Legal Articles

We are frequent contributors to continuing legal education programs and legal journals on evidence, medical malpractice, personal injury, and law office management. Some of our articles relating to personal injury law are reprinted here. We hope you find them useful.

SJC: Pain and Suffering Damages Beyond the Reach of Workers’ Compensation Lien. On February 12, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its ruling in the cases of DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., Inc. (SJC-11854); Martin v. Angelini Plastering, Inc. (SJC-11853).

City of Newton May Be Liable for Injuries Caused by Falling Tree. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has rejected an appeal by the City of Newton which attempted to claim an exemption from liability for personal injuries suffered by a softball player on one of its fields. The City claimed it was exempt from liability under the Recreational Use Statute, but the court ruled the statute did not apply.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Damages Remedies in Consumer Protection Cases. The SJC issued its ruling in the case of Rhodes v. AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., 461 Mass. 486 (2012). It is a strong decision in favor of Massachusetts consumers and against insurance bad faith practices. Click here for full SJC decision.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules on Retroactive Interest in MBTA Bus Accident Case (January 27, 2011). The Appeals Court ruled the 2009 amendment to G.L. c. 258, which made the MBTA a "public employer" does not affect interest in a $4 million award for a bus accident victim. The victim was represented by Breakstone, White & Gluck.

Some Good News and Some Bad News from the Massachusetts Appeals Courts on G.L. c. 93A Damages. By David White (2011). Two Appeals Court cases decided in 2010 offer differing analyses of damages under G.L. c. 93A and c. 176D.

Lawyers Must Work to Improve Voir Dire System in Massachusetts. By Marc Breakstone and David White. Massachusetts Lawyers Journal (2010). A discussion on the appropriate roles of the court and attorneys during jury selection. See PDF version.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Clarifies "Open and Obvious" Rule in Snow and Ice Cases; Slip and Fall Governed by Comparative Negligence Doctrine. By David White (2009). The court clarified that the open and obvious rule governing obvious defects in premises liability cases is limited. The case is an important one for plaintiffs.

Good News for Bicyclists in Massachusetts: Important Changes in Massachusetts Statutes Favor Cyclists--Drivers Must Use Greater Care in Massachusetts Bicycle Laws. Give Cyclists More Rights and Require Safer Driving. By David W. White (2009). This article summarizes the legislative changes in 2008, which place greater requirements on driver of cars and truck to prevent accidents with bicycles.

First Circuit Court of Appeals Allows c. 93A Case to Proceed Against Insurance Company; Previous State Suit Did Not Bar Claim, by David W. White (2009). This article summarizes the case of Andrew Robinson International, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, 547 F3d 48 (1st Cir. 2008), which determined res judicata did not bar a second suit by the plaintiffs against the insurer.

MBTA Operator Negligence Causes Dozens of Rider Injuries in Green Line Tunnel Crash

Tort and Insurance Law Update -- 2005, by David W. White and Heather Engman (2006). This article summarizes all of the important personal injury and medical malpractice cases from the state courts for the year 2005.

Handling Anesthesia Malpractice Cases, by David W. White (2005). This article discusses many of the general principles of the handling of medical malpractice cases arising from anesthesia malpractice.

Recent Developments in Medical Malpractice Law and G.L. c. 93A Law, 2003-2004, by David W. White (2004). In the Supreme Judicial Court case of Darviris v. Petros, 442 Mass. 274 (2004), limitations on consumer protection claims under G.L. c. 93A in medical malpractice cases were limited by the court. However, c. 93A claims may still be available in certain medical malpractice cases.

Appeals Court Raises Troubling Questions in Recent G.L. c. 93A Case, By David W. White. December 2001 (updated). This article reviews the holding in the case of Bolden v. O'Connor Café of Worcester, Inc., 50 Mass. App. Ct. 56 (2000), which raises questions about assignments of judgment in G.L. c. 93A cases.

Chapter 93A Damages in Arbitration Cases Clarified by Recent Appeals Court Case. By David W. White. December 1999. This article reviews the holding of the case Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Choukas, 47 Mass. App. Ct. 196 (1999), which provides a mechanism for multiple damages of arbitration awards under G.L. c. 93A.

Pierce and Dominguez: Legislative Interpretation and Judicial Inconsistency at Work. By David White. April 1999. This article discusses two recent cases concerning health insurance liens and the Personal Injury Protection statute.

Life After Lazaris and Furtado. By David White. January 1999. This article discusses two recent G.L. c. 93A and c. 176D cases, which reverse the rule in Thaler, which had required insurance companies to settle personal injury claims for policy limits without a release when liability was not disputed and the damages exceeded the policy limits.

Bad Faith Litigation in Massachusetts: The Plaintiff's Perspective. By David W. White. October 1998. This article provides a detailed overview of G.L. c. 93A and c. 176D, the Consumer Protection Act and the laws concerning bad faith settlement practices by insurance companies.

Understanding and Buying Massachusetts Car Accident Insurance. By David W. White.

Medical Malpractice Case Information. By David W. White.

Articles by David White (formerly David White-Lief).