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New trial granted in bizarre Massachusetts case


A new trial has been granted in a case involving a Framingham man who became paralyzed after he reportedly attempted a front flip into a two-foot wading pool. The man attempted to sue his half brother as a negligent property owner, but he lost the case. However, on May 15th, the highest court in Massachusetts granted the man a new trial based on the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling that the previous judge gave the case’s jury improper instructions.

According to sources, the man, who was paralyzed after doing a front flip into the wading pool and striking his head, lived with his wife and son in a house they rented from his half brother and sister-in-law. In 2005, the homeowners placed a trampoline beside the pool. In the original case, the jury ruled in favor of the homeowners, stating that flipping into a wading pool was blatantly “dangerous.”

The Supreme Judicial Court nevertheless felt that the judge was incorrect in telling the jury to stop deliberating based on that assessment. A property owner is still responsible for such situations, regardless of whether or not they believe something to be obviously dangerous. In a video shown to the court, the man tries to do a flip but instead ends up going into the pool headfirst, resulting in the man being permanently paralyzed.

The law requires property and business owners to warn individuals of potential hazards. Individuals involved in a serious accident that involves a potentially negligent property owner may be eligible for compensation for their medical costs and pain and suffering. An attorney may be able to assist an individual in seeking compensation in cases related to accidents having to do with a negligent property owner.

Source: Boston.com, “New trial granted in Mass. trampoline-pool case”, Denise Lavoie, May 15, 2013


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