3/19/14 $500,000 verdict against State of RI

by Brian Cunha on March 19, 2014

$500,000.00 Jury Verdict Awarded Today to LPN Injured at R.I. Veterans Nursing Home

PROVIDENCE: After a week-long trial, a six-person jury sitting in the Providence Superior Court today rendered a $500,000.00 verdict against the State of Rhode Island in favor of Victoria Roach of Newport, who was injured in 2008 at the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol.

The State of Rhode Island owns and operates the 260-bed, nursing care facility. Roach was assigned to work at the home on a per diem basis as a licensed practical nurse; she was employed by Mass Medical Associates, a temporary placement agency for nurses.

The case was heard before Superior Court Justice Patricia Hurst. Roach was represented by Brian Cunha and Karen Alegria of Brian Cunha & Associates. The State of Rhode Island was represented by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Shaw.

While on duty on November 10, 2008, the plaintiff was seriously injured when she slipped and fell on soapy water or cleaning fluid left on the floor of a resident’s bathroom. Roach was dispensing medication at this time to a totally disabled resident. She was attempting to dispose in the bathroom sink a small amount of liquid used in administering medication to her patient. In so doing, she entered and fell in the resident’s bathroom.

Roach’s lawyers, Brian Cunha and Karen Alegria of Brian Cunha & Associates, presented evidence at trial that the cleaning spill was not adequately wiped and cleaned beforehand -even though one or more CNAs had responsibility for doing so immediately preceding the accident. Evidence was also presented at trial that one or more CNAs had failed to adequately inspect the area as required.

Plaintiff’s counsel proved that Roach was severely injured as a result. She suffered a torn ACL and torn meniscus that resulted in surgery to repair her knee, and she was unable to return to work for an extended period of time.

“This case is a wake-up call to all nursing home operators that they have to be vigilant in routinely inspecting and maintaining their premises,” Cunha said.

The R.I. Veterans Home is the 260-bed, nursing care facility in Bristol that is owned and operated by the State of Rhode Island. The facility also maintains six long term care units, including an Alzheimer’s Care Unit and two ambulatory care units with 79 beds. The State of Rhode Island owns and operates the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol.

###

Contact:

Attorney Brian Cunha

Offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

508-675-9500

(c) 508-979-6759

{ 1 comment }

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in Rhode Island Superior Court in Newport on behalf of ten people, eight of whom are children, who faced possible exposure to rabies after having contact with a calf at Tiverton Four Corners last July.

The case generated considerable attention at the time. The calf, named Oreo, had bitten a Massachusetts man on July 15. The calf died on July 21, but the town did not notify state officials until July 24, too late to make a definitive determination about the cause of death.

The Department of Public Health in Massachusetts and the Department of Health in Rhode Island instructed anyone who had contact with the animal between July 5, 2013 and July 21, 2013 to contact them regarding their possible exposure to rabies. Each of the plaintiffs did so and were advised by state officials to receive rabies shots.

The suit alleges that Marilyn Bettencourt, owner of Gray’s Ice Cream, Inc., was negligent with respect to the supervision, care and maintenance of a “de facto” petting zoo adjacent to the popular establishment.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Bettencourt failed to have the calves inoculated with the rabies vaccine; allowed the public to interact with the calf named Oreo; and allowed the public to interact with this animal despite the fact that it appeared ill.
The suit further alleges that as a result of this “failure to ensure that the public was not exposed to a diseased calf,” the plaintiffs were caused to suffer severe, permanent and grievous injuries, severe pain and emotional distress, while expending substantial sums of money in the form of medical and hospital care.

The complaint also brings suit against the Town of Tiverton for negligence – for the alleged failure of the Tiverton Animal Control to notify the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in a timely fashion so the animal could be tested for rabies. The suit maintains that as a direct result of the Tiverton Animal Control’s delay, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management could not perform the test for rabies on the calf because the animal was too decomposed.

As a result of the town’s failure to ensure that the public was not exposed to a diseased calf, the plaintiffs maintain that they suffered the injuries alleged. Pursuant to state law, claims had already been filed with the Town of Tiverton seeking $100,000 in damages for each plaintiff. A jury trial is being sought.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Brian Cunha, “This unfortunate series of events has disrupted the lives of so many with frightening consequences. The ongoing medical care that each was required to receive was extremely burdensome, expensive and especially terrifying for children. The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and can cause death. Lingering and serious side effects are possible.”

“The medications are especially potent – with multiple doses being given over various times. But for the actions of the two defendants, this situation need never have arisen, Cunha added.”

Sharon Sybel is the lead attorney on the case. A senior staff attorney with the law firm, she investigated the matter; filed the original claims with the town; and prepared the complaint.

{ 0 comments }

In Court, always tell the truth or else: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive”

December 24, 2013

12/24/13 No witness takes an oath simply to tell the truth. The oath at the beginning of testimony is to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Like many things in our normal lives, we tend to blur it all together into one image. But like many things in the precise [...]

Read the full article →

Rotten Tree results in $140,000.00 settlement

October 1, 2013

On November 3, 2007 the male plaintiff, age 72, was traveling in his car down Bayview Avenue in Bristol, Rhode Island, when a large Norway Maple tree fell over, crushing his vehicle and causing injury to his neck. The Plaintiff retained the offices of Brian Cunha and Associates to investigate the cause of the accident. [...]

Read the full article →

Texting While Driving is against the Law

July 26, 2013

Many people do not know that it is illegal to not only text while driving but also to read a text while driving. Only recently our office was involved in an case where a young woman, who was distracted while looking at a text on her cell phone, seriously injured a young man on a [...]

Read the full article →

Is Toyota Telling the Truth About Sudden Acceleration?

March 14, 2013

Toyota says its problems with sudden unintended acceleration are in the rearview mirror, but newly disclosed documents that werte cited in a recent article raise questions that experts say have not yet been answered. This article points out the necessity of lawyers and the judicial system in keeping the manufacturers honest and the public safe. [...]

Read the full article →

NINE SECRETS USED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES TO DEFEAT YOUR CASE!

January 31, 2013

1. Call 911. Insurance companies love it when accidents are not reported immediately. They know only too well that without the report of an accident immediately to a police officer, or other official who will arrive at the scene to document and investigate the incident, the credibility of the plaintiff is put into question, as [...]

Read the full article →

Consumer Protection Bureau makes sweeping new Rules to help homeowners facing foreclosure

January 17, 2013

1/17/13 In a recent article in the National Law Journal a new rule made final January 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established new protections for homeowners facing foreclosure, imposing sweeping new restrictions on the conduct of mortgage servicer’s. Servicer’s, hereinafter, “bank”, which collect mortgage payments on behalf of banks and typically handle customer service, [...]

Read the full article →

1/5/2013 Beware! Social media can torpedo even the best case!

January 2, 2013

With the explosive rise in the use of social media, particularly facebook and twitter, there has arisen a potential minefield for plaintiffs or their friends who, after being injured in an accident, without thinking, post pictures and comments about their social life. Unfortunately these posts often show the plaintiff partying, drinking, on vacation or involved [...]

Read the full article →

12/18/12 Assault Rifles should not be constitutionally protected.

December 18, 2012

After this horrendous incident in Connecticut lawmakers must do the right thing and ban all assault type weapons. Although as lawyers at Brian Cunha & Associates and other firms, we are committed to the constitution and the god given rights under it, there is no so-called right to own a weapon whose sole purpose is [...]

Read the full article →