Providence R.I. Circus Accident Brings Workplace Safety Concerns Into Focus

June 6th, 2015

Providence R.I. Circus Accident Brings Workplace Safety Concerns Into Focus

The weekend accident in Providence R.I. that injured nine of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus performers raises several questions as to the question of negligence and responsibility of the employer – Ringling Brothers – and the manufacturer of the equipment used in the performance. While the incident is still under investigation as of this date, Paul Doughty of the Providence Fire Department stated: “It was a single piece of equipment that failed”. According to Mr. Doughty, a carabiner – a 4-5 inch steel clip used in rock climbing and other weight-bearing activities – that is part of the metal apparatus holding the performers 40 feet above ground, snapped into three sections. The Federal Occupational and Safety Health Administration is investigating and a final report is still months away. In the meantime, as the performers recover from their serious injuries, some of which may be career ending, several questions need to be addressed.
Foremost, is the responsibility of the employer -Ringling Brothers- and additionally the question as to the safety of the device including the failed carabiner piece. For example, although the failed carabiner is rated to hold 10,000 lbs and the weight in this case was approximately 1600 lbs, continued use over time may lead to metal fatigue and therefore failure. The employer will need to address whether or not sufficient safety protocols were practiced such as a periodic check of the equipment, replacement schedule, and the apparent lack of backup systems in case of the failure of one part. The manufacturer’s responsibility will focus on design, weight ratings and backup systems. Another interesting question is the assertion that the custom apparatus that failed was designed by the circus troupes manager and manufactured elsewhere.
OSHA records show few investigations of the circus over the past twenty years. Risk is part of the entertainment attraction of circuses thus resulting in less common application of safety procedures like safety nets below the performers. In 2004, a Ringling Brothers acrobat was killed when the scarves that were used as part of the act failed leading to her falling 30 feet to her death. The accident was not investigated by OSHA because “ risk was part of the act” according to an OSHA spokesperson. In this case OSHA is investigating, leading to the question of why now?
Each of the injured performers should consult with a Rhode Island based law firm with experience in work place injury law and accident claims. Documenting medical claims, lost work time, future earnings loss and the probability of future health issues is all critical at this juncture. The unique circumstances surrounding this event including the impact of the future OSHA report all need to be weighed. Typically cases such as this that involve multiple claims and extraordinary circumstances are best handled by a law firm with sufficient experience in large, complex personal injury legal issues. Please call the Ronald J. Resmini Law firm of Providence at 1-(401) 751-8855.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Rhode Island

May 17th, 2015

What Do You Need To Know If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycles are more popular today than ever before.  Some people ride them as a hobby and others ride them because they can save money on gas.  Drivers are now sharing the road with millions of motorcycle enthusiasts everyday which requires each driver to me more aware of the vehicles that are around them.  However, as with any type of vehicle there is always  a risk of being in an accident.  With so many distractions today some people can’t focus on the road and they may fail to see a motorcycle.  If you are injured in a motorcycle accident there is a possibility that you may be able to recover damages because of the incident.

The State of Rhode Island  has laws in place in order to help motorcyclists stay safe while they are on the road. All riders must obtain the proper licensing and attend specific training courses.  Motorcyclists should ride defensively and leave a wide margin for other vehicles to brake and turn.  Many people believe that motorcycle accidents are mostly caused by the person on the motorcycle, however, it has been shown that people driving cars are at fault over 50% of the time.

If you are ever in a motorcycle accident there are a few steps that you need to take.  First of all, if possible, pull off to the side of the road.  If your motorcycle isn’t able to be moved, simply step over to the side of the road.  If you are hurt don’t attempt to move to the side of the road.  As with motor vehicle accidents, never give out too much information regarding the moments before the accident.  Simply give law enforcement officers a copy of your insurance cards and your license.   Be sure to answer all questions completely and thoroughly when you are asked by law enforcement. Never admit the accident was your fault.  This statement can take away any chance of you being able to file a claim.  Also, give all pertinent information to the other driver, and you get their pertinent information as well such as a drivers license number, phone number, address and insurance information.

If someone hasn’t already alerted police of the accident, make sure that the police come to the scene.  When the arrive they will begin an accident report and you should be able to pick up a copy a day or two after the accident.  Finally, if you are able and have a cell phone available take photographs of the scene.  Also, take photographs of the damage to your motorcycle.   Photographs and the police report can be shown to a Rhode Island accident attorney if you decide you would like to consult an attorney regarding your injuries.

Speak with your insurance company regarding the accident and give them  copies of the information that they require.  If you have been injured it would be in your best interest to contact a Rhode Island motorcycle accident attorney for a consultation of your case. Consultations are given for free by most attorneys and if they feel that you have a case, they  will be paid through a contingency agreement after settlement of your case.  If you have medical records, medical bills,proof of lost wages or anything else that you believe would be vital to your case, bring those items to your consultation. Your attorney will take care of pulling any other information that might be needed including any other medical records from ongoing treatments.  You will probably be asked to sign a consent form giving your attorney and his agents the permission to ask for your medical records on your behalf.

During the course of your case you may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company.  They may ask you to give them a recorded statement telling them your account of the accident.  Never speak with another insurance company without your attorney present. Advise them that you have retained an attorney and any and all correspondence should be sent to him.  Your attorney may call you into his office for you to give a statement over the phone while he is present with you.  He will advise you first about what will be happening and what types of questions may be asked.  He will tell you to answer truthfully and to the best of your ability.

After all of your medical bills and other related expenses have been tallied up, your attorney will prepare a settlement agreement.  The settlement agreement will be sent to the other driver’s insurance carrier with a settlement number.  The settlement number will be set fairly high so your case can be negotiated

When you hire an experienced Rhode Island motorcycle accident attorney, he will work to get the settlement that you deserve.  This includes any lost wages, current treatment and future treatment of injuries sustained in the accident, past medical expenses such as ambulance bills or emergency room bills, and any other expenses you may have incurred.

Providence Motor Vehicle Accidents

March 17th, 2015

Motor vehicle accidents are an everyday occurrence.  They can range in severity from a simple fender-bender to a major collision that can turn your life upside down in an instant.  When you are injured in an accident it is your best interest to speak with a qualified Rhode Island motor vehicle accident attorney in the Providence area.

According to the State of Rhode Island Department of Health, someone is injured in a car crash in the United States every 10 seconds at an average cost of $99 billion dollars a year.  Their statistics also show that Rhode Island’s injury rate is slightly higher than the national rate for all age groups involved in motor vehicle accidents, and young adults from ages 15 to 24 have the highest rate of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries.

If you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident make sure that your rights and interests are protected.  Speak with a qualified Providence personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Your injuries may seem minor or non-existent at first, however, injuries don’t always present themselves at the time of the accident.  Sometimes it takes a day or two for symptoms to begin.  If this is the case, having an attorney on your side can help you get the fair amount of compensation you deserve.  Injuries such as these can cause you to lose valuable time at work, impact your quality of life, and cause a great deal of pain.  Some injuries require a great deal of healing time, and sometimes, you may still have pain or other problems stemming from the injuries you received for the rest of your life.

Personal injury law can be complicated.  Motor vehicle accidents, as well as other types of personal injury cases have a statute of limitation.  This means that you have a set amount of time to file your case with the court.  If you do not bring your case to court within that specific amount of time (3 years is the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents in Rhode Island) you will then lose your right to file your case.  Your case must also be filed in the proper jurisdiction.  For example, if your accident happened in Providence, Rhode Island, your case will need to be filed with the court in Providence County.

After an accident has occurred make sure the police have been called to the scene.  They will take information from you, witnesses and other parties involved.  You can also exchange insurance information with the other parties involved.  The police will also take photographs of any damage.  If you are able, you may take photos or video of damage yourself.

It is then crucial for you to get proper medical treatment.  You may go to an emergency room via ambulance from the scene or seek medical attention from your primary care physician.  After examination, set up a consultation appointment with a Rhode Island motor vehicle accident attorney.  Consultations are free and, at that time, the attorney can take a look at your case and make a decision on how to proceed.  If the case is taken, your attorney won’t be paid until a settlement is made in your case.  Make sure you take all the information that you have, photos, video, police reports, witness information, insurance information, and medical records with you so your attorney can look at them.  From there, your attorney will then begin to investigate your case by securing information from insurance companies, physicians and others involved in your care.  Keep your attorney updated regarding your condition and provide any medical bills that you may incur.


An attorney can make an incident such as this much less stressful and you can focus on getting back to your regular routine.

The Five Essential Qualities of the Best Personal Injury Lawyer In Rhode Island

February 28th, 2015

When you are faced with an accident, whether in the workplace or in public, you must ensure that you are adequately compensated for the injury. It is essential to hire the best personal injury lawyer in order to get experienced and superb representation in court and to send a message to the insurance company that you are serious about your injury. The personal injury lawyer, sometimes referred to as an accident lawyer, will ensure that you are fully compensated for the injuries sustained including medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of wages and more. You should seek a law firm that is experienced, licensed, has a track record of success relating to your area of injury and also has an established network of investigators and medical professionals to support your legal campaign. The following are key qualities possessed by the best personal injury lawyers.


It is prudent to search for a lawyer who is readily available whenever you require his or her services. The injury lawyer should be in the State of Rhode Island in order to access him or her whenever needed. It is also essential that the lawyer have a strong and experienced support staff who are always available to update you as to the progress of your case. The personal injury lawyer should not have too many clients, which may lead to a lack of adequate time and resources to serve you.


It is important to search for a lawyer who carries out his/her duties with utmost professionalism. The Rhode Island personal injury lawyer should always be available to answer your questions. The legal services should be in line with the best practices of the Rhode Island Bar Association. It is also essential that the lawyer handle his clients with care and affection. The auto accident lawyer should have a passion for seeking the best outcome for the client in the court proceedings.


The best lawyer should be courteous and easily approachable by the clients. The personal injury lawyer you select should offer a reliable and convenient means of communication with clients. Feedback from other clients such as reviews are an indication that the law firm is responsive.


An accident lawyer should always be frank and sincere with their clients. An experienced Rhode Island lawyer will not overstate the likelihood of a large financial settlement unless there is an imminent settlement on the table. The lawyer should be willing to inform you about the prospects of the case, good and bad, thereby, helping you to avoid unnecessary anxiety going forward. The personal injury lawyer should always listen to his intuition and advise you on the best course of action. However, the lawyer should always offer credible reasons for the advice that he issues and include your goals in planning the case.

Record of Success

Reputation is important in the area of personal injury inasmuch as the insurance company that is responsible for the case is continually weighing how far to go in their negotiations. A Rhode Island personal injury law firm with a track record of success will often obtain stronger settlements because of past successes in this area. Likewise, the law firm will often times have a pretty good read on the insurance company involved and therefore be able to develop an effective winning strategy.

Author: Attorney Jason Resmini of the Ronald J. Resmini Law Offices
(401) 751-8855

Ronald J. Resmini Law Firm Wins 1.3 Million Personal Injury Law Decision Vs Rhode Island Hospital

January 5th, 2015

Ronald J. Resmini Law Firm Wins $1.3 million Case In Providence, R.I. Courts

Providence lawyer , Ronald J. Resmini, (Call The Firm That Wrote The Book On Personal Injury In R.I.) knew he was up against significant challenges when he agreed to represent Fatima Delacruz in her slip-and-fall suit against Rhode Island Hospital  (R.I. Superior Court docket #PC084977).

For starters, Delacruz’s case had failed before an arbitrator, after which her lawyer of six years declined to represent her further. But there was more. There had been difficulty contacting a key witness, and Resmini knew that arguing lost capacity of earnings would be objected to by defense counsel because Delacruz had stated earlier that she had no “lost wage” claim.

Resmini took the case anyway, alleging theories of mode of operation, breach of contract and common law negligence. On June 7, a Superior Court jury found that Delacruz was entitled to medical expenses, lost capacity for earnings, and pain and suffering damages. It also awarded her youngest son, Dano Delacruz, loss of consortium damages, for a total verdict of $678,519. With interest, the award comes in at $1.3 million.

At the end of the day, Resmini says, the jury found his client’s testimony credible when weighed against the word of a hospital employee. The worker allegedly had told Delacruz — who slipped exiting an elevator in an area where she had been just minutes earlier without incident — that he observed a wet, freshly washed floor but saw no warnings posted until later; he later backtracked and said he could not remember.

Though pleased with the verdict, Resmini downplays its size. “Is it a high dollar value? Not really,” he says, noting that his client is 45 years old and has a long-term injury. “That dollar amount is very conservative for the injury she sustained.”

According to Attorney Resmini, a highly experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, the “biggest challenge is the jury as it is always applying the doctrine of common negligence law”, and how am I going to approach showing the jury the hospital had constructive or actual knowledge of a defect and didn’t do the things they should have to secure it? My argument was if they are washing the floors outside of an elevator, they should have put the notice in the elevator. You have to put the sign where someone has an option to exercise good judgment. We asked the jury to be fair and tell them to apply the law. It is not an easy task beyond a reasonable doubt, but telling them and letting them adopt and accept it is not the same. In reality, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not for preponderance of the evidence. If you don’t establish that, you’re not going to win. This time we were successful.

Negligence & Requirement of Damages: Rhode Island Law Updates By Attorney Ronald J. Resmini

July 18th, 2014

In this update of Rhode Island Practice Tort Law and Personal Injury Practice (Vol. 1), Chapter 2 , Negligence, Section 82, I update my previous publication from 1990.

*82. The Requirement of Damages

The possibility of contracting cancer resulting from mere exposure to a carcinogen (see asbestos/mesothelioma), although potentially increasing one’s risk of developing cancer, is too tenuous to be a viable cause of action. (Kelley v. Cowessett Hills Assocciates, 768 A2d 425 (RI 2000). Thus, in cases alleging negligent exposure to asbestos, a plaintiff cannot, as a matter of law, establish a prima facie case of negligence absent any physical manifestation of asbestos-related illness or disease. Id
The Ronald J Resmini Law Offices in Providence and Seekonk Massachusetts, has represented clients who were unknowingly exposed to asbestos in the workplace. If you feel that this may apply to you, please give us a call for a no-obligation, initial consultation.

Update Rhode Island Tort Law & Personal Injury Practice By Ronald J. Resmini

June 3rd, 2014

Chapter 2 Negligence #85

In Ouch v. Khan Khea,963 A 2d 630 (R.I. 2009) two automobile passengers brought a tort (def> a tort is a wrongdoing that results in injury to another person or damage to another’s property) action against the defendant/driver, who belonged to the same street gang as the passengers, alleging that the driver’s negligent operation of an automobile during and after an incident in which shots were fired at an automobile of a rival gang members constituted the proximate cause of their gunshot injuries. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant, as the operator of the vehicle, had a duty of care – a duty that defendant breached they contended – by driving toward and past a danger (rival gang members). However, the court ruled that, although the defendant unquestionably owed plaintiffs a duty to operate his automobile in a safe manner, the driver did not have a duty of care to the passengers to protect them from the intentional criminal acts of rival street gang members.

The Ronald J. Resmini Law Offices has represented Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents for over 40 years. Contact us if you may have been affected by the negligence of another.

NYC Ferry Accident compared to 2008 Block Island Ferry Accident in RI

May 10th, 2014

The ferry accident in NYC this past week, thankfully resulted in no fatalities, but did leave several people with serious bodily injuries and possible emotional scarring. The accident left many people wondering who will be held responsible and accountable for personal injuries sustained from the crash. With this type of accident, injuries, often to the head, back and neck can linger for a lifetime and cause a multitude of problems. As a practicing personal injury attorney in Providence, RI, and from working with leading lawyers in the field everyday, I have some thoughts on the topic regarding the potential for a lawsuit.

First, there are a few issues the owner of the boat company will encounter. If this was human error, the negligence will be imputed to the company. Possible product liability action against the company who added the steering system on the vessel. The crew complained of these issues with it being difficult to steer the vessel. Potentially the maintenance company who stores and services the vessel to be seaworthy. Laws of maritime will apply as this was an incident at sea and the typical rules of the road will apply here. State specific laws also apply. For example, in 2008 there was an accident between a Block Island ferry and a Coast Guard cutter in Rhode Island waters. The ferry crash was investigated by the NTSB and according to the NTSB findings were finalized in the Spring of 2011 and a lawsuit was filed by a Westerly resident, Shawn Causgrove. Causgrove sued the Interstate Navigation over the injuries sustained in the Block Island motor vessel crash. The difference between these crashes though is in where they occurred.

I am licensed to practice in Rhode Island and not a New York lawyer, but I do believe in New York, serious injury needs to occur in order to bring a claim, unlike laws in my States of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In the end, injuries have a way of creeping up on people over time and some people feel the effects and experience symptoms more quickly than others. In any case, if you are involved in some form of accident, that may or may not result in personal injury, please seek medical attention immediately, as some people don’t always feel the effects of a personal injury right away. It is better to be safe than sorry. See a medical professional to get checked out. If your doctor does discover any form of personal injury, document everything and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Article about the Ronald J. Resmini Law Offices in RWU Law Magazine

April 22nd, 2014

Please check out an article that appeared in the RWU Law Magazine (Roger Williams University School of Law Magazine) about the Ronald J. Resmini Law Offices by Denise Perreault. I’ve copied the article below, but to view the full article, please click on the link I’ve provided.

All in the Family
To Practice or Not to Practice? With a Loved One, it’s all Relative.

Attorney Ronald J. Resmini has three sons, and each was ushered into the world with a ritual that perhaps only another lawyer could fully appreciate.

Thirty-two years ago, the proud dad, who heads his own law firm in Providence, had the name of each son – R. Jason, Adam J. and Andrew O. Resmini – painted on the doors of three separate offices shortly after each baby was born, establishing actual offices for what were then bawling infants.

“Within six months of their births, their names were on the doors,” the elder Resmini says. “They’re still there.”

Was it an expression of supreme optimism? Or utter foolishness? “It was kind of wishful thinking,” Resmini admits. But it worked. Resmini urged his three sons to earn law degrees because he knew how useful such a degree can be, whether one actually practices the law or not. Today the three sons work with their father in a firm where four out of the five practicing attorneys are Resminis.

“I love having the kids around,” Resmini says today. “No matter how much we get on each other’s nerves, there’s nothing like it.” Working together with family members in the law – whether as practicing attorneys, law school instructors and/or administrators – presents exceptional challenges, putting happiness both at home and at work in jeopardy. It is a course of action that some say is fraught with peril – and others say is nothing short of ideal.

This Past Sunday’s Deadly Nightclub Fire in Brazil Evokes Tragic Memories from Survivors of 2003 Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island

March 28th, 2014

Early Sunday morning, over 230 people were killed in a horrific nightclub fire in Southern Brazil.  Similar to the night club fire in Rhode Island in 2003, which left over a hundred people dead and 200 more injured, the blaze in Brazil looks to have been caused by the band’s pyrotechnics igniting insulation in the ceiling.

Several arrests have been made in connection with the fire for investigative purposes as victims’ families begin to pick up the pieces and cope with this horrific tragedy. Today, funerals will begin in the city of Santa Maria, Brazil, for the more than 200 people that lost their lives in the nightmarish event.

As a practicing personal injury attorney in Providence, RI, I helped get many of the cases stemming from the 2003 deadly Rhode Island nightclub fire into federal court. Few understand the scope that such a disaster can have on the victims.  For the victims that lose their lives, their families are left to deal with the financial consequences of losing a member of the family, possibly a primary provider.  Children can be left to deal with the loss of a parent or both parents and forced to fend for themselves.  Parents can be forced to cope the emotional scarring of losing a child.

For the survivors, many are left with permanent physical injuries such as scarring and severe burns.  The lucky victims that manage to escape bodily harm and permanent physical injury, are left in a fragile emotional state that can lead to permanent emotional scarring, which can significantly detriment a victim’s ability lead a normal life thereafter.

Accountability for these types of unthinkable events can be difficult to pinpoint.  But, it is incredibly important to narrow down who is responsible for these tragedies, if only to set an example for future nightclub owners as to their responsibilities.  Those responsibilities to guests include safety protocols that must be adhered to in order to meet certain standards.  Failure to comply with such requirements should result in stiff penalties and fines, so that club patrons are protected and ensured they will be kept out of harm’s way.

As a lawyer with over 40 years of experience in personal injury law, and because of my familiarity with these types of cases, a familiarity I acquired while fighting for the victims of the 2003 Rhode Island night club fire, I can tell you there will be numerous factors used to determine the cause of this tragedy and to determine where the fault will ultimately lie.  Early reports indicate the club was at capacity with 1,000 to 2,000 people.  If this is deemed to be “over-capacity,” the club will likely face numerous lawsuits pertaining to the fire.

Fire codes are put in place to protect people.  The capacity of a building is determined by fire marshals and enforced in order to ensure there is enough space for people to exit in case of emergency.  When you have a building that is filled to capacity and more, if there is a situation where people need to make a hasty exit, chaos ensues and people are likely to be seriously injured or even killed while exiting the building.  This is evident in prior examples of these types of disasters.

In Rhode Island, the 2003 nightclub fire prompted officials to enact and enforce sweeping changes to the State’s fire code with one intention;  a tragedy like the night club fire never occur again.  Sprinklers are now required in nightclubs and bars with occupancy limits of 100 people or more, nightclub workers must be trained in fire safety and money needs to be set aside for fire safety classes.  Rhode Island has also banned the use of pyrotechnics in all of its venues with the exception of its largest public arenas, and local fire marshals are now able to write tickets for violations and order immediate repairs.

So far, it seems history is doomed to repeat itself, as nightclub owners have not taken prior disasters seriously enough to stop them from occurring again.  But, the hope is that in determining who is responsible for this deadly blaze, and holding them accountable, future nightclub owners will be prompted to take proper safety precautions in the future, in order to prevent tragedies like the 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire and now the Brazil night club fire from ever happening again.

Written By: Ronald J. Resmini

Last Updated : Tuesday, September 1, 2020