If a road crack results in you getting hurt, you better act fast to find out who's really to blame for it

A man who says a large pavement "rut" caused him to tumble off his bicycle in Brookline is plumb out of luck trying to get somebody to pay for his injuries, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today.

Tom Filepp sued what is now National Grid over injuries he says he incurred in 2005 when he tumbled off his bicycle due to a two-inch gap in the pavement on Harvard Street he says was caused by work by the company.

But Filepp did not submit a claim with National Grid until three months after his accident - or two months later than the 30-day deadline for filing claims set in state law.

Filepp actually filed a claim with the town of Brookline immediately after the incident, but the town waited nearly 2 1/2 months to tell him the crack was due to Keyspan, not anything it had done.

That's unfortunate, but not National Grid's fault, the court said, because the law leaves it up to the injured person to find the actual responsible party - and to be snappy about it.

Under the statutory scheme, the burden is placed on the party injured by reason of a defect in the way to ascertain promptly whether the defect may have been caused by a party (other than the municipality) who is "by law obliged to keep said way in repair." Though the time for such a determination is only thirty days, if there are practical reasons why the time should be made longer the appropriate body to consider and weigh them is the Legislature.

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    Comments

    nutty tom

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    nutty tom

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    Also known as...

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    the "adding insult to injury" law.

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    The case probably wasn't

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    The case probably wasn't until after keyspan rejected his claim. There was no case brookline withheld info too.

    IANAL

    OK, if Keyspan dug up the street, they pulled a permit for that location. Brookline will know that. Two and a half months? Smells funny. So, Moral Of The Story...ask Brookline if there were any cut permits pulled for that location. Right away. That way, you might, maybe have a case against the town.

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    It's times like this that I

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    It's times like this that I hate our legal system.

    How exactly is someone supposed to find out which utility screwed up the road in a given spot? Does anyone have that information besides the owner of the road (the town in this case)?

    If I were in charge, the town would be responsible for all injuries caused by defects in town roads. If the town wanted to go after a utility after that, that would be their problem, not the injured person's.

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    judges wouldn't even sign

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    judges wouldn't even sign that one, sent it out as rescript instead ..... yet another judicial decision incentivizing shoddy road repairs by private utilities.

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    Not very nice of National Grid

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    National Grid could be nice people and maybe at least listen to him and settle with him. I guess that's too much to ask for and I assume that he already went down that route and that's why he is in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

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    One small thing we need to remember here

    On many slip and fall type lawsuits, the defendant should at least have the chance to take photos or investigate the location alleged to have caused the injury. If all you have is a plaintiffs photos taken during the time of injury, and the defendant doesn't have that chance, it might not be fair to spring a lawsuit on someone x amount of days after said incident.

    I'm guessing that's one of the reasons why time limits exist on lawsuits like this.

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    Oh hush up all you pretend

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    Oh hush up all you pretend lawyers.. This man is an opportunist. MA is full of 'em

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    There's alot of oppurtunists

    There's alot of opportunists, but if a person or company is responsible for your bodily harm, they should foot the bill for medical expenses, any missed work as a result of injuries and subsequent pay, etc.

    [/pretendlawyer]

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    Who do *you* think should get

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    Who do *you* think should get to decide if someone is an opportunist?
    1) a judge
    2) a jury
    3) a Brookline bureaucrat who messes up the guy's case by taking too long to let him know it was a utility company's fault
    4) random anon uhub trolls (who make the rest of us anons look bad)