Skip to Content
Ballin & Associates, LLC Ballin & Associates, LLC
Call Today! 800-245-2052
Domestic Violence


The public generally has little appreciation for the risk of injury that Massachusetts police officers confront daily while responding to domestic disputes.  Characteristic of such calls are inflamed passions, emotions, and flared tempers between spouses, dating partners and other family members.  The risk is elevated as there is often one or more persons under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs which makes the person more difficult to reason with and if they need to be separated, restrained or arrested, they are often less impervious to feeling pain from the initial minimal physical attempts to control them.  Similarly, due to what has been ingested, they often do not respond reasonably or predictably to the instructions of the responding officers.  At times the risk is elevated because one of the participants in the domestic dispute suffers either temporarily or permanently from a mental condition which further impairs their ability to be reasoned with and calmly observe the instructions of the responding officer.  The responding officer has the additional burden of attempting to restrain such an out of control individual in a manner so that individual does not cause any harm to themselves in the process.  Such was the case for Officer Blue when he responded to a 911 call for a disorderly person who had spun mentally out of control due to a domestic issue between he and his wife, who already had a 209A restraining order out against him.  (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 police officers around the Commonwealth be better educated about their legal rights to compensation when injured).

By the time Officer Blue arrived, the suspect had already caused a scene inside which had then spilled outside the premises.  He was endangering both himself and motorists on the adjacent street.  He had been seen on foot darting in and out of traffic, acting irrationally and screaming at the passing vehicles.  When Officer Blue attempted to talk him out of the street and calm him down, the subject responded by screaming obscenities and making gestures which demonstrated that he had lost any sense of reason.  The subject who was not known to Officer Blue was observed with his clothes and hair disheveled and his face was flush red from his heightened emotional state.  He was so despondent when Officer Blue tried to calmly reason with him, that after realizing Officer Blue was a uniformed police officer, the subject invited Officer Blue to just shoot him.  Clearly this was going to be a difficult arrest for Officer Blue.  After the subject refused to obey any of Officer Blue’s commands, he got close enough to safely get a hold on the subject and bring him down to the ground where a struggle ensued in order to get the subject handcuffed.  Somewhere during the struggle on the ground to restrain and handcuff the subject, Officer Blue sustained a serious injury to his wrist.  Among the charges brought against the subject were assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.  The subject was eventually booked and transported to a secure facility for mental observation before he was released pending his court date.  By the time the subject reached the criminal court to plead to the various charges, he had no recollection of the events of the day and was extremely apologetic for having caused a serious injury to Officer Blue during the episode leading to his arrest.

The injury to Officer Blue’s wrist was so extensive that he required reconstructive surgery to repair it.  Despite the surgical correction and the long period of rehabilitation that he went through, Officer Blue’s doctor and the town’s doctor concurred that Officer Blue could no longer continue to work as a police officer.  We made a claim on behalf of Officer Blue against the subject for the substantial pain and suffering which Officer Blue went through, as well as the financial damages he suffered from not being able to return to work and earn the money he depended upon from working details and overtime which he required to support his family.  The subject’s insurance company claimed that no insurance coverage should be afforded for the claim, since the subject intended to cause harm to Officer Blue.  Within the insurance policy there was an exclusion commonly referred to as the “intentional act exclusion” whereby insurance companies protect themselves from paying claims for harm which the insured intended or expected to result from their actions.  We countered this attempt by emphasizing the out of control mental state which the subject suffered at the time, which compromised his ability to form an intent to harm, the subject’s lack of any recollection of the incident, and finally his own statements that he never intended to cause the officer any harm and regretted doing the same.  The insurance company relied on the subject’s plea of guilty to assault and battery on a police officer to buttress its claim.  We filed a lawsuit and after numerous depositions of witnesses the case was finally submitted to mediation, where the parties were able to agree upon the substantial settlement.

Injured officers throughout Massachusetts should always consider seeking a free consultation with us to determine his or her rights, benefits, and the probability of making a successful claim.  I am always available by telephone, email or a personal meeting.  Once I evaluate the case and the officer’s chances of success, the decision whether to go forward rests with the officer.  If the injured officer is out of work, the decision when to return to work rests, as it should, with the officer and his or her doctor.  We do not believe in, nor do we have any interest in, keeping officers out injured any longer than necessary to heal from their injuries.  As it is, many of our injured officers never miss a day of work and are still able to receive substantial compensation for their injuries which continue to nag at them during long hours spent behind the wheel of a cruiser and/or standing on a road job.

As with all claims involving an officer's injury on duty, there are no guarantees.  Many police injury cases involve sophisticated legal issues, problems of proof, technical insurance policy coverage disputes, and issues that arise under Massachusetts General Laws c. 41, §100 and §111F, Chapter 152, State Police Article 8 and/or other related laws.

When we work on these cases, we work on a contingent fee basis. That means the injured officer pays nothing up front and while the case is pending.  He or she only need pay for legal services and expenses at the end of the case, if we successfully collect money on the claim.   We typically will receive one-third of the money collected.   In the off-chance we are unable to collect money for the injured officer, the officer owes nothing for our legal services. 

Copyright, Steven M. Ballin, 2009.


Contact Us Today

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy