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Law Offices of Byron L. Taylor in Massachusetts with experienced personal injury law, bankruptcy, business law, divorce, child custody, wills, estates, incorporation and real estate law

 

SOME INTERESTING CASES HANDLED BY THIS FIRM

 
  1. Automobile Collision: A 35 year old male-client legally operating a 1991 Cadillac automobile at a speed estimated at 50 mph, sustained a significant right knee injury when a second automobile, traveling in the opposite direction, executed a left-hand turn at an unmarked intersection, across the path of his vehicle, causing a "T-Bone"-type collision. The client's air bag deployed and the floor of the driver's compartment of his vehicle crumpled upwards, smashing his knees against the dashboard of the vehicle. The client was subjected to multiple knee and leg surgeries in which his patella was replaced by an artificial kneecap and left him with some continuing pain and discomfort and a significant loss of use of the leg. This case was settled for $400,000.00 after lawsuit was filed but prior to trial and after the insurer was served with a Consumer Protection Demand Letter.

  2. Construction Site Fall:  A 35-year-old experienced ironworker inexplicably fell some 22 feet to the ground while constructing an elementary school.  No one witnessed his fall and only circumstantial evidence was available to determine the cause of the fall.  The base of a wind brace, which had not previously been welded in place, had fallen over the side of the building at the same time as plaintiff fell.  It was reasoned that plaintiff had fallen or rested against the brace and when it fell over the side, so did the plaintiff.  Plaintiff fell onto a huge boulder protruding above the ground and upon cement piping left at the base of the framed building.  Plaintiff was apparently working alone at the time of his fall.  Plaintiff was not tethered although he was wearing his safety harness.  Defendant’s site supervisor testified that he had observed ironworkers, employees of a sub-subcontractor, working on the deck of the building 22-30 feet above the ground without being tethered.  Due to his injuries, the plaintiff was unable to testify as to the cause of the fall and his resultant injuries.  Plaintiff sustained severe brain trauma, lacerated his spleen, suffered the collapse of both lungs, permanently injured his knee forcing him to walk with a cane, was in the hospital in ICU for 2 weeks in critical condition and was hospitalized for 8 weeks and then as an outpatient for many months thereafter.  Plaintiff can never work as an ironworker again.  Plaintiff pursued a worker’s compensation claim as well as a third-party negligence claim against the general contractor and a subcontractor.  Plaintiff incurred some $400,000 in medical expenses and lost wages that were paid by the worker’s comp. insurer.  At mediation the worker’s compensation insurer waived its claims for reimbursement of its payouts to date and offered an additional $100,000 to settle the claims.  The insurers for the general and the subcontractor agreed to pay $650,000.00, making the total benefit to the plaintiff of $1,150,000.00.

  3. Slip and Fall: While visiting her sister-in-law, a resident in elderly housing, our 76 year old client was tripped by a berm or curbing which was purposely located by the property owner to straddle two painted, delineated automobile parking spots which faced two other similarly situated parking spots in the middle of the poorly lighted parking lot. The client sustained a severe injury to her right shoulder, which required surgery and the implant of a humeral prosthesis. The defense argued that the lot was sufficiently lighted and that the client had to pass the curbing to enter the building after parking her vehicle. After suit was filed and a Consumer Protection Demand Letter was forwarded to the insurer, this slip and fall case settled for $60,000.00 and the medical bills and liens were negotiated downward by the firm.

  4. Medical Malpractice: The client sustained minor injuries but lost the life of his race horse in a single vehicle automobile collision which plaintiff argued resulted from a fainting spell brought about by high blood pressure medication which was dispensed by the defendant-doctor who failed to give notice to the client-patient that the use of the particular high blood pressure medication could possibly result in "hypotension" or fainting spells while behind the wheel of his pick-up truck towing his horse trailer. At trial the client was awarded $65,000.00 for his aggregate losses.

  5. Medical Malpractice:  The plaintiff, a 34 year old HVAC professional, underwent recurrent laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in November of 1997 and immediately thereafter experienced severe pain in urinating, lifting, (including his newborn son), moving his bowels, riding a bicycle, and generally during times of movement of his midsection.  He felt abdominal soreness, lost time from work and could not be intimate with his wife.  He lost some 35 pounds of weight and feared eating and drinking for the pain he knew each would cause.  This pain and suffering and mental anguish continued for three and one-half years during which he was subjected to a host of treatments and testing including: urinalysis, urograms, varicocelectomy, EKG, ureterogram, 4 cystoscopies, ultrasounds, MRIs, bone scans, etc.  He was prescribed a number of painkillers for relief.  Eventually he had issues with the prescription pain medication that failed to provide adequate relief.  Plaintiff’s misery caused an irretrievable breakdown of his relationship with, and marriage to, his wife.  In June of 2001, the second of two errantly placed sutures was removed from plaintiff’s bladder and the mesh from the hernia repair was separated from the bladder dome.  He immediately experienced relief for the very first time in three and a half years.  The defense reasoned that since there were 4 cystoscopies over three years, the first two of which revealed no suture, the third of which revealed only one suture, (which was removed in October of 1999), and the last of which revealed the second suture in June of 2001, then the sutures must have eroded into the bladder over time, as a natural result of the hernia operation.  The defense expert testified that the treating physician followed all protocols and did not breach his duty of care to his patient.  At trial however, defendant’s expert testified that while this was his theory, he had never before heard of sutures from an inguinal hernia repair migrating to the bladder and then eroding into the bladder over time.  He also testified that it did sometimes happen that sutures were errantly placed into the bladder during such hernia operations.  Plaintiff’s expert and defendant both testified that they had never heard of the mesh from an inguinal hernia repair migrating to the bladder nor had they heard of sutures from such repair eroding into the bladder over time.  After five days of trial and eight hours of jury deliberations, the jury returned a plaintiffs’ verdict, awarding the plaintiff $325,000 and his wife $100,000.  With interest, the judgment entered for the plaintiffs for $652,000.00.

  6. Premises Liability: The client was visiting a local batting cage, was wearing the required headgear, and was standing properly in the batter's box when a rubber coated ball discharged from the automatic pitching machine struck him directly in his eye. The client's cheekbone and nose were fractured in several places and the client's eyesight was permanently impaired as a result of the injuries he sustained. No warning signs were posted to put the client on notice that while he was properly in the batter's box, stray balls could be pitched at high speed toward his body or head. This case was settled on behalf of the client for $100,000.00 prior to institution of litigation.

  7. Dog Bite: A five-year-old boy was bitten in the face by a neighbor's dog, which dog had recently undergone groin surgery but was allowed to roam the yard freely. The child-client was under the age of seven and so was benefited by the statutory presumption that he was not committing a trespass or tort at the time of the attack. The child sustained facial lacerations and scarring in two visible segments of 2.5 cm and 1.0 cm on his cheek near his nose. The child was severely traumatized by the event suffering nightmares through at least the date of settlement. Medical expenses incurred were $509.00 with estimated future costs of $4,000.00. With a structured settlement for the minor child, the case settled with the insurer of the homeowner for a grand total of $109,690.00 by his 21st birthday.

  8. Land Court-Prescriptive Easement:  The clients, a father and his adult son, and their respective families owned neighboring lots connected by a portion of the defendant’s lot.  A dirt driveway that crossed the defendant’s lot coupled the clients’ properties.  At a Land Court preliminary injunction hearing, the Judge ordered the defendant to unlock and open a fence that the defendant had recently erected to impede plaintiffs’ travel between their respective lots across the defendant’s property.  At the bench trial of this case, by showing that the plaintiffs and their families had crossed between their respective lots over the defendant’s lot for at least 20 years, adversely, openly, continuously and notoriously, the plaintiffs prevailed on their claim for a prescriptive easement and, as a result, they, and their successors in interest in each of the lots are allowed for all time to freely traverse the dirt driveway between the lots without further impediment by the defendants. 

  9. Slip and Fall:  The client and her adult child were shopping at a well-known local retail store and as she stepped from the carpeted floor back onto the tiled floor her feet slipped out from under her and she crashed to the floor, tearing the biceps tendons in her left arm.  The carpet had been shampooed in the early morning hours, prior to the store opening to the public for the day.  The client had previously undergone surgery in the same region of her body but her doctor opined in his written report that the previous debridement procedure was not related to, or affected by, the injuries plaintiff sustained in the slip and fall incident.  Employees of the defendant prepared incident reports and photographed the area.  Soon after serving a settlement demand package upon the insurers for the defendant, the photographs were produced by the defendant and showed bright orange wet-floor warning signs in the area where plaintiff fell.  Plaintiff and her daughter testified at deposition that the cones were not there prior to the fall.  Two employees of the defendant, including a manager, testified at deposition that the cones were placed out very early that morning, prior to the plaintiff visiting the store.  Two past-employees of the defendant who were present and witnessed certain facts surrounding the fall were located and cooperated, stating that the cones in fact were not out at the time of the fall.  Plaintiff incurred medical expenses of over $25,000, she experienced a permanent loss of function of 7% of the upper extremity and she lost wages of over $6,000.  The offer at the time of filing the lawsuit was $0.00.  The case settled after Pre-Trial Conference and before Trial for $140,000.00.

  10. Consumer Protection and Breach of Contract:  Seven years after the plaintiff-homeowners purchased their new home, they were forced to file a lawsuit against, among others, the previous owners and the Title 5 septic system inspector, who failed to discover, prior to the Closing and despite having been engaged to determine compliance therewith, that the septic system servicing the subject home satisfied the state requirements for only a three-bedroom home but the home plaintiffs purchased had five bedrooms.  When plaintiffs sought to expand their existing home, the local Board of Health informed them that their home was not in compliance with Massachusetts Title 5, as the existing system was too small to meet the needs of a five bedroom home.  Although the statute of limitations on negligence is just three years and on contracts actions it is six years, the “discovery rule” was applied to the case and plaintiffs were allowed to proceed with their claims.  Plaintiffs prevailed prior to trial on a Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment against the Inspector before the Judge and thereafter a hearing or mini-trial was held to determine their damages.  Plaintiffs received $10,000 in settlement from the couple who sold them the home (as there were allegations that the couple knew of the discrepancy in the size of the septic system versus the number of bedrooms), and an additional $16,379.21 from the septic system Inspector.  Plaintiffs received all of their expenses incurred to rebuild the septic system to satisfy Title 5 for their five bedroom home and they received $9,445.52 for attorney’s fees and the costs of the litigation. 

  11. Automobile Collision:  The long-time client was a passenger in an automobile that was stopped in traffic on Route 1 when a horrific rear-end impact occurred.  The client sustained a lumbar strain, an annular tear at L4-5 and she suffered with sacroiliitis for which she underwent a laminoforaminotomy and participated in physical therapy for three months.  To avoid lengthy litigation the parties agreed to submit the matter to arbitration and the client was awarded $131,000.00 for her damages.  The client’s significant other and the driver of the auto in which she was traveling was also represented by this office. He suffered a left rotator cuff tear that required arthroscopic surgery.  He too submitted his claim to the same Arbitrator and received an award in excess of $105,000.00 for his damages.

  12. Negligence and Breach of Warranty:  A local client purchased four new tires and rims from a chain store and had the tires mounted on his pick-up truck.  After traveling only about fifteen miles after installation and while driving on Route 1 within a mile of our law office, the left front wheel of the truck came bounding off of the vehicle and bounced across oncoming traffic.  The client’s son was sitting in the passenger seat and the client reacted to the crash of the left front of the vehicle to the tar and losing control of the vehicle, by reaching out and providing a further brace for his son.  The vehicle eventually stopped miraculously without crossing the median strip or hitting any other vehicle. However, the client sustained a left shoulder SLAP tear from fighting the steering wheel, which required surgery and months of painful physical therapy.  The tow truck driver gave a statement that the lug nuts on the other wheels were all loose to some extent.  The client’s claim was settled out-of-court for $100,000.00.

  13. Automobile Collision:  The client was a middle-aged woman and was traveling home on Route 1 when suddenly an automobile traveling the opposite direction crossed the road and T-boned her in the driver’s door.  Immediate back pain began to radiate down her legs after months of ever-increasing pain.  An MRI was performed and the client was diagnosed with a compression fracture and a herniated disk in her back which were not revealed by previous x-rays.  When conservative treatment options continuously failed, the client opted for a painful and somewhat dangerous left L4/5 transforaminal steroid injection.  Her medical expenses were just over $15,000.00 and after months of negotiations, the case was settled for the available policy limit of $250,000.00.

  14. Automobile Collision:  One of the most emotionally draining cases handled by this office involved the claims of two young girls who were passengers in their father’s vehicle when he suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel and his vehicle traveled into the path of an oncoming car. Both vehicles were traveling at an estimated speed of 50 mph at the time of the collision.  The girls’ father expired before he could be extricated from the vehicle and while the girls were present.  The fortunate part of the collision is that physically, the girls sustained only bruises.  The cases were settled after a day of mediation and each of the children received $116,256.64, the proceeds of which were placed into long-term structured settlements that will net them each over $100,000 after all fees and costs of the litigation were paid.

  15. Premises Liability:  It does not always pay to be a good friend.  The client, a successful area business man, came to the aid of a friend who was installing an automobile lift in his garage.  While “walking” a tall and heavy part of the unit across the garage floor, a four-pound sledgehammer fell from the top of the equipment, about twelve feet off the ground and directly struck the client in the skull.  He was unconscious for minutes and when he awoke he had lost his senses.  He escaped the clutches of his friends and drove his vehicle to the closest police station to report that he had been attacked, which of course was untrue.  The police investigated the matter and the client was med-flighted to a Boston hospital for treatment.  He was taken to surgery where he underwent a two-and-one-half-hour emergency craniotomy.  His recovery thereafter was rather remarkable.  The insurance company tried to argue that this was an intentional act of the homeowner and therefore not an insured loss.  The insurance company also took the position that the owner of the home who was listed as the insured had moved out of the home months prior to the incident and that the owner’s ex-boyfriend who was still living in the home was not an insured nor was the home insured against the type of claim being made.  This case settled out-of-court for $90,000.00.

  16. Automobile Accident with Underinsurance Coverage and MedPay Coverage:  The client was a passenger in his own automobile while the driver was proceeding on a learner’s permit.  The driver inexplicably lost control of the automobile and struck a tree in a single car collision.  X-rays revealed a substantial fracture of the right side of the client’s pelvis.  A CT scan of his head revealed a comminuted displaced fracture of the nose.  A CT scan of the pelvis confirmed a comminuted right acetabular fracture involving the roof and posterior column.  There was also a small to moderate sized right pelvis hematoma located by CT.  The client suffered a severe laceration to the inside of his mouth as his teeth cut through the skin surrounding the side of his face and adjacent to his lips.  His medical expenses exceeded $135,000.00 some of which were paid by the PIP carrier and some of which were paid by the client’s health insurer.  Unfortunately the coverage for the collision was only $50,000.00 and the policy limit was paid.  Then underinsurance coverage paid another $42,000.00 and the client had MedPay coverage which also paid the available contract limit of $100,000.00.

  17. Construction Site Fall:  It was the client’s first day on a construction job site and he was told to apply shingles to the steeply pitched roof of the house which was forty (40) feet above the ground.  There was no perimeter safety wire, rope, netting or other form of guardrail installed on or around the roof of the construction site.  He was not provided with a safety harness nor was there netting around the roof.  There was no fall protection supplied by his employer or the general contractor or the owner of the building, which is in flagrant violation of several provisions of 454 CMR 10.00.  He was given no safety instructions, training or equipment.  When weather conditions became snowy, the client, along with other laborers, expressed concern to their supervisor regarding the hazardous conditions created on the roof by the snow.  As the client pulled a cleat out of the roof, which cleat was left behind by the framers, he stepped back onto the plank from which he was working and slipped and fell backwards from the roof to the ground.  He crashed onto a pile of frozen ice, snow, and construction debris, a distance of approximately 40 feet, landing on his left elbow and side.  He sustained substantial injuries including, but not limited to, a severely fractured left elbow and wrist, a ruptured spleen, concussive brain injury with resultant partial memory loss, upper and lower back strain and massive body contusions.  The case was settled prior to trial with a then-current cash value of $393,960.90 and after attorney’s fees and costs were paid and the worker’s compensation lien compromised and settled, a portion of the remainder of the settlement was funds was placed into a structured settlement with guaranteed monthly payments making the overall value of the client’s settlement $462,820.00.
 

 

 
"WHERE THE LEGAL PROFESSION IS STILL A SERVICE BUSINESS"

Law Offices of
Byron L. Taylor

645 E. Washington Street
North Attleboro, MA 02760
Phone: 508-699-5622


Call Toll Free: 1-866-435-4781
 

 

 
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