Settlements & Verdicts 2009

  • 12/11/09 $225,000 Settlement: Dementia/Pedestrian Accident – The 76 year old female Plaintiff was struck by the Defendants vehicle as she was crossing the road from her elderly housing complex where she resided, suffering two broken legs. The Defendant claimed that she was crossing from West to East and that she had walked in front of his car without warning and therefore he was unable to avoid the accident.Brian Cunha & Associates were retained and immediately hired an accident reconstructionist to reconstruct the accident. The reconstruction revealed that the Plaintiff was in fact crossing from the opposite direction and was struck by the Defendant after she had already safely crossed both lanes and was entering the breakdown lane. It was discovered that the Plaintiff was going about her normal routine of walking to the Post Office with her mail which required that she cross the road from East to West , which was confirmed by the stamped mail that she had not yet mailed found in her purse. Further evidence of her location was discovered in Newspaper Photos that were obtained by Brian Cunha & Associates that clearly show the Plaintiffs’ shoes in the breakdown lane.
  • 11/15/09 $150,000 Settlement: After Hours Party Social Host Liability – On July 4th 2007, the Plaintiff 41, and two friends were invited to an after hours party in Mashpee, Massachusetts, to be held at the home of a 29 year old New York Rangers professional hockey player, who owned a Cape Cod summer house. Upon arrival the Plaintiff and his friends were offered beer and other alcohol by the owner of the house. Shortly after the Plaintiffs arrival an off- duty Falmouth detective and his girlfriend, friends of the owner, arrived and were also served drinks.The plaintiff alleged, through Brian Cunha & Associates, that the Falmouth Police officer and the hockey player were under the influence and started a fight with the Plaintiff and his friends, resulting in the Plaintiff sustaining a fractured cheekbone. The case settled at a day long mediation session with retired Massachusetts Superior court judge, Suzanne DelVecchio.
  • 7/2/09 $70,000 Settlement: Civil Rights – Illegal Strip Search – On March 7, 2007 at approximately 9:00 PM, the Plaintiff, age 17, and her three friends were stopped by the Dartmouth police for a broken taillight.

    The officer ordered the four teenagers out of the car and asked if they had any pot in the car. All four denied that there were any drugs either in the car or on their person. All four were pat frisked and nothing was found. 

    However, as the Plaintiff stepped from the car the officer noted that the top button of Plaintiff’s pants were unbuttoned and accused her of having stuffed pot down her pants. The plaintiff explained that she had just been to Wendys and her pants were tight.

    Nevertheless, the Dartmouth officer summonsed a female State Police officer to perform a strip search of the Plaintiff. Upon arrival at the scene the State Police officer ordered the Plaintiff to lower her pants and proceeded to perform a strip search of the plaintiff; nothing was found. The Plaintiff did not seek or receive any medical or psychological treatment.

    The Plaintiff retained Brian Cunha & Associates to represent her and after extensive discovery the case was settled. The trial was scheduled to commence in August 2009.

  • 6/25/09 $800,000 Settlement: Automobile/Truck Accident – On January 10,2007, the female plaintiff, age 42, was operating her vehicle westbound on Fall River Avenue, in Seekonk, Massachusetts, when a Ford tow truck operated by the Defendant, traveling easterly, took a left hand turn in front of her vehicle resulting in a collision. The plaintiff suffered a severe injury to her foot and ankle resulting in two surgeries. The Defendant claimed that the plaintiff was responsible for the accident as she was speeding and that his overhead amber strobe lights were illuminated. An accident reconstructionist and an investigator were able to locate two witnesses to the accident. The witnesses confirmed that the majority of the fault for the accident rested with the Defendant. The accident reconstructionist retrieved the “black box” from the plaintiff’s car that recorded the plaintiff’s speed for five (5) seconds that preceded the collision. The case was settled by Attorney Brian Cunha and the defense attorney for the insurance company after a day long mediation session with Attorney Paul Finn from Commonwealth Mediation in Brockton Massachusetts. A prior mediation had failed when the plaintiff was represented by an attorney from Boston.
  • 5/15/09 $577,500 Settlement: Automobile/Pedestrian Accident
    On the evening of January 16,2008, the female plaintiff, age 77, was walking her dog in Somerset Massachusetts. When she attempted to cross the street to return to her home she was struck by the Defendant, a college student. The Plaintiff suffered a badly fractured leg requiring surgery.

    The state police accident reconstructionist officer who investigated the accident concluded that the accident was the fault of the Plaintiff who he claimed walked into the road without looking.

    Brian Cunha & Associates retained its own accident reconstructionist and after extensive discovery, Attorney Sharon Sybel from Brian Cunha & Associates was able to convince the insurer that the Defendant was speeding which was the primary cause of the accident.

    The case settled after a day long mediation before attorney William Poore in Providence Rhode Island. The Plaintiff placed a portion of her settlement into a trust to provide college tuition for her two grandchildren. The plainiff’s dog, Princess, was unharmed!

  • 4/22/09 $350,000 Settlement: Improper placement of sign/Automobile Accident – On 2/16/04 the plaintiff, a 16 year old girl, was tragically injured, causing the loss of her right arm, when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by a 30′ tow truck that negligently backed from a driveway onto the highway in which her vehicle was traveling, resulting in the collision.The claims against the driver of the truck and the Plaintiff’s vehicle were previously settled by Brian Cunha & Associates.Brian Cunha & Associates brought an additional claim against the commercial owners of the driveway claiming that a sign that had been erected by their tenant at the end of the driveway obscured the vision of the truck driver as he backed from the driveway. The plaintiff’s case was severely weakened by the 80 year old truck driver’s testimony that the sign did not interfere with his view of the road or oncoming traffic.The defendant argued that the negligence solely belonged to the truck driver, the automobile driver and the tenant that erected the sign. During the nine days of trial, Attorney Brian Cunha was able to convince the Defendant that the sign may have interfered with the truck driver’s view and the case settled shortly before the jury was to decide the case.
  • 2/9/09 $50,000 Settlement: Wrongful Discharge Garant v. Town of Westport et.al. – On March 7,2008, David Garant, was fired by his supervisor, Harold Sisson, from his position as a truck driver for the Westport Highway Department claiming that Garant had lost his drivers license. Mr Garants’ union refused to file a grievance and Garant contacted Brian Cunha & Associates. At Attorney Brian Cunha’s request a hearing was held on June 2,2008, wherein it was determined that Sisson did not have the authority to fire our client and he was reinstated commencing July 1,2008. However upon his return Sisson refused to allow Mr. Garant to return to work.Brian Cunha & Associates commenced a lawsuit in the Fall River Massachusetts Superior Court against the Town, Sisson and the union. At a mediation held in Boston in November 2008, the town agreed to settle the claim with Mr. Garant for $50,000.
  • 1/22/09 $235,000 Partial Personal Injury Settlement-Automobile/Pedestrian Accident – The Plaintiff, a 56 year old female from East Boston, was in the process of removing a shopping bag from the trunk of an acquaintances car, who had double parked on the road, when she was struck by a female drunk driver causing her to be pinned to the rear of the vehicle. The automobile accident resulted in serious personal injuries including the loss of her right leg.Brian Cunha & Associates a brought claims against the drunk driver, who received a jail sentence of 5-7 years at ACI Framingham, the driver of her car and the bar/restaurant where the drunk driver had left moments before the crash. This personal injury settlement which was just short of the automobile policy limit, is against the insurer/driver of her car only, the other cases remain pending.Brian Cunha & Associates’ theory against the driver was that she should not have double parked. It was disputed whether she had put her flashers on. The personal injury case was settled one week prior to the start of trial.

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