Articles Tagged with Portland injury lawyer

Learning good sportsmanship is one of the primary purposes of youth sports. Yet all over the country – and right here in Maine – serious injuries are reported when parents, players, coaches and fans engage in violence both on and off the field.

Our Portland injury lawyers just recently read about a girls soccer field punch during a playoff game at Lisbon High School, a half hour outside Portland. A video clip (viewed more than 73,000 times on social media before it was removed) shows one player swinging at an opposing player after a scored goal. Later in the game, the clip shows that same player attack again, punching the same girl in the face. The victim fell as she tried to dodge the punch and apparently wasn’t seriously hurt, according to the Portland Press Herald. The video is being reviewed by school officials and no criminal charges have been filed. Less than a week later, the Press Herald reported yet another violent attack at a youth sports game, this time at Scarborough High School, where a 20-year-old resident allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old student in the parking lot during a soccer game half-time.

As Maine injury lawyers know, there may be few remedies available for youth sports players who suffer certain injuries in the course of the game. Depending on the nature of the sport, those injuries may be considered the inherent risk one assumes in playing. (Not always, though, so it’s best to at least discuss your rights with an attorney.) However, when an assault or battery occurs at a sporting event, either among fans or between players or even parents, coaches or referees, parties may be found liable under either negligence or intentional tort law. Continue reading

A man who was allegedly drunk and speeding crossed the center line of a Maine roadway last month and crashed his car, killing a 38-year-old woman and inflicting severe traumatic brain injuries and neck injuries on her 16-year-old daughter. Authorities found cocaine and marijuana present in his system at the time of the deadly drunk driving crash. 

While he awaits trial on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, and aggravated criminal operating under the influence of intoxicants, a Superior Court judge granted a motion for a $2 million attachment on his home and assets. The 28-year-old accused is out of jail on $10,000 bond and currently living in the home, valued at $236,000. If he is convicted on the criminal charges, he faces up to 30 years in prison, plus $50,000 in fines – and that is just on the manslaughter charges.

Meanwhile, as the 16-year-old girl slowly works her way toward recovery and completion of basic self-care tasks, her medical bills have ballooned to more than $153,000 – and are likely to continue climbing throughout the course of her rehabilitation. That’s why the girl’s father – and the widower of the decedent – filed a motion for an attachment on the defendant’s house and other property.

Continue reading

There are many challenges drivers face as they age. Vision deteriorates and reflexes dull. That’s why many states – including Maine – have provisions in place requiring senior drivers to undergo additional testing and in-person renewals.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is one of the more stringent. Drivers are first required to undergo a vision test at age 40 in order to renew their license. Drivers older than 65 have to renew their state-issued licenses every four years, as opposed to every six years, as younger drivers do. Drivers 62 and older are required to undergo a vision test every second renewal. The bureau also accepts requests from anyone with personal knowledge of a driver who may pose a safety concern to others. Road tests may be required if the bureau has reason to believe the driver may be unfit. Bureau personnel have the authority to restrict the driver’s licenses of elder drivers to prevent them from driving when it’s dark or only allow driving within a certain area.

As the population ages (the U.S. Census opines the percentage of the over-65 population will more than double by 2050), states are not rushing to impose additional regulations. In fact, some state legislatures have actually been actively rejecting these measures, according to a recent report published by the Portland Press-Herald. In fact, while 60 million older adults are expected to be on the nation’s roadways by 2030, some legislators are taking the position that licenses should not be restricted solely on the basis of age.

Continue reading

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has addressed a blind spot in case law regarding which victims may claim a defendant’s money and assets in a case involving multiple individuals who are equally harmed. 

The case of Estate of Summers v. Nisbet stems from the deadliest fire in Maine in over 40 years. The blaze broke out in a two-unit home in 2014 in Portland. Six people were killed.

In the aftermath, it was alleged the landlord was negligent in maintaining the property in safe condition, which played a central role in the fire. Soon after, families began filing wrongful death lawsuits against the landlord, who also faces six criminal counts of manslaughter.

The family of one man, Steven Summers, was the first to file a claim for damages in court. However, his widow, as personal representative of his estate, did so by filing what is known as an ex parte attachment. It is a claim that is not made public until after the defendant – here, the landlord – goes through a process of challenging that attachment. It’s a secretive process intended to block a defendant’s assets without warning, to prevent the defendant from concealing property or money to avoid having to part with it to satisfy the judgment.  Continue reading

A young woman was asleep in the passenger seat of her fiance’s vehicle when he crashed head-on into a 1,000-pound moose, standing in the middle of the Maine Turnpike last November. She has no memory of the animal flipping over the top of the vehicle as it tore off the roof and struck her in the head. 

But she did live to tell it. Her recovery has been a long, slow journey, and it isn’t over yet. She spent two weeks in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Lewiston. Doctors feared if she did survive, the traumatic brain injury she suffered may leave her unable to care for herself, facing decades in a nursing home.

She has incredibly beat those odds. She had to learn once again how to talk, walk, write and perform other basic tasks. Like many traumatic brain injury sufferers, the recovery has been arduous, and the medical bills astronomical.  Continue reading

Maine has been battered in recent weeks by heavy snow, angry winds exceeding 30 mph and bitter, frigid cold dipping close to 0 degrees. 

These kinds of conditions aren’t new in the northeastern U.S., but for some reason, many people seem to drive like they’ve never encountered it. Motorists often travel entirely too fast for the conditions, don’t give themselves enough time to get where they are going and pull aggressive maneuvers on roads that are slick and treacherous to begin with.

On a recent weekend where snowfall topped 7 inches in some parts of Maine, numerous traffic accidents were reported throughout the state. All of these were attributed by officials to slippery conditions. It got so bad at one point that state officials reduced speed limits along the Maine Turnpike down to 45 mph.  Continue reading

Anytime a patron of a store lawfully enters that commercial property, he or she has a right to expect the business – and its agents – will act with reasonable care to ensure the site will be kept in reasonably safe condition. That includes making sure shelves are safely stacked, aisles are clear of debris and substances, lighting is adequate, and entrances stairways, walkways and parking lots are in good condition.

It also means employees must act with reasonable care when carrying out their jobs.

When this does not happen, it’s a form of premises liability. That’s what is alleged in the recent Portland case of Sayed v. Wal-Mart, in which a man says he was strapping his infant son into the front of a shopping cart when an employee of the store negligently rammed a line of shopping carts into his back.

What began as a fun way to kick off the fall festivities ended in tragedy recently when those aboard a haunted hayride in Maine were dragged by an out-of-control Jeep towing a trailer with nearly two dozen passengers down a steep hill.

All 22 injured passengers and the driver were thrown when the Jeep struck a tree. A 17-year-old girl was killed. Although police in Mechanic Falls are still investigating the exact cause, they suspect brake problems with the 1979 Jeep are to blame.

From a personal injury and wrongful death standpoint, there are numerous individuals and entities that are likely to find themselves named as defendants. The driver would be one. The owner of the vehicle, if different than the driver, would likely also be named, as would the event organizers. The land owner or possessor also may face premises liability claims if there is reason to believe the property was in an unsafe condition and there was no warning.

A tractor-trailer truck driver hauling recycled paper lost control of his vehicle recently on the Maine Turnpike in Kittery, and slammed through a steel guardrail, before crossing over the median and colliding head-on with a sport-utility vehicle driven by a Rhode Island woman.

The 59-year-old SUV driver was killed instantly, according to media reports. A spokeswoman for the Maine Turnpike Authority called it one of the most severe she’d ever seen. While some truck accidents had been precipitated by tractor-trailer drivers taking out up to 800 feet of guardrail, few actually crossed over the median, she said.

There is no evidence the trucker tried to brake in the moments before impact, which usually suggests one of a few things: Extreme fatigue, intoxication, a medical event or a mechanical defect.

Contact Information