Our client was attending a town parade dressed in a light summer dress and flat sandals. While walking on her way back home she saw an acquaintance who had a motorcycle and offered her a ride. While riding on the back of the motorcycle, her foot came into contact with the exhaust pipe and she received a severe burn on her foot. During the healing process, our client experienced complications and underwent two surgical debridement procedures. Her surgeons also put in place a wound VAC (Vacuum-assisted closure) to remove blood or serous fluid from the wound and operation site to assist in healing. Needless to say, this client was left with significant surgical and medical bills.
What seemed like an innocent ride turned into medical nightmare. Our position in taking on this case was that the owner/driver of the motorcycle was negligent and should never have allowed a passenger on the motorcycle that was not properly equipped with the necessary riding gear. If he invites someone on his motorcycle and they are not properly dressed and protected, then negligence can be imputed to the owner/driver of the motorcycle.
The insurance carrier initially denied their insured (owner of the bike) was negligent. There’s little or no precedence in Massachusetts law on this particular point. The case was a novel one and took considerable effort from Attorneys Pappas and Mahaney in its preparation and presentation. Our office filed a lawsuit for negligence on the part of the motorcycle owner.
During the discovery phase of the lawsuit we were able to uncover certain factors that established the necessary elements of negligence. As we continued litigating this case, the insurance carrier changed its position and surrendered the full policy of $100,000.