Law Articles

Promoting Safer Trucking in Maine

Maine’s unique geography and geopolitical boundaries necessitate heavy reliance on trucking to keep our economy moving and to keep food and other goods available and in our stores. However, because of their massive size and limited maneuverability, trucks pose special risks on the roadways. Every year, there are over 1,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles on Maine’s roads. With increasing economic

pressures and competition, this number is likely to increase. In addition, regulations... More

James E. O'Connell, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

During the summer season, many of us enjoy time out on Maine’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Boating and fishing enthusiasts live throughout Maine, and with the long-awaited arrival of warm weather, they are getting out on the water with family and friends as often as possible. And while our short and busy boating season certainly provides many enjoyable experiences, an unfortunate aspect of the activity is that serious boating accidents and collisions inevitably happen... 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

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

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

Julian L. Sweet, trial attorney and partner at Berman & Simmons

Medical malpractice cases in Maine can be costly and difficult. They involve complex medical issues, require expensive expert witnesses, are subject to the pre-litigation screening panel system, and are fiercely defended by Maine’s most skilled and experienced defense attorneys. While these obstacles to recovery are all real, they can be overcome with careful analysis at intake and the use of a sophisticated approach to case development and trial presentation. We used such techniques to... More

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Berman & Simmons has the experience, expertise, and resources to win your case

Berman & Simmons is the leading personal injury and medical malpractice law firm in Maine. For more than 100 years, our trial attorneys have represented those who have been injured or harmed by the actions of others. These personal injury cases range from car and truck accidents to the most complex litigation involving defective products and malpractice by healthcare providers. We are known as the firm that will stand up and fight for injured Mainers in disputes against big corporations and powerful interests.