A $250,000.00 settlement at trial for cyclist Halabi, who was thrown off of his bicycle when it became mired in a pile of loam that had been left in the travel lane of Trapelo Road in Belmont, Massachusetts. There were no warning signs or traffic cones to warn him of the hazard and the loam was the same color as the road. The cyclist suffered a severe injury to his leg that required multiple surgeries.
The defendant was the construction contractor putting in new gas lines in the road and nearby houses. We established violations of the defendant 's contract, as the defendant was obligated to put barriers between oncoming traffic and material left in the roadway. At deposition, employees of the defendant told conflicting stories of warning signs and traffic cones being in place, all inconsistent with the testimony of the police officer at the scene the morning of the crash, who described the absence of adequate markings and signage.
We recovered $150,000.00 on behalf of cyclist Kirsten Sims. Ms. Sims was cycling home from work on Commonwealth Ave., before the new bikelanes were installed. The defendant passenger got out while the cab was stopped at a red light, catching Ms. Sims by surprise and pinning her between the cab door and a parked car. The $150,000.00 settlement was split between the cab company and the passenger’s insurance. Of note was the actions beyond the call of normal legal advocacy of Attorney Fischer, who happened to be cycling home from the office behind Ms. Sims, saw the accident, stopped to help and prevented a hostile cabdriver from leaving the scene of the accident.
We recovered $767,500 for our bicyclist client, who was hit by an elderly driving making a right turn into Ms. Ocana’s path. Ms. Ocana underwent multiple surgeries for torn shoulder muscles. She also suffered from a head injury, from the force with which she hit the ground.
We brought a civil rights suit in Federal District Court in Springfield on behalf of safe cycling instructor and bicycling advocate Eli Damon. Mr. Damon had suffered repeated stops and harassment by Hadley, Massachusetts Police for insisting on his right to the full lane of travel on the four lane state highway, Route 9, as it passes through Hadley. He started wearing a video camera to document the harassment. When this led to Mr. Damon’s arrest and criminal prosecution for allegedly violating the state wiretap statute by videotaping the Hadley police, enough was enough and Atty. Fischer brought suit. After a lengthy landmark opinion that assumes a bicyclist’s equal right to the road, the case was settled with the Town of Hadley accepting the bicyclist’s right to be in the lane of travel and paying a substantive sum for attorneys fees. The Federal Court opinion is available here.
We brought and settle this civil rights suit against a state trooper who got angry at cyclist Kopacz for being in the right lane of McGrath Highway in front of the Museum of Science. While the monetary amount of the settlement was nominal, the defendant Massachusetts State Police agreed, as part of the settlement, to adopt and implement a course for state police officers on bicyclists’ rights and bicycle law.
Settlement of $200,00.00 for a cyclist who suffered severe back injuries when his bicycle was caught by a hidden construction hole covered by leaves. The settlement was apportioned between the contractor and subcontractor who each failed to put any hazard sign, cones or other warnings. Settlement was reached easily because we obtained photos of the hidden hazard immediately after the crash, before the defendants swept the leaves and painted orange spray paint around the hole. We was also able to identify portions of the contract with the DCR that required safety precautions the defendants failed to make.
We mediated a settlement for $502,000, for a bicyclist who was hit by a motorist, knocked off balance and veered off the road and into a tree. The motorist claimed she never touched the cyclist but that he lost control and veered into the tree on his own.
Kraus – 2002
Graney – 2001
Jenney – 2001
Daniel v Zabel – 2000
Our clients were a DJ hired for a house party on a summer Saturday night in Provincetown and his partner. The police came to the house three times, perhaps responding to the wrong address, on a noisy July Saturday night in a popular beach resort. The first two times, they only came to the front door, with warnings to keep the noise down, so our client knew nothing of the two earlier visits when the police came into the backyard on their third response and told him they were shutting the party down. He announced to the crowd that the police were shutting the party down and the police took offense at his choice of words, assaulting and arresting him and then assaulting and arresting his partner when the partner complained about the police misconduct. The case was settled for a substantial amount that a confidentiality agreement prevents us from disclosing.
We took over representation of a young lady who had been raped and sexually abused by a prison guard while she was serving a sentence in state prison. The guard claimed the sex was consensual. We argued that a prisoner cannot consent to sex with her guard and obtained a favorable decision on this issue, attached here. We then won a verdict not only against the guard, for $43,732.00 but also a separate verdict against the prison superintendent, for $68,307.00 plus an award of attorneys fees of more than $200,000.00 against the state Department of Corrections. The award against the superintendent was significant not just because we were able to prove that this supervisor knew of and ignored the guards conduct but because the judgment against the then former guard could have been impossible to collect. In the end, after being paid by the state Department of Corrections for the attorneys fees and judgment against the superintendent, we were able to collect payment of most of the judgment against the guard as well.
Our client was leaving his mother’s home after visiting her. As he rushed out the door as was on his way to work, his passage was blocked by a police officer who, with several other officers, hurled Mr. Eason over the stair railing, arrested him and charged him with assault and battery on the police officer who was blocking his way. Our civil rights suit alleged that the criminal charges were to cover up the police abuse. We obtained a settlement of $115,000.00.
We recovered over $200,000 for two sisters, whose mother’s ashes were mixed up with ashes of another woman by the defendant crematorium. We tried the case and then defended the verdict in two separate appeals, establishing the right to claim damages in negligence for the mutilation of a corpse even when there is no physical manifestation of the pain and suffering. To read the Appeals Court opinion, click here.