Below is a small list of cases prosecuted by Attorney McMaster. The common theme to these cases is the recognition that the defendants failed to follow the Safety rules causing the client to be injured. Through these cases, the defendants were held responsible for the injuries they caused by violating the Safety rules. The rules can be as simple as stopping at a STOP sign, not driving intoxicated, a bar not over-serving alcoholic beverages to a customer or following the building code to properly build a Safe structure. By enforcing these rules, the community becomes a safer place for everyone,
Motorcycle versus Automobile Collision
The client was operating his motorcycle Safely on a public street when he was struck head-on by a vehicle that drove onto his side of the road. The client had numerous serious and life-threatening injuries but managed to survive with the help of excellent medical care. The vehicle was driven by an employee of an automobile dealership which allowed this inexperienced “lot boy” to test drive an automobile the dealership had just taken in as a trade. It was established that the vehicle violated the Safety rules of driving by failing to keep a lookout for oncoming traffic before the driver crossed the center line to make his left turn.
One of the complicating factors in this case was that the automobile dealership’s insurer improperly denied the claim, stating that the policy had been canceled the day before the crash. After securing a judgment against the dealership, suit was brought against the insurer for the improper denial of the claim. A thorough investigation was conducted which led to the insurer reversing their denial and paying the judgment.
Police Officer Injured When Suspect Resists Arrest
This officer told a suspect that he was under arrest for minor charges. The suspect resisted arrest and struggled with the officer. By the time the suspect was handcuffed, the officer had suffered a back injury that required surgery and eventually cost him his career. The suspect failed the Safety rule of submitting to arrest and challenging the arrest in court. Following that rule would have avoided the injury to the officer.
Although the suspect’s homeowner’s insurer tried to deny that the claim, saying that the claim was not covered because the suspect’s actions came under the intentional act exclusion of the insurance policy, the case was pursued and eventually settled.
A Fall Down Poorly Constructed Stairs
The client, a police officer, was descending a set of exterior stairs in an apartment building and fell to the bottom. The stairs were recently re-built and violated the building code. The State Building Code is a set of rules for the Safe construction of stairs (in this case) to make them Safe for tenants and visitors. The client suffered severe injuries as a result of the fall and underwent three surgeries. The client never fully recovered and lost his career. The case settled after it was demonstrated that there were numerous and serious violations of the building code making the stairs unsafe.
A Fall on Snow and Ice
The client was visiting a relative at the relative’s condominium. The client got out of her vehicle and immediately fell, causing the client to fracture her wrist. The condominium management violated the Massachusetts Sanitary Code which required them to remove snow and ice to make the property Safe for tenants and visitors. The Sanitary Code includes a list of Safety rules that are designed to keep people Safe on the property. The condominium association denied it was their job to keep the driveway clean. After many depositions and the use of expert testimony, the management company accepted responsibility for the injury.
A Restaurant Over-Served a Customer Causing A Crash
The client was with a group of friends at the bar section of a restaurant. The bar employees violated several rules regarding the Safe service of alcohol to patrons. As a result of the bar violating the rules, the patron became intoxicated. The client walked outside just when the intoxicated patron was backing up his vehicle. The patron backed his vehicle over a sidewalk and ran over my client causing serious injuries. (Obviously, the patron violated the Safety rule of driving while intoxicated.) Both the intoxicated patron and the bar were held responsible for their violations and the client’s injuries.