AUGUST 7,2019 Settlement $143 Million- Lawrence Gas Explosion Case
We are pleased to report Class Action lawsuits filed by Brian Cunha and Associates and other attorneys stemming from the natural gas explosions in Massachusetts, has been settled for $143 million, against Columbia Gas, the utility blamed for the disaster.
The settlement is subject to the approval of a judge, according to Brian Cunha.The explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on September 13,2018 killed one person, injured about 25 others, and damaged or destroyed more than 100 buildings. Many people were forced into temporary shelter, and thousands of homes and businesses went without natural gas service for weeks and even months during the winter.
“Families suffered for months in the gripping cold. Businesses shuttered and lives were upended.” Brian Cunha attorney for the plaintiffs said in a statement.
The explosions were blamed on an over pressurization of gas transmission lines during routine replacement. The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation.
The agreement is separate from an $80 million settlement reached in May with the three communities to address infrastructure damage.
“I don’t’ think anything can ever be fair to a community where so many people lost family members, lost homes, lost livelihoods,” Gov. Charlie Baker responded when asked.
Baker added that victims of the disaster were well represented in negotiations with the utility, “and if they believe that was a deal worth signing, I’m going to side with them on that.”
NiSource has so far spent about $1 billion responding to the disaster, the company said.
Residents of the three communities will be entitled to recover compensation for disruption of their lives and property damage not previously covered, according to Brian Cunha. Businesses will be
able to claim lost income and lost inventory.
Brian Cunha & Associates is presently proceeding on a second class action lawsuit in Newport Rhode Island against National grid and it natural Gas supplier Enbridge Corp., a Canadian based company, as a result of the loss of natural gas service to the community in January 2019. That case is proceeding though litigation.
APRIL 16, 2019 Settlement $120,000.00 – Motor Vehicle Accident
The plaintiff, 35, was struck by a motor vehicle in 2017 as she crossed the street in Fall River Massachusetts, causing her to fall and suffer a fractured clavicle. She was seen at the hospital and underwent several months of physical therapy and was unable to work during that time frame. The case was settled by Attorney Brian Cunha with the insurance company at a mediation before retired Judge Suzanne Del Vecchio at Commonwealth Mediation in Brockton Massachusetts just before trial was to begin.
March 4, 2019 – $200,000.00 Settlement – Nursing Home Neglect
The Plaintiff, 93, was a resident at a nursing home in New Bedford Massachusetts, when she was caused to fall on two separate occasions. As a result she sustained a fractured nose a pelvis. Her family retained Brian Cunha & Associates to represent her in a claim against the nursing home for neglect in failing to properly safeguard her while walking. Given the Plaintiffs age the insurance company was initially reluctant to pay any sizeable settlement. However after the Plaintiff had retained an expert on liability Brian Cunha & Associates was able to convince the insurance company to pay a fair settlement to the Plaintiff
February 20, 2019 – $172,044.00- Arbitration Award- Auto Accident
The Plaintiff, age 52, was involved in a motor vehicle accident when the Defendant went through a stop sign and struck her vehicle. The Plaintiff sustained injuries to her wrist, ankle, back and neck wherein she underwent treatment. The insurance company’s initial offer on the case was $12,000.00. The position of the insurance company was that the Plaintiff’s injuries were pre-existing. The other issue in the case was that the Plaintiff’s SUV only sustained $750.00 in damage. Attorney Sharon D. Sybel from Brian Cunha & Associates retained the services of a physician who examined the Plaintiff and reviewed all of her medical records. The doctor was able to opine that although there was minor damage to the Plaintiff’s vehicle, the position of the Plaintiff’s hand son the steering wheel and foot on the brake at the time of the impact, was the cause of her injuries at the time of the accident.
After testimony from the Plaintiff and Defendant at the arbitration hearing the arbitrator awarded the Plaintiff $172,044.50.
$140,000.00 Settlement – Dog Bite
January 5, 2019- Settlement $140,000.00
On March 12, 2018, the Plaintiff, 7, was dropping off his son at his place of employment in Fall River Massachusetts. When he entered the Defendants property, the Defendant’s dog escaped his kennel and and bit the Plaintiff on his leg causing a bad laceration. The Defendant claims that he was not negligent and that there was nothing he could do to prevent the dog from escaping. Attorney Sharon Sybel, from Brian Cunha and Associates was able to convince the Defendants homeowners insurance company to settle the case within six months of having retained our personal injury law firm.
$150,000.00 Settlement – Slip and Fall Accident
January 15, 2019 – Settlement $150,000.00
In 2017, the Plaintiff, 85, was caused to slip and fall w due to a depression in the walkway while exiting a family sport and recreation center in Fall River Massachusetts, causing her to fracture her hip. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff did not report the fall at the time of the incident to the recreational facility, nor did they have any other notice of the acident. The failure to give notice led to a great deal of difficulty in bringing the claim. Another hurdle in the case was that the Plaintiff, who sought medical attention, failed to tell the emergency room doctor that she fell due to a defect in the walkway. The Plaintiff retained the services of Brian Cunha and Associates approximately one year after the fall. Our attorneys immediately investigated the fall and photographed the scene of the accident. Despite the hurdles faced due to lack of notice, through the photographs and investigation, our attorneys were able to convince the insurance company of their liability and able to settle the claim favorably
The lesson to be learned is to immediately report any fall, to inform the doctor of the fall and the reasons for the fall and as soon as possible to document the fall with photographs of the scene!