Law Articles

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

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

Since 1985, Maine’s Health Security Act (“HSA”) has prescribed a shortened limitations period for medical malpractice cases— three years for claims by adults and six years or three years from the age of majority for minors. This statute has been strictly construed, with the only recognized exceptions in cases where a foreign object was inadvertently left in a patient or a provider fraudulently concealed negligent conduct. Strict enforcement of the HSA’s statute of limitations has provided... More

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

Each summer, many Maine residents and tourists are injured by negligent use of personal watercraft (PWC). Known by such names as Jet Ski, WaveRunner and Sea-Doo, PWCs are relatively inexpensive and easy to operate. PWCs pose risks to health and safety in a variety of ways. Used properly, with proper training and supervision, they can be both fun and safe. Unfortunately, too often proper safety precautions are overlooked or ignored, resulting in catastrophic injury or... More

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

Maine is a beautiful place to ride motorcycles. With summer upon us and the increasing number of motorcyclists on our roads, there inevitably will be accidents resulting in serious injuries. Lawyers who represent motorcyclists must remember that motorcycle crash cases involve issues of bias that are not present in automobile collision cases. To get the best result for an injured motorcyclist, an attorney must be mindful of these bias issues from the very beginning of the... More

Jodi L. Nofsinger, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer is important because it leads to gentler and more effective forms of treatment. Responsibility for providing the testing that leads to early diagnosis rests primarily with family doctors, who are trained to understand and use widely available screening tests, even for patients without symptoms. This article provides background information on screening for four common cancers that can and should be caught early through the use of inexpensive and widely... More

Michael T. Bigos, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Construction sites have tremendous potential to injure and kill.  The hazards they present include falling objects, poisonous gases, scalding temperatures, electrocution, explosions, and everything that can go wrong when using ladders and power tools.  Workers on these sites often have nothing other than hardhats and safety glasses to protect them against forces that can maim and kill them in an instant. 

Early Investigation
Investigating a construction site accident case involves both pinning down the facts and understanding the law.

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Robert H. Furbish, trial lawyer at Berman & Simmons

In a negligence case, the plaintiff must prove that the negligent acts or omissions of the defendant more likely than not caused the injury. Defendants in medical malpractice cases have argued, based on this standard of proof, that in any case where the plaintiff cannot prove that the malpractice deprived her of a greater than 50% chance of a better outcome, the plaintiff cannot meet her burden of proof on causation and can therefore not recover. For... 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.