William D. Kickham
William D. Kickham
Construction Accident
Car Accident
Nursing Home

It’s summer in Massachusetts and it’s been hot.  For me, I love both of these environments.  Give me hot weather over any of the other seasons (especially winter.)

A surprisingly high percentage of homes in Massachusetts and New England have backyard swimming pools – whether in-ground or above-ground.  I’ve always found this a bit unusual – I mean, this isn’t Texas, Florida or Arizona – summers here are pretty brief, and heat waves don’t usually last 4-5 days.  But regardless, those that have swimming pools, love them.  What most pool owners don’t know, are that backyard swimming pools are a liability trap.  In the law, they’re called an “attractive nuisance,” as they often draw young kids to them – and these environments are very dangerous.  Consider this equation:  No lifeguards + no life-saving equipment + running on slippery surfaces + rambunctious play.  The sum of these dangerous parts?  It’s often disaster.

Sadly, that’s what appeared to happen yesterday (July 11 2024,) at a backyard swimming pool in the town of Sutton.  A call was placed into the Sutton Police Department at approximately 3:50 PM, reporting that a 4 year-old girl named Eva was missing, and that she was autistic.  She was reportedly found about three hours later, unresponsive in a neighbor’s swimming pool.  An awful outcome.

This past Sunday’s tragic pedestrian death of a 4 year-old girl at the intersection of Congress and Sleeper streets in the Seaport area of Boston, has drawn attention to the question of which cities & towns in Massachusetts have the highest rates of fatal auto accidents.  She was killed when struck by a pickup truck.  The intersection is very near to the Boston Children’s Museum.  A horrific incident.  The lives of her parents and family will never be the same.

This is made all the more tragic by the story behind the story.  You see, not all traffic intersections are created equal, nor are all cities and towns equally safe or equally dangerous.  Some municipalities stand out as especially dangerous, and a recent study from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has made this clear.

This study examined 218 traffic locations in Massachusetts that have seen at least 500 motor vehicle crashes between the years of 2019 and 2023.  The objective was to identify which locations involved the highest percentage of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents.  Statistically, these are the most unsafe areas to drive in Massachusetts.  Not a pleasant topic – especially for the family and friends of those killed or injured in these locations. So, here is what can be called the “Massachusetts Traffic Fatalities Hall of Shame.”  I call it the Hall of Shame because many of these cities and towns were aware of these dangerous roads in their communities, but apparently did not take effective action to correct them.  This despite the fact that proactive measures can be taken to reduce these tragedies, as there were 11 towns that were part of the MassDOT study that didn’t record a single fatal roadway accident between 2019 and 2023.  Obviously, those cities and towns are doing something right.

When it comes to child safety, most of my work revolves around two areas of law:  Defective products and sexual abuse of minors – whether in a school setting or a clergy setting.  Plaintiffs’ injury lawyers sounded the alarm on such issues a long time ago.   I’m proud to say that before plaintiffs’ lawyers did so, untold number of children were seriously injured or killed as a result of these defective products, and untold numbers of minor children were the victims of unspeakable sexual abuse by clergy members and school teachers.

Now, the focus is on internet child safety – specifically, the blind eye that Big Tech has paid to protecting underage children from sexual exploitation – and mental health harm, on the internet.  Earlier this week, a hearing was held on Capitol Hill on the issue of child safety and the internet.  The information revealed in that hearing was extremely disturbing.

A U.S. Senate hearing was called to air the justifiable worries of parents and experts in mental health that social media companies prioritize profits over safety measures that would better protect children in the use of these social media platforms.  At one point, Senator Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina), told Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (which owns Facebook), “Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands. You have a product that’s killing people.”  Aside from Facebook, Meta owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Threads, in addition to other similar online platforms.

A Missouri jury has ruled that Bayer must pay $1.56 billion to four plaintiffs who claimed that the company’s Roundup weed killer caused them serious physical injuries, most importantly, cancer. Bayer has long claimed Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is safe for human use.  So far, the evidence doesn’t support this defense, and the verdicts against Bayer are starting to accumulate. This marks the fourth consecutive legal setback for Bayer, which is battling about165,000 personal injury claims linked to Roundup following its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto, and this verdict may intensify investor pressure on the German pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals company to reassess its legal strategy.

The jury determined that Bayer’s Monsanto division was culpable for negligence, design defects, and insufficiently warning plaintiffs about the potential risks associated with Roundup. The awarded damages encompassed $61.1 million in compensatory damages and $500 million each in punitive damages for Valorie Gunther, Jimmy Draeger, and Daniel Anderson, who linked their non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses to Roundup use, and $100,000 for Brenda Draeger. It’s possible that the punitive damages portion of the award may undergo reduction on appeal, but this marks the fourth consecutive legal setback for Bayer, which is battling about165,000 personal injury claims linked to Roundup following its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto

As a Boston defective products lawyer, what I find really offensive about Bayer’s claims, is that this company is known in the public eye for its healthcare products.  Who doesn’t think of Bayer when they think of aspirin?  Yet the truth is that Bayer manufactures an entire range of products, especially farming and agriculture – and several of them can be very dangerous.  In my view, Roundup cases are just another in a seemingly endless parade of corporate irresponsibility and greed.  This kind of corporate conduct is nothing new, but try telling that to someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer.  It’s limited comfort.   But  manufacturers of dangerous products have to be held legally accountable for their actions.  That’s one of the reasons I became a catastrophic injury lawyer.  It isn’t easy; these cases are hard-fought, and any law firm taking these kind of deep-pocketed defendants, needs to have many years of proven, successful experience in the sub-specialty of product liability law.  We have more than 30 years’ experience suing companies that manufacture and market defective products.    If you have questions about Roundup cases or you feel you’ve been harmed because of a defective or unsafe product, contact us.  We’d be glad to provide you a free consultation.

These days in Massachusetts, especially in cities like Boston, Newton & Cambridge, and towns like Brookline and Arlington, it’s all the rage for these municipalities to promote bike lanes on city streets.  It’s a ridiculous idea whose time never was and likely never will be.  It was never wise.  Not if you define “wise” as “safe” or “sensible”.  It was more like throwing matches one by one into a room full of explosives, and wondering witch one will, eventually, cause a massive explosion.

Yesterday, a  bicyclist was killed in a collision with a UPS truck in the suburb of Newton. was mourned Tuesday as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Alex Bohm of Newton, 57 years old, died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, after he was transported there by ambulance following critical injuries he suffered in the crash that occurred late Monday afternoon.  Mr. leaves behind his wife Celia and their daughters.

As a Massachusetts catastrophic injury attorney, I see the real-life consequences of a lot of terrible accidents that were caused by someone else’s negligence.  I see these consequences in the eyes and the lives of my clients, who have to bear these consequences, sometimes for the rest of their lives.  Often these catastrophic accidents involve the death of the victim, and that is always a tragedy.

But each case is unique, and sometimes the tragedy is even more pronounced.  That appears to be the case in the death of Robinson Lalin, a 39 year-old father of five children.  Mr. Lalin was killed this past Sunday early morning when, according to all reports as of today, his arm became trapped in a Red Line subway car as it exited the Broadway T Station.  According to reports, Mr. Lalin was dragged to the end of the platform to his death, his arm being severed before his torso was crushed by the train’s exterior walls.  The damage to his body was so severe that his funeral services will reportedly not allow for an open casket.

Mr. Lain’s family is demanding answers from the T as to how this horrific event could have happened.  And so far, they aren’t getting much.  The T has reportedly only issued comments that both the operator of the train involved, and the train car itself, have been “removed from service.”  Other than that, the T has been tight-lipped.  The federal National Transportation Safety Board has now become involved.

Reports tonight of a construction worker death in partial collapse of a Boston Government Center garage.  Yet one more awful example of just how dangerous construction site jobs are.  Prayers to the family of the victim.  A lawsuit will certainly follow here, and I hope the family is guided by the best legal talent that they can find.  As  a Boston construction site fatality attorney, I know how these cases “go”, and they demand the best legal talent available, or the victims’ families suffer even more.

Update:  Just learned that the name of the victim is Peter Monsini,  He had apparently been a construction worker for more than 20 years, and was the father to a teenage son.  https://bit.ly/3JPd5qO

This is a typically awful story – construction site fatalities always are.  This may sound insensitive, but in fact it’s the very opposite:  As soon as Mr. Monsini’s family can possibly can muster their strength, they must recover their clear-thinking, and take the critical steps needed to hire the “right” law firm for the wrongful death lawsuit that will follow here.   The “right” Boston construction accident law firm for a case like this, is not one that has handled just “a few” of these cases.  They will need to speak with a construction site death law firm that can prove that they have handled many of these death cases – and , most importantly, that they can prove that they won those cases, securing the highest financial damages possible for the victim’s family. 

Breaking news reports tonight of a construction worker killed in the collapse of a Government Center garage that was being worked on.  https://boston.cbslocal.com/2022/03/26/government-center-garage-collapse-haymarket-construction-worker-dead-crane/.

Prayers to the family.  This is just one more awful example of just how dangerous construction site jobs are.  Almost certainly, a lawsuit will follow here for damages in this person’s death.   I hope the family finds the best legal talent out there:  As a Boston construction site fatality attorney, I know from experience how these cases “go” – and the defendants fight these cases, tooth and nail.

An awful tragedy struck two families today at a pond in Worcester.

Worcester Police received multiple calls reporting that someone was possibly drowning Green Hill Pond at around 1:35 p.m.  Several officers responded and immediately went into the pond to rescue the struggling swimmer, reportedly a 14-year-old boy.  Officers brought two people out of the water, but then discovered an officer was missing.  Following a search, officer

Enmanuel “Manny” Familia was found about an hour later and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Familia was with the Worcester Police Department for five years.  He leaves his wife, Jennifer, and two young children, Jayla and Jovan.  The teenager, whose name has not been released, was located shortly afterward and taken to a local hospital, where he too was pronounced dead. Surprisingly, a diver was also taken to a hospital for minor injuries.

Two Boston construction site workers were tragically killed earlier today in downtown Boston.  While all such catastrophic events and the resulting tragedies are difficult to describe, this one was especially awful.

According to multiple news media reports, including Boston25 News, the two construction workers – Jordan Romero from Lynn and his co-worker Carlos Gutierrez of Chelsea, were killed in a trench accident apparently caused by a dump truck.  The 20-foot deep trench at the site collapsed into itself after the dump truck apparently came too close to it, and caused the trench to collapse.  When the trench collapsed, the truck then fell into it.  From information available as of this evening, it is not exactly clear at this point whether the two construction site workers were already in the trench when it collapsed, or were possibly thrown into the trench first after the truck hit them.  In either event, reports are that the event was horrific.  It may be that the men died of suffocation, possibly buried alive.  It is too soon to say at this point.

As a Boston construction site accident lawyer, I’ve seen too many of these awful incidents – involving catastrophic, life-long injuries and disabilities, and death.  And they shouldn’t happen.  While some might say, “Accidents happen.  What are you going to do?  They can’t be prevented”, that is not true.  They can be prevented, and they should be prevented.  Multiple levels of government – the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the state of Massachusetts and in this case, the City of Boston as well – provide regulations, minimum safety standards and safety protocols for construction sites – and they are designed to prevent tragedies like this.  When those safety procedures and protocols are not followed to the letter, incidents like this awful tragedy today are what can, and do, result.  So no, these events are almost never the kind that “couldn’t be prevented” – in the many cases I’ve successfully represented as a Massachusetts construction site fatality attorney, they almost always could have been prevented.