Law Update

Questions Arise Within Braintree MA Police Department Regarding Missing Evidence

21 September 2016

On September 14, 2016 the Boston Globe reported an emerging scandal involving the Braintree Police Department. An audit commissioned by the police chief revealed missing drugs, guns and money from the evidence room. As a result, numerous cases which resulted in convictions will be reviewed by the district attorney’s office and a number of pending criminal complaints were dismissed because of the tainted evidence. Therefore, a number of dangerous criminals may be set free.

Were you a victim related to any of these convictions or pending prosecutions? If so, your rights may have been violated. If you or a family member has questions, please contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. by email at attorney@swartzlaw.com, or call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Tour Operator Negligence Claims – Recent Court Case Affirms Victims’ Rights

19 March 2013

The United States District Court in Massachusetts recently affirmed the rights of victims of tour operator negligence to pursue legal claims. The plaintiffs, personal representatives for the Estate of Harvey Marron, sought to hold accountable a tour operator and Massachusetts travel agent for their actions in relation to a hot air balloon crash in the Serengeti.

In Weinberg v. Grand Circle Travel, Et al (September 19, 2012), Judge William Young affirmed the principle of tort law that every person and entity has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid physical harm to others. Thus, travel agents and others involved in the planning of trips and excursions are liable for their own negligent acts, for example the negligent or careless selection of a dangerous contractor.

Moreover, the court referenced a Massachusetts regulation which specifically addresses the duties of sellers of travel services (940 Mass. Code Regs. 15.00), which prohibits sellers from engaging in deceptive or misleading business practices. A violation of any provision of the regulation is an unfair or deceptive practice, potentially exposing the violator to double or triple damages, as well as an award of attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs.

At the Boston law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our injury attorneys are at the forefront of protecting victim’s rights in personal injury cases, such as those seeking justice for tour operator negligence. Careless hiring of staff, failure to train and supervise staff and failure to ensure that security is adequate to protect guests, patrons, or residents can result in serious injuries, emotional scars, and even wrongful death. We are committed to ensuring that the victims of negligence are compensated for their injuries and losses. If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.

 

3300 Gas Leaks in Boston

20 November 2012

According to a new Boston University study, there are more than 3,300 leaks in Boston’s underground pipelines. Leaks releasing natural gas pose an explosion hazard, as well as environmental damages resulting from aging road and rail networks under city streets.

So far, Boston has not had any reports of gas explosions from the leaks; the majority of the leaks are tiny. However, there are six locations with gas levels higher than the threshold at which explosions can occur. Three years ago, a Gloucester house exploded due to a corroded 1911 gas main, which served as a reason for Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environment to conduct this study. The research was published on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in the journal Environmental Pollution.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and Boston’s Gas companies assert that there is an extremely small risk of the leaks causing explosions. Grave leaks are immediately repaired, while the remaining leaks expose low levels that would not be able to cause explosions. Safety for the public, “is our highest priority,” said Ann G. Berwick, chairwoman of the state Department of Public Utilities. Berwick will start to encourage gas companies to replace old mains by providing financial incentive programs for the firms.

Factors causing or contributing to gas explosions resulting in burn injuries or wrongful death have included improper gas line locations, faulty parts and equipment in mobile homes, workplace equipment, camping equipment, and defectively designed propane stoves. One important signal indicating the potential for a catastrophic event is the odor of gas (note that although gas has no smell, laws require that odorants be added for safety purposes). Should a gas leak be suspected, the property owner or occupants should immediately evacuate, then contact the proper authorities.

If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries from a fire, explosion or electrocution, contact a personal injury attorney at our Boston law office. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call us at (617) 742-1900 or Toll Free at (800) 545-3732.

Compounding Pharmacy Update

20 November 2012

According to the Boston Globe, on at least two occasions in the past decade, Massachusetts pharmacy officials have displayed indifference in their supervision of a concerning Framingham compounding pharmacy (The New England Compounding Center) that is linked to the nationwide meningitis outbreak that has killed 32 and sickened more than 400 victims.

Barry Cadden, co-owner of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), is currently going under investigation by state and federal regulators, as he was chosen to serve on a state pharmacy board to write new rules for compounding pharmacies. Cadden was appointed in June 2002, two months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmacy board began investigating into complaints about the NECC mass-producing drugs and operations like a manufacturer, which violated its state license.

The FDA started investigating the NECC in April 2002, in response to 5 reports of dizziness, shortness of breath, and an abrupt drop in blood pressure after patients were injected with a steroid produced by the New England Compounding Center. Investigations of the causes of the meningitis outbreak and whether it could have been prevented are currently going on. Cadden has been subpoenaed to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

In 2006, three top pharmacy board administrators learned that an Illinois company (Pharmacy Support Inc.) that was going to monitor the NECC was led by Ross Caputo, a man convicted of fraud, which involved a product that blinded people. Allegedly, the board officials failed to inform other board members before they voted the upcoming month. As a result, board members accepted that the Illinois firm found the NECC to have made satisfactory improvements. Who chose Cadden specifically is unclear.

Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of manufacturing and selling drugs to make a profit. Manufacturers are constantly introducing new drugs into the market and, each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to dangerous and defective characteristics.

The FDA is the primary governmental agency involved in overseeing the introduction and performance of new drugs and medications. In certain circumstances, the FDA may recall a dangerous drug, or may require that certain warnings accompany the product. Pursuing litigation against a large drug company requires experience, persistence, and resources. Defective drug cases often involve evaluations of scientific studies and assessments of the pre-market testing and investigation performed by the drug manufacturer. Compounding companies such as NECC present particular concerns, since they are not subjected to many of the strict regulations covering large pharmaceutical companies.

Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to the persistent and unrelenting pursuit of drug manufacturers who cause serious injury or death to unsuspecting consumers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dangerous drug and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

Massachusetts Pharmacy Dodged Reprimand Years Before the Outbreak

26 October 2012

In 2004, Massachusetts health regulators proposed a formal reprimand for the pharmacy that is currently linked to the deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak – the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. Health officials never delivered the reprimand, however, after the company protested the reprimand could be “fatal to the business”. The NECC was shut down earlier this month amidst the fungal meningitis outbreak that has so far reached 17 states, affecting around 317 people, 24 of whom have died. The epidemic has been linked to a back pain steroid produced by the NECC.

The state of Massachusetts has now revoked the New England Compounding Center’s license to operate, but the reprimand represents a missed opportunity to scrutinously investigate on the lab operations before the current outbreak.

Nearly eight years ago, in October 2004, the Board of Registration in Pharmacy proposed a sanction which included a consent agreement that was meant to resolve complaints against the pharmacy. The NECC failed to meet accepted standards for producing the same steroid that is related to the outbreak.  Additionally, the consent agreement also included a three-year probationary period for the company’s registration and NECC’s owner Barry Cadden’s license. A different consent agreement with the board was reached in 2006, which ended the case without disciplinary action.

According to Alec Loftus, a spokesman for the state’s office of health and human services, Massachusetts state has expanded its investigation of the pharmacy to include the 2006 consent agreement that was reached and why the board never issued the reprimand and whether that was related to the protest from the NECC.

Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of manufacturing and selling drugs to make a profit. Manufacturers are constantly introducing new drugs into the market and, each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to dangerous and defective characteristics.

The FDA is the primary governmental agency involved in overseeing the introduction and performance of new drugs and medications. In certain circumstances, the FDA may recall a dangerous drug, or may require that certain warnings accompany the product. Pursuing litigation against a large drug company requires experience, persistence, and resources. Defective drug cases often involve evaluations of scientific studies and assessments of the pre-market testing and investigation performed by the drug manufacturer. Compounding companies such as NECC present particular concerns, since they are not subjected to many of the strict regulations covering large pharmaceutical companies.

Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to the persistent and unrelenting pursuit of drug manufacturers who cause serious injury or death to unsuspecting consumers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dangerous drug and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

Firm probed in Meningitis Outbreak

12 October 2012

On October 10, an agreement with the Department of Public Health’s Board of Registration in Pharmacy was signed, stating that Ameridose and its distribution partner, Alanaus Pharmaceuticals, are voluntarily shutting down operations until October 22 to allow inspectors the access needed to conduct an investigation.

As part of the agreement, Barry J. Cadden resigned from his corporate positions at Ameridose. Cadden and Gregory Conigliaro own Ameridose, Alanaus Pharmaceuticals and the now-closed New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. The NECC was the source of contaminated steroid injections for lower back pain that have currently killed 12 people and sickened at least 137 in 10 states. Department of Public Health (DPH) officials announced that Cadden has agreed to give up his pharmacist license during the investigation.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that the NECC has violated the law by misleading state and federal officials by mass-producing drugs, instead of filling individual prescriptions. Health officials issued an order yesterday requiring all compounding pharmacies to sign an affidavit saying that they are complying with the law.

Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of manufacturing and selling drugs to make a profit. Manufacturers are constantly introducing new drugs into the market and, each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to dangerous and defective characteristics. Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to the persistent and unrelenting pursuit of drug manufacturers who cause serious injury or death to unsuspecting consumers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dangerous drug and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

H&M Recalls Children’s Water Bottle Due to Choking Hazard

19 September 2012

 

On September 18, 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that retailer H&M is voluntarily recalling Children’s Water Bottle after a reported hazard. The incident involved the water bottle spout, which allegedly broke in a child’s mouth while the child was drinking. Although in this particular instance no injury was reported, the bottles’ defective spouts pose a choking hazard to children.

H&M recalled about 2,900 bottles which were sold exclusively at H&M stores with children’s departments for about $5 from July 2012 through August 2012. The 16 oz. water bottles are pink or blue plastic with a crackle design. The bottles have flip-top lids in coordinated pink and blue colors.

At any point during the design and manufacturing process, significant failures may contribute to a product’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or even fail to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligence during the process from product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches the homes, schools and workplaces of unsuspecting consumers.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our  product liability and personal injury attorneys pursue justice on behalf of victims of hazardous products and throughout the United States. Our firm has a national reputation for successfully representing consumers and their families who have been victimized by defective products, resulting in severe and catastrophic injuries. If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective household product, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Papa Bear Loungeabouts Recalled for Flammability

1 March 2012
 The playful papa bear loungeabouts have been recalled due to flammability standard failure. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (UPCPSC) claims that about 10,000 of these pajamas have been recalled as they pose a burn injury risk to the kids who wear them. Fortunately, no one has been harmed by this hazard yet. These pajamas come is all shapes and sizes, including pajama pants, nightgowns, and more. Consumers are recommended to stop using this recalled sleepwear and return the product to the respective retailer for a refund, exchange, or store credit.

At any point during the design and manufacturing process, significant failures may contribute to a product’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or even fail to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligence during the process from product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches the homes, schools and workplaces of unsuspecting consumers.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our injury attorneys pursue justice on behalf of victims of hazardous products and auto defects throughout the United States. Our firm has a national reputation for successfully representing consumers and their families who have been victimized by hazardous products, resulting in severe and catastrophic injuries.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

 
 

Obama Makes Nomination for the Fifth CPSC Commissioner

3 February 2012

President Obama has presented Marietta S Robinson as his nominee as a commissioner with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If confirmed, Ms. Robinson would be in place as the fifth commissioner now leading the government agency. The CPSC oversees the quality and safety of over 15,000 everyday consumer products. Ms. Robinson would represent an agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death potentially caused by many types of products manufactured, distributed and sold in the United States.

Ms. Robinson’s experience includes more than a decade of legal work in complex litigation, a Fellowship of the International Society of Barristers, as well as service as a fellow in both the American and Michigan Bar Foundations. If approved by the senate, Robinson will fill Democrat Thomas H. Moore’s vacated seat, allowing democrats to regain control of the commission. Robinson pronounced her excitement about being nominated, stating, “I’m very, very honored to be nominated, and I hope to get through Senate confirmation quickly.”

Many tragic deaths and serious injuries could be avoided if corporations paid less attention to their bottom line, and more attention to preventive engineering and consumer education. Too often, manufacturers pour money into self-serving public relations campaigns, rather than critical safety measures to protect the consumers who use their products. Although an underfunded and understaffed CPSC works diligently to uncover products that have the potential to inflict harm, the civil justice system remains an important check against the harm caused by defective products that nevertheless make their way into the streams of commerce.

If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. Our product liability attorneys are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Costa Cruise Line Faces Charges

30 January 2012

It has been two weeks since the disastrous cruise ship accident that occurred off Giglio Island in Florence. Since then, there have been estimates of up to 16 casualties.  Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise-line owner, was sued for at least $100 million for its alleged role in the wreck of the Costa Concordia. Allegations include negligence and breach of contract. In a separate claim, Captain Francesco Schettino has been accused of causing the accident by steering too close to shore, abandoning ship, and failing to “properly and timely notify all plaintiffs on board of the deadly and dangerous condition of the cruise ship as to avoid injury and death… [the passengers and crew] were abandoned by the captain.” Costa claims to have reached agreements with consumer groups in various countries to move forward with plans to pay passengers for damages.
If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a the negligence of a transportation company such as a cruise line, railroad company, bus company or airline, and would like to speak with an experienced attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us; you can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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