Representative cases


$4,500,000.00 Settlement

Sepsis goes untreated; 14-year-old boy's legs amputated: On Sept. 3, 2017, a 14-year-old boy was admitted to a local ER due to high fever, chills and headache. The teen had a history of congenital heart disease and had undergone a heart valve replacement at age 3, which increased his risk of endocarditis and sepsis.

Although his mother fully informed the defendant emergency department physician about her son's heart condition and artificial valve, the physician noted that the boy's heart problem was "unknown".

The defendant physician ordered ibuprofen, lab studies, IV fluids and an abdominal ultrasound. The lab studies revealed a slightly elevated white blood count, and his last blood pressure reading was severely low, meeting criteria for sepsis. However, the doctor did not order a blood culture to rule out sepsis and discharged the teen with instructions for stomach flu.

A few hours later, his mother took him to the defendant pediatrician who did a cursory examination. She noted that his vital signs were "normal" despite failing to ensure a complete set of new vitals were taken, including his blood pressure. The pediatrician included endocarditis in her differential diagnosis but did not refer him to the hospital. Instead, she sent him home with instructions to take Tylenol and to return if the fever persisted.

The next day the boy's condition deteriorated, and his parents took him to Children's Hospital. On admission, the soles of his feet were dark and discolored. His vital signs confirmed he was in septic shock.

He underwent surgery to remove and replace his infected heart valve, and he remained in the hospital for four months. During that time, he developed gangrene, a complication of sepsis, and eventually required amputation of both legs below his knees as well as his right index finger.

The plaintiffs obtained Massachusetts medical experts to testify that the defendants failed to recognize that the boy was at increased risk for endocarditis due to his implanted heart valve, and failed to obtain a blood culture and treat his septic shock a with antibiotics and appropriate fluids.

The defendant doctors contended that they conducted thorough exams and extensive testing and that the teen appeared stable and improving. They also contended that there is no definitive treatment for sepsis and that antibiotics most likely would have not made a difference in his outcome.

The pediatrician also asserted that the boy's mother refused to consent to a blood culture that she had ordered.

The case settled at meditation after the depositions of the parties. The plaintiffs conducted two focus groups to assist in determining liability and damages.


$1,600,000.00 jury verdict

Plaintiff was a 45 year old man who suffered injuries when he slipped and fell in a puddle of water at the Mountain Farms Mall in Hadley, MA. The plaintiff required spinal fusion surgery. An extensive investigation revealed that the roof had been leaking for a period of 6 years. Evidence of the leaks were admitted at trial despite defendant's repeated objections that 6 years of leaks were prejudicial and not related to the fall in question. Plaintiff presented expert testimony from an economist regarding diminished earning capacity and from his neurosurgeon. The highest offer on the case was $250,000.00. Subsequent to trial the plaintiff pursued a bad faith claim against the insurer. This case settled for $98,000.00.


$600,000.00 settlement

Plaintiff was an 81 year old woman who was struck in a crosswalk in Vineyard Haven. She sustained numerous fractures necessitating the use of a walker. Investigation revealed that the driver's view was partially obstructed by two telephone poles owned jointly by NSTAR and Verizon. A Massachusetts statute requires that when a new pole is installed the old pole must be removed within 90 days. The two poles were present for 11 months. Suit was brought against the driver, NSTAR and Verizon. All parties settled within days of trial.


$475,000.00 settlement

Plaintiff was the Estate of an adult man who died in a fire on January 30, 2010 at his house located in West Tisbury, Massachusetts. Plaintiff's expert opined that pyrolysis caused the fire due to Defendant's failure to install the new boiler in a manner that complied with the unit's installation manual instructions and the Code of Massachusetts Regulations. Specifically, the manual stated that the boiler's chimney connection and any combustible materials were to be placed at least 18 inches apart. The Defendant's installation was placed just 3 inches apart. Pyrolysis is defined as chemical decomposition caused by heat. It is the process by which a combustible material exposed to heat will dry out, break down and auto-ignite. When combustible materials are exposed for extended periods of time to heat from a chimney flue, the auto-ignition temperature will be reduced. Plaintiff's expert also refuted that the cause of fire was due to faulty or damaged electrical wiring, as alleged by the Defendant. The case was settled after a Daubert Motion was filed and lost by the Defendant.


$375,000.00 settlement

Plaintiff was an adult woman who attempted to debark from a ferry boat in Oak Bluffs harbor. No gangplank or other means of safe passage between the ferry and the dock was provided by the ferry operator. As the Plaintiff stepped off of the ferry and onto the dock, the boat rocked and she fell and became wedged between the boat and the dock. Plaintiff's expert opined that the standard of care in the maritime industry and Federal regulations require a suitable means of passage for the embarkation and debarkation of passengers from a ferry boat such as a gangway or ramp. As a result, she sustained a right tibial plateau fracture and a right shoulder injury. The tibia fracture required open surgical reduction. After the accident, her Neurologist stated with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that her pre-existing Parkinson's Disease was made worse, and that she suffered other decreased mobility and mental functioning as a result of the accident. It was also revealed in discovery that the Defendant had prior knowledge of similar incidents at the dock and failed to take measures to prevent future incidence from happening.


$350,000.00 Worker's compensation settlement

Plaintiff was a 41 year old man who was employed as a carpenter when he fell off of a step ladder and injured his hip and back. Two weeks later he reported back to work, bent down to move a carpet dolly and experienced severe low back pain. He received an MRI which revealed a notable disc herniation at L4-5 along with right-sided nerve root impingement. After cortisone injections were deemed ineffective, he underwent low back surgery at New England Orthopedic Surgeons. The Plaintiff's back surgeon opined that Plaintiff had a 23% permanent disability rating according to the AMA guidelines.


$300,000.00 settlement

Plaintiffs were a baby and his parents. The baby suffered a brachial plexus injury during the birth. Plaintiff has some limitations of right arm movement which have continued to improve. A Pediatric rehabilitation expert was retained to present evidence at trial regarding the limitations. Suit was brought against the Obstetrician and nurse mid-wife for failure to recognize a breech presentation prior to delivery. The case settled shortly before the commencement of trial.


$270,000.00 settlement

Plaintiff was an adult woman who was staying at an Inn in Edgartown, MA on vacation. When she exited the main means of egress, she stepped forward with her right foot and her foot landed on the edge of a circular brick landing. She lost her balance and fell forward off the landing. Her fall caused her to fracture her right dominant distal radius, which was surgically reduced and fixated with a metal plate and screws. She subsequently developed carpal tunnel syndrome, which eventually had to be surgically fixed as well. Plaintiff's expert opined and demonstrated that the brick landing was constructed and maintained in violation of the Massachusetts State Building Code and the International Building Code.

$150,000.00 settlement

Plaintiff was shopping at the Big Y supermarket in Southampton, MA. The supermarket was undergoing renovations and plaintiff tripped in a darkened parking lot. The plaintiff tore the meniscus in her right knee requiring surgery. Big Y claimed that the lights were functioning and that the plaintiff was careless. No offers were made on the claim prior to filing suit. Suit was filed against Big Y and the general contractor. Counsel obtained the names of all employees during the six months prior to the fall and depositions were taken. One employee, who no longer worked at the store, testified that the store manager knew that the lights intermittently went out. The case settled within days of this deposition.


$100,000.00 Arbitration award

Plaintiff was a pedestrian who was pinned between a car and metal pole in the Vineyard Haven post office parking lot. The plaintiff suffered an injury to her sacroiliac joint which prevented her from working full-time and partaking in her customary leisure activities. The insurer claimed that the plaintiff was careless in watching out for her own safety. The highest offer before Arbitration was $30,000.00. The treating orthopedic physician testified and the Arbitrator awarded $100,000, in damages.


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