Law Articles

Alicia F. Curtis, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

The Law Court Affirms a Jury’s Ability to Infer Causation from Adequate, Reliable Evidence

In a 2009 decision, Addy v. Jenkins, the Law Court threw into question a jury’s ability to infer causation when a plaintiff cannot remember specifically how or why he was injured—at least according to a strong dissent by Justice Silver. Justice Silver questioned whether the Law Court had overruled prior precedent allowing a jury to infer how and why a plaintiff tripped... More

Miriam A. Johnson, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

When a patient presents at a hospital or a practice affiliated with a hospital, whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital is usually the last thing on the patient’s mind. If the doctor’s treatment results in a medical malpractice claim, however, the identity of the doctor’s employer may become a central issue of the litigation.

With more Maine hospitals, particularly those in rural areas, hiring locum tenens physicians1 and other contractor physicians, the... More

Daniel G. Kagan, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Every tort lawyer knows the simple definition of negligence: “failure to use ordinary care under the circumstances.” When presented with a new case, we are trained to look at an individual’s behavior and see where it failed to meet this familiar standard. Identifying failures of relevant individuals is an appropriate starting place, but the wise tort lawyer goes beyond this to look for the system failure that caused the harm or injury.

Importance of System Failure... More

Travis M. Brennan, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

On October 2016, after a five-day bench trial, the Penobscot Superior Court awarded our client Michael Lund approximately $729,000 for serious and permanent injuries he experienced as a result of the Defendant’s negligence. The Court’s decision and award are the culmination of over four-and-a-half years of time and resources. This article reflects on some of the fundamental issues that we had to navigate to prevail in this case.

Blueberry Burns in Machias
In March 2012, Defendant... More

Alicia F. Curtis, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

Defendants in product liability and other complex personal injury cases often point to their compliance with government regulations or industry standards as a key to their defense. Under Maine law, breach of a law, regulation, or formal standard is evidence of negligence to be considered with other evidence in the case.

The defendant may argue that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and compliance with these same regulations or standards proves... More

Benjamin R. Gideon, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Recently we represented a 38-year-old Marine Corps Veteran who suffered permanent paralysis after visiting the Togus VA Hospital in Augusta (Togus) in 2011. When we first spoke to this client, we learned that he had already consulted with several lawyers who told him there was nothing they could do to help him.

We agreed to take the case, and filed suit against the U.S. government. After two years of litigation, we obtained a settlement for our... More

Susan A. Faunce, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Orange Is the New Black has raised public awareness about the challenge that the correctional system confronts in providing proper medical care while operating under stringent budget constraints.  When an inmate becomes ill or suffers injury while incarcerated, or enters prison with a preexisting medical condition, he/she is entitled to receive proper medical care.  The law recognizes a variety of causes of action, from civil rights violations to state medical malpractice claims, to protect... More

Craig A. Bramley, trial lawyer, partner and managing director at Berman & Simmons

With a steadfast mission, Berman & Simmons is poised for another century of success

A Look Back: 100 Years of Service

Imagine Lisbon Street in Lewiston, the heart of a bustling mill town, 100 years ago.  Shops line both sides of the street, while construction is being done on the nearby Bates Mill buildings.  Imagine a young lawyer, Benjamin Berman, in his office commiserating with mill workers about working conditions, wages, and local politics.  In Berman, the... More

Benjamin R. Gideon, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

In February 2014, after more than four and a half years of litigation and a three-week jury trial, a jury in Chittenden County, Vermont (Burlington) returned the second highest jury verdict in the history of that state. The jury awarded approximately $22.5 million dollars to our clients, Michael and Tracey Hemond. Since that verdict, lawyers and clients have asked for more details about the case, how we reached the point of trial and obtained such... More

Steve D. Silin, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Catastrophic injury cases present special challenges. They are not only quantitatively but qualitatively different at every phase from other personal injury cases in how they must be prepared and tried and in the time and resources that must be devoted to them. Just as importantly, because the catastrophically injured exist in a world that most people never have to experience, jurors may have difficulty identifying with them or appreciating the impact of the injury on their... More