Negligent Lawyer When Suing City in Massachusetts Blows Statute of Limitations

Legal malpractice in cases against a Massachusetts city or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fall under the law called Chapter 258. This special statute is used when you want to sue a city or a town or the state. You must go through this process. It’s not complicated if you’re a lawyer or if you’re experienced. But you do have to know what you’re doing.

We resolved a case in which we represented a victim of legal malpractice because her lawyer did not know what to do in following the law in Chapter 258.

Client Rear Ended By Ambulance in Boston and Hires Attorney

Here’s what happened: Our client was injured in a car accident. She was in a car and an ambulance rear-ended her and she was injured. She sought medical treatment and was disabled for a period of time and got better.

The ambulance was owned by the City of Boston. Thus, this case requires a simple first step – you serve a Chapter 258 notice on the City of Boston. In this case our client’s attorney properly served the 258 notice. However, the city exercised its rights under the law, and did not respond. Note, this is typical. (When the media gets involved, they say something. Otherwise, they exercise their rights.)

Negligent Attorney Failed To File Suit Against the City

The attorney has to take the next step, which is filing suit. There is no alternative.

However, in this case, the attorney tried to file an Uninsured claim against the client’s own insurance company. This would be a valid strategy IF, and ONLY IF, the person causing harm was uninsured. But, by definition, the ambulance was owned by the city and not uninsured. The insurance company filed a declaratory action and the claim was thrown out. Further, the insurance company pointed out, in Court, that the City of Boston had paid for the property damage so they had ADMITTED FAULT.

This was not a complicated case. Nevertheless, the attorney deceived the client by not informing her of what was happening in Court. Finally, the client lost faith in her attorney and found Burns & Jain.

Negligent Attorney Deceives Client About Case and Blows Statute of Limitations

At Burns & Jain we reviewed the file. We contacted the insurance company. We looked at the Court docket and pleadings. We determined that while the attorney had served a proper 258 notice, he had failed to file suit

Unfortunately, at this point in time, the statute of limitations had passed and it was too late to file suit against the city. Our client lost her rights. She was left with no claim against the city. But she have a claim against her lawyer.

Burns & Jain Represents Client Who Was Victim of Legal Malpractice

Once we gathered all the information and reviewed the medical records, we sent a 93A Consumer Protection Demand Letter to the attorney. His malpractice insurance company reviewed the same information and determined that we were correct. There was malpractice. While they would not admit the deception, they agreed that the behavior of the lawyer was worthy of resolving rather than a jury finding deception.

The malpractice insurance company agreed to retain counsel and we were able to settle the case without a mediation, without filing suit. We worked with the insurance company resolved the case.

Contact Burns & Jain If Your Attorney Failed To Adequately Represent You

If you have a case where your lawyer neglected to file suit against the City of Boston or any city or town in Massachusetts, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, call Burns & Jain. If your underlying case was valid with significant damages, and we can prove the malpractice, you may have a case.

If you have a case in which your attorney failed to file suit and blew the statute of limitations, like the case here, call Burns & Jain. Attorney Roshan Jain and Attorney Neil Burns have the experience to effectively represent victims of malpractice. They have a proven track record.

Call 617-227-7423 for a free consultation.