Areas of Practice

Personal Injury

Accidents happen.  And when they do, people can be seriously injured.  If you, or a loved one, is injured in an accident, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.  Lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering are all recoverable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.  Examples of personal injury claims include:

Car & Motorcycle Accidents

The most common way that people suffer serious personal injury is in a car accident or a motorcycle accident.  Winter weather on Cape Cod can cause icy conditions that lead to motor vehicle accidents.  In addition, tourists arrive on Cape Cod by the thousands in the summer time.  Many of these drivers are unfamiliar with Cape Cod roadways and the high volume of traffic that is often present.  Visitors from across the country may not know how to properly navigate a rotary properly, and Cape Cod has approximately eight rotaries.  When an accident happens, and injuries result, it is important to take photographs of the location of the accident if it can be done safely, and to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Doing so can increase the chances of recovering maximum financial compensation.  

Slip & Fall

Slip and fall accidents can also lead to devastating personal injury.  In Winter, snow and ice present significant risk of slip and fall injury.  Most businesses are required to keep their property free from unreasonable risks, including snow and ice, that may cause a slip and fall injury.  

Dog Bites

Dog bites can cause very serious injuries, and may result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.  Local Cape Cod media report dog bite incidents requiring medical treatment regularly.  In Massachusetts, dog owners, or "keepers," are held strictly liable for any injuries their dog causes.  Strict liability makes recovery for dog bite injuries less burdensome than an ordinary personal injury claim. 

Injury At Sea

Injuries that occur while an individual is at sea are covered under a federal law called the Jones Act.  It provides the legal framework for pursuing a legal claim for injuries that occur while an individual is on board a boat or ship anywhere in the world.  In some cases, when an injured party is in a foreign port, the Jones Act will also apply.  Jone Act cases require strict compliance with the federal statute.

Nursing Home Negligence

Cape Cod has a large elderly population, many of whom move from the harsher Winter climate of Boston and points North and West.  Nursing homes dot the Cape, generally providing quality nursing home care to the area's elderly population.  But some nursing home providers attempt to cut corners, and increase profits, through inadequate staffing, or hiring less experienced workers who fail to provide proper lever of care.  In some cases, nursing home employees act negligently, and cause harm to their clients.  If an elderly person is suffering from any condition that may affect their memory or ability to understand events that lead to their injury, their injury might not be reported.  But when family or friends become aware that an elderly person has been injured in a nursing home facility, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer who can fight for the injured person's legal rights. 

Product Defect / Dangerous Drugs

When a product in the stream of commerce is defective, it can often lead to serious injury to the individual using the product.  Sometimes, a product is defective because the manufacturer fails to warn of the potential hazard of the particular product.  Individuals injured by defective products are entitled to recover for damages including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.  Similarly, a drug that is prescribed may cause life altering injury to someone who uses the drug, even if they do so in accordance with the prescription.  Examples for prescription drugs that have caused serious harm include: 


  • Zoloft. An antidepressant drug manufactured by Pfizer.  It has been tied to birth defects, an increased risk of suicide among  children and young adults, and a brain chemical imbalance called  serotonin syndrome. 
  • Lipitor. An anticholesterol drug manufactured by Pfizer. It has been  linked to an increased risk of patients developing type 2 diabetes and  liver damage.
  • Pradaxa. A blood-thinning drug prescribed to patients with irregular  heartbeats. A high number of patients have reportedly suffered bleeding  related injuries after taking Pradaxa.
  • Paxil. An antidepressant drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Reports  have linked Paxil to an increased risk of birth defects, an increased  risk of suicide among children and young adults, and serotonin syndrome.      

Contract Disputes

A legally enforceable contract in Massachusetts can be oral, or it can be in writing.  When a party to a contract fails to perform, they may be liable for contract damages.  Breach can occur when a party fails to do what they promised to do, or when a party fails to make payment for goods or services provided.  Many contract disputes on Cape Cod arise from home construction, and/or home renovation, projects.  Attorney Cavanaugh has handled numerous contract disputes, and successfully tried one of the longest trials in the history of the Massachusetts District Court (Falmouth Division) when a homeowner was sued by a flooring contractor.  Attorney Cavanaugh represented the homeowner, and obtained a verdict against the flooring company, and judgment in favor of his client in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Wrongful Death

When the negligence of another individual causes the death of a family member, the relatives of the deceased have a potential claim for Wrongful Death.  Wrongful death damages are described in the Massachusetts Wrongful Death Statute.  They include funeral expenses, lost wages, and damages for conscious pain and suffering.  In addition, if a Wrongful Death claimant proves that the negligent party who caused the wrongful death committed gross negligence, punitive damages may be available.

G.L. c. 93A - Unfair and Deceptive Business Acts or Practices

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A, et. seq., is often referred to as the "Consumer Protection Statute."  It prohibits any business in Massachusetts from engaging in unfair or deceptive business acts or practices.  It is a powerful tool for consumers who believe that they have been the victim of a business in Massachusetts.  The law is very broad in scope, and can be applied in a wide range of circumstances.  Many Massachusetts consumers are not aware of this powerful tool.  If a consumer feels that they are the victim of an unfair or deceptive business act or practice, G.L. c. 93A authorizes them to send a demand letter describing the problem, and demanding a resolution.  The business then has thirty (30) days to response.  If the business is ultimately found to have violated G.L. 93A, and a judge finds that the business acted in bad faith, the actual damages may be doubled or trebled by the court.  Additionally, if a consumer wins a G.L. c. 93A claim, they are entitled to recover all of their attorney's fees relating to the claim.  A 93A demand letter must meet certain legal requirements.  An experienced attorney can draft a legally sufficient demand letter, and prosecute a 93A claim through the litigation process.  

Workplace Discrimination & Sexual Harassment

Employers on Cape Cod, and across Massachusetts, must comply with numerous state and federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.  Workplace discrimination may be based on race, religion, place of national origin, gender, and sexual orientation.  Protections from discrimination also include the Family Medical Leave Act.  Additionally, employee have the right to a workplace environment in which sexual harassment does not take place, and is not tolerated.  Recent media reports reveal that workplace sexual harassment is an epidemic.  If you are the victim of sexual harassment, or any other type of workplace discrimination, and experienced attorney can assist in obtaining financial compensation that you may be entitled to.


Where an employee succeeds in convincing a judge or jury that the employer decision to terminate was based upon unlawful conduct, the wrongfully terminated employee would be entitled to recover damages. Typically, the employee can recover back pay from the date of termination up to the jury award, or other adjudication of the claim. A jury or judge may also award future wages, and calculate the amount based upon the employee’s capacity to convince a fact-finder that he or she intended to work for a specified number of years. 

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice happens when a doctor or other medical professional fails to practice medicine in accordance with the minimum accepted standards in the medical community.  A doctor's mistake can result in catastrophic, and often life altering, injury.  Medical malpractice claims require a high level of legal attention.  They require expert opinion that must be tailored to the particular medical specialty.  If successful, the victim of medical malpractice is entitled to recover damages for their injury.  Damages include lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.  Spouses or other family members may recover for loss of consortium.