six Flags and the company who made the ride are conducting an Continue Reading

Driver: truck accident was caused by zombies

Accidents happen in Massachusetts every day, but few, if any, drivers claim that the accident occurred because zombies were chasing them; however, after stealing a fully loaded 18-wheeler and causing a multiple-car accident on a California freeway, a 19-year-old transient has claimed exactly that. The truck was stolen by the young transient when the driver stopped at an inspection site and left the truck to fill out some paperwork. Apparently, the young man was under the influence of an unnamed substance that was causing hallucinations. He believed that zombies were after him and attached to the truck. Soon after he Continue Reading

Multiple accidents reported during Massachusetts commute

Rain, snow and sleet combined to present drivers with hazardous road conditions during the morning commute on March 19. Consequently, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation reported multiple crashes during the commute. This included a five-car accident on Interstate 495. The accident involving the five cars happened in Foxborough just north of Interstate 95. According to police, four of the vehicles ended up in the median and the fifth vehicle was found on the side of the road in the woods. It is not known if anyone in the automobiles suffered car accident injuries. Another accident occurred following the five-car crash, Continue Reading

1 person killed, 1 severely injured in multi-car highway crash

A woman died in a chain-reaction truck collision that backed up traffic for several miles and effectively closed an interstate highway for several hours. The victim, a Massachusetts resident, was traveling east on Interstate 84 when she slowed for traffic. Unfortunately, a tractor-trailer driver behind her was unable to stop in time and rear-ended her car. The resulting chain reaction crash involved several vehicles and caused the police to close the highway for more than seven hours. The Nissan Rogue driven by the woman was fifth in a line of vehicles that had slowed down for traffic when the truck Continue Reading

45-year-old man injured in Massachusetts hit-and-run crash

An Auburn, Massachusetts, car accident left a man seriously injured and another man was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. Massachusetts State Police responded to a collision on Interstate 290 at Auburn and found the victim had been ejected from his car. The victim turned out to be a 45-year-old from Putnam, Connecticut. The victim’s name has not been released but he was said to be in critical condition at a local hospital. The driver was later arrested and charged with drunk driving, speeding and hit-and-run. The suspect is being held in jail on a $5,000 Continue Reading

Allegedly drunk driver injures two victims in Norwood

Two people were the victims of injuries in a car accident caused by an allegedly drunk driver in Norwood, Massachusetts, on the Boston-Providence Highway, according to police sources. The accident happened around 3:30 a.m., when a driver who was allegedly drinking struck the car in which a male driver and female passenger were traveling, causing serious injury to both. The police arrested the driver and charged him with DUI. Authorities stated that this was the driver’s fourth DUI offense. The driver was also charged with DUI resulting in serious injury, and negligent operation of a vehicle. The driver was also Continue Reading

5 hospitalized in Andover truck accident

A truck accident in Andover sent five people to the hospital, one of whom had his legs pinned by the tires of a semi truck. The accident occurred on the southbound side of Interstate 495 around 6:00 a.m. between Exit 41 and the Interstate 93 interchange. Police officials described the accident as a chain-reaction that pushed one vehicle into the car ahead. The collisions started when a tractor-trailer crashed into the back of a van, ejecting the passenger into the roadway. The victim was then run over by the tractor-trailer, which stopped on top of his legs. The victim sustained Continue Reading

Car hits Massachusetts trooper’s vehicle at construction zone

A recent car accident on southbound Route 140 in Lakeville, Massachusetts, involved a driver who hit a Massachusetts State Police cruiser stationed at a construction zone. The officer’s vehicle was stationary at the time of the collision and the officer was tasked with guarding the construction site while employees worked. Under the best of circumstances, such protection would not be needed, but in this case it was. A motorist apparently struck the patrol car, causing moderate injuries to a construction worker as well as minor injuries to the state trooper. Both the construction worker and the trooper were taken to Continue Reading

Boy hit by car while riding his bicycle; he is sent to hospital

A 14-year-old boy is recovering after being hit in a car accident while bicycling on Spruce Street in Milford, Massachusetts. The boy suffered a head injury, but the full extent of the injury is still unclear. He had been placed in a medically induced coma but is now recovering. The boy was breathing when police arrived at the scene and was responsive to paramedics on the ride to the hospital. So far, authorities have determined that he was riding alone and without a helmet. He was hit while crossing the street by a 78-year-old woman in a sedan. She was Continue Reading

Car accident involving 6 vehicles backs up traffic on turnpike

The left lane on the eastbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike was closed recently because of acar accident involving six vehicles in the town of Warren, Massachusetts. Reports stated that traffic was backed up for about three to five miles shortly after 6 p.m. on a Sunday. Because of the time of day the accident occurred, the impact on traffic would have been more severe had this accident occurred on a weekday. Accidents involving multiple vehicles may be more complex and can take a long time to investigate. In this case some of the people involved were injured, which could Continue Reading