Domestic violence is a significant problem in this country
As we have written before, the law in Massachusetts is clear: the lawful orders of a Massachusetts police officer must be followed especially when making an arrest. As per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 32B, it is a crime to resist arrest. As Massachusetts police officers know too well, though, there are frequent confrontations with those who refuse to comply peacefully, especially in domestic violence situations. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about one in five women, and one in seven men, have been physically assaulted by a domestic partner at some point in their lives. Domestic incidents, which often include an element of mental illness, carry with them the risk of serious injury. This applies to police officers who are called upon to respond to these incidents.
Massachusetts Police respond to call about an out-of-control wife
She slapped her husband several times and grabbed his cell phone from his hands and smashed it on the ground, all in front of the couple’s children. She later claimed that she was having a bad reaction to new medication she was taking for her bipolar disorder and was not mentally stable. Her husband called 911, and local police responded to the home, including our client Sergeant Peter Mason.
The officers entered the home after meeting the husband outside and found the woman in an upstairs bedroom. When the officers advised her she was under arrest and attempted to put handcuffs on her, she resisted. The officers were able to handcuff her, but she refused to walk down the stairs on her own. The officers had to escort her down the stairs and out of the house.
A Massachusetts Police Officer was seriously injured during this domestic call
When the officers and the woman got outside, she continued to resist. As the officers attempted to get her under control, Sergeant Mason stepped on uneven ground and his right knee twisted and popped. The other officers who were there heard the popping sound and heard Sergeant Mason scream out in pain. The other officers were able to gain control of the woman and get her into a police cruiser so she could be transported to the station for booking.
The woman was charged with multiple criminal charges including resisting arrest, to which she admitted to sufficient facts at a subsequent criminal hearing. She was sentenced to a year of supervised probation.
Sergeant Mason was transported from the scene to a local hospital by ambulance. He was then referred for an MRI of his knee, which revealed tears of his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus, as well as other injuries to his knee. Sergeant Mason had a previous injury and surgery to the same knee several years prior, but the law has been clear in Massachusetts for decades that injured people can recover for aggravations of pre-existing conditions.
Sergeant Mason underwent knee surgery and was out of work for 7-months. He completed his course of physical therapy a month after returning to work. Although he was able to resume working and was compliant with the course of treatment prescribed him by his surgeon, he continued to have some issues with his knee.
Sergeant Mason needed a Massachusetts lawyer specializing in police injured on duty.
Sergeant Mason contacted our police injury law firm following his injury. We submitted a detailed settlement demand to the insurance company for the woman who caused the incident. The insurer initially refused to make a decent settlement offer, claiming that Sergeant Mason was at least partially to blame for his injury and his knee was already damaged because of the prior injury and surgery. We were successfully able to combat these groundless arguments, and after a few months of back-and-forth negotiations, we settled the case with the insurer for $200,000. We achieved the settlement that compensated Sergeant Mason for his pain and suffering, time out of work and loss of income, without having to file a lawsuit in court on behalf of Sergeant Mason.
Are you a police officer injured at work? Contact BallinLaw For A Free Consultation
If you or anyone you know has been injured at work or otherwise, please reach out to us as soon as possible. Visit BallinLaw to learn more about how we help injured Massachusetts police officers and other workers injured at work. Injured Massachusetts police officers can learn more about their rights by watching a recording of our free webinar regarding their rights to make personal injury claims when they are injured on duty.
In order to protect the privacy of the injured officer and witnesses, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to names of real persons, past or present, is merely coincidental and not intended. The injured officer agreed to have this article published in order that public safety officers around the Commonwealth be better educated about their legal rights to compensation when injured.