News

Matt Cianflone Accepted to Executive Master’s Program at the London School of Economics and Political Science

June 17, 2021

We are pleased to announce that Partner Matt Cianflone was recently accepted to an Executive Master’s program at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Designed for professionals and executives who continue to work full time, Matt will be embarking to London to study at LSE for several weeks at a time over the next two years, where he will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Health Economics, Policy and Management. As co-chair of FWY’s Medicare Compliance Group, Matt hopes to gain additional expertise in these areas, with an additional focus on Medicare solvency issues in the U.S. health care system.  Best of Luck!

Kathleen Reagan Invited to Speak at the Racing & Gaming Conference at Saratoga

June 16, 2021

Kathleen Reagan has been invited to speak at the Racing and Gaming Conference in Saratoga. As a panel member at the event, which will take place August 16-17, 2021, she will speak on the topic of advising horse syndicates.

Kathleen is no stranger to all things Equine. As a former assistant district attorney for Plymouth County, MA, she offers a full range of legal services relating to equine law. She also offers expert equine consulting services and is a co-founder and vice president of QueryHorse LLC , the popular horse information resource Website.  In addition, she teaches the only on-line Equine law class through Concord Law School.

We have no doubt it will be a compelling discussion.

About the Racing & Gaming Conference at Saratoga:
The Racing & Gaming Conference at Saratoga is an intensive, premier forum for industry decision-makers, stakeholders, and racing and gaming patrons to analyze trends in all sectors – both in New York and nationally – as well as to discuss critical issues and to share ideas. Befitting its importance, the RGCS is held at the historic Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY.

 

 

What is PFAS and Why Should We Be Concerned?

June 11, 2021

In the 1930’s chemists at DuPont accidentally discovered a combination of carbon molecules which ultimately led to the creation of Teflon and Scotchgard.  These manmade polymers have since been used in literally millions of products sold throughout the world, due to their ability to repel water and oil and resist heat. These substances have been known as “C8” (a reference to the chain of eight carbon atoms which forms their molecular structure) and are also known as the “forever chemicals” due to the fact that they do not degrade over time.

Technically speaking, these chemicals are known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl  and are generally described as “PFAS”, “PFOS”, and/or “PFOA”, amongst other acronyms which are used to describe what is now understood to be nearly ten-thousand  variations of the C8 structure.

Despite their near miraculous ability to repel oils and waters and resist heat, DuPont/3M soon learned that these forever chemicals cause a number of medical conditions, which they learned through testing of their own workers. Animal studies demonstrated that exposure to these chemicals cause a number of the same medical conditions, including testicular and kidney cancer. Despite knowing this, DuPont and 3M for decades continued to use the forever chemicals in their products and continued to provide PFAS textiles to other manufacturers who use these materials in their products.

Many of these facts became known to the public as a result of a lawsuit which arose out of groundwater and drinking contamination cause by a DuPont PFAS production plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. THs litigation, which took ore than twenty-years to resolve, became the subject of the best-selling book Exposure, written by Rob Bilott, the attorney who represented the residents of Parkersburg who were affected by DuPont’s PFAS exposure through their contaminated water supply, and the movie 2019 Dark Waters which starred Mark Ruffalo, as Attorney Bilott.

After three case arising from this lawsuit were tried to three verdicts, each of which resulted in multiple million dollar awards against DuPont, DuPont ultimately agreed to pay $70 million and also agreed to pay for medical monitoring for the residents it had poisoned. Hundreds of additional lawsuits have been filed across the country, a number of which are consolidated in a multi-district litigation pending in the federal court in South Carolina. It is also noteworthy that during the course of the Parkersburg, WV litigation, DuPont agreed to be bound by the findings of a panel of three of the nation’s leading epidemiologists concerning whether or not PFAS, more likely than not, was causing the conditions from which the affected residents were suffering. That panel became known as the “C8 Science Panel” and, after several years of research, including an epidemiological study based on testing of a large majority of the affected residents, the Panel ultimately concluded that exposure to PFAS, more likely than not, causes six medical conditions including diagnosed high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and pregnancy-induced hypertension. These findings have been published ad can easily be found at the Science Panel Website. http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/

Determining the origins or causes of PFAS exposure can be challenging to navigate. If you or a loved one have developed a medical condition, including cancers of the internal organs, which you believe may have been caused by exposures to PFAS you should consider consulting with an attorney who is knowledgeable on this subject to determine whether you may have a meritorious claim.

 

Flynn|Wirkus|Young, P.C.
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Braintree, MA 02184

Call or Text us: (617) 773-5500

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FWY Welcomes Kathleen A. Regan, Esq. to our Firm

May 10, 2021

FWY is excited to introduce the newest member of their team – Kathleen A. Reagan, Esq.

Kathleen comes to us with over 30 years of litigation experience. A graduate of Tulane Law School, her background includes a full range of legal services including family law, equine law and Second Amendment issues. As the former district attorney for Plymouth County, MA, Kathleen brings excellent skills and knowledge to the FWY team.

We are happy to have her and look forward to seeing the firm thrive with her as an addition. Check out Kathleen’s full bio here.

Lobsterman Pulls Up $500,000 For Thumb Injury

May 5, 2021

While working as a part-time lobsterman in the Gulf of Maine (off the coast of Cape Ann, MA), FWY’s client suffered a serious thumb injury when his hand became entangled in the boat’s lobster pot lines. Emergency surgery could not save the thumb, and it had to be amputated, and the client ultimately underwent a surgery during which his big toe was removed and reattached to his hand in order to take the place of the amputated thumb. The client tried on his own to negotiate a fair settlement with the boat owner’s insurer.

Read more about the case here.

The Seaman’s Protection Act and Retaliation

April 8, 2021

Those who work at sea are often forced to work in historically dangerous conditions. Fortunately there is recourse for any fisherman who is required to work in unsafe conditions, though many are not aware of these rights.

In short, the Seaman’s Protection Act 46 U.S.C. §2114 (SPA) enacted by Congress in 1984 protects a seaman from a variety of dangerous workplace activities and vessel owner practices. Seamen, including fishermen, who are required to work in unsafe conditions have the right to refuse to do so and also to report, for instance, safety violations, to the federal government, primarily either the United States Coast Guard or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Doing so, as well as many other activities a fisherman might employee to protect him- or herself, are considered protected activities under the Act.

The Act also provides that vessel owners cannot retaliate wrongfully against fishermen for exercising these rights.  If they do, they are subject to a number of penalties, including having to pay the fisherman’s legal fee and costs and, in certain circumstances, will be ordered to pay punitive damages. Check out this report in “WorkBoat” that demonstrates what happens when the SPA is enforced.

Full Limits of $1 Million Policy for Passenger Who Survived Motor Vehicle Crash

March 31, 2021

FWY’s client, a 24-year old resident of Scituate, MA, was a late night passenger in a hired vehicle. On the way to dropping the client off at his house, the driver blew through a stop sign at an intersection with a major thoroughfare, and ran into the side of a garbage truck which was being operated lawfully through the intersection. The client’s right leg was fractured in several places, most notably his tibia, fibula, and femur.

He was hospitalized for several weeks and then was forced to undergo a series of surgeries including fixation of the broken bones, skin grafting, wound debridements, and several periods of agonizing physical therapy. Now left with gruesome scars and a permanent limp, the client will never be capable of working in the types of physically demanding jobs for which he had been otherwise qualified.

Read the full outcome of the events that followed here.

 

So Many Losses: Promoting Mental Health Support for Commercial Fishermen

March 26, 2021

From  the dangers of the sea, to the backbreaking work and  ever-changing climate and regulations, to the devastating loss of family and friends, the job of a commercial fisherman takes it’s toll on all who ply their trade in this line of work.  All too often the fear of the physical demands of the job are secondary to the fear and anxiety of an industry that leaves many fisherman in such financial uncertainty. There is evidence that change is coming to address these issues, albeit slowly, and many in the fishing communities themselves are leading the charge.

Recently Hakai Magazine wrote an article entitled – “Mental Health and the Modern Fisherman”  – that discusses these under-reported concerns that have burdened the minds and hearts of fisherman everywhere.

As a member of the fishing community who is working for change, and was interviewed for this article, put it -  “Fishermen, just like everybody else, deserve happiness and a good life,” she says. “If they’re feeling weighed down for other reasons, then we need to find the support for them to be healthy.”

Please take a few minutes to read the full article here.

$3.6 Million for Millwright in Fall From Scaffold

March 17, 2021

FWY’s client,  a resident of Rochester, NY and a member of the millwright’s union, was injured as the result of a scaffolding accident that occurred at a microchip processing plant in upstate New York.    At the time of the accident, the plant was in the final stages of construction.

The accident occurred when the lightweight aluminum scaffolding toppled over as it was being pushed from one work location to another, while FWY’s client was “riding” the top section of the two-level scaffolding.

Read the full write up here.

In Support of Fishermen: The Crucial Role of Wives in Fishing Communities

March 11, 2021

In discussions of all the hardships and hard work fishermen face, the determination of their wives – who stay onshore and get a myriad of equally important work done in support of the fishing community – largely goes unnoticed. This appears to be true both in terms of a lack of recognition for the day-to-day organizing and planning they provide, as well as in the policies that are enacted to support fishermen.

Change has certainly been coming and many wives have long begun organizing. In Massachusetts, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association (GFWA) is just one example of their show of strength.  As a non-profit organization promoting the New England fishing industry, they help to preserve the Atlantic Ocean as a food supply for the world, and assist active and retired fishermen and their families to live better lives.

For more details about the impact wives play in their fishing community, check out this illuminating article in The Guardian entitled, “Fishermen’s wives: how unsung efforts keep a way of life afloat”.