Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

August 2013 Archives

Who's Liable If a Joyride Ends in a Crash?

Who's liable for a joyride -- especially one that ends in a crash, causing injury and damage?

It's a question that parents hope they never have to ask, but unfortunate situations do happen. In Phoenix, for example, a 6-year-old girl was killed when her 8-year-old brother took their parents' car for a joyride and crashed less than a block from their home, Reuters reports.

So what happens if your car is taken for a joyride without your consent? Are you still liable for what happens to it? Here are some factors to consider:

Texting a Driver May Make You Liable: N.J. Court

A New Jersey court has ruled that sending text messages to a driver can potentially make the sender liable for injuries in a crash caused by the text-reading recipient.

A Garden State appellate court found that a remote texter like 17-year-old Shannon Colonna "has a duty not to text someone who is driving" if that remote texter knows the recipient "will view the text while driving," reports the ABA Journal.

Will texting a driver soon become the new "texting while driving"?

Child Porn Victim Sues Viewers for $150K Each

A child porn victim from Pennsylvania is using a law that she inspired to sue her viewers. Masha Allen's lawsuit seeks $150,000 each from pedophiles -- including doctors, lawyers, and even her own father -- who've viewed sexually explicit images of her.

"Masha's Law" is named for Allen, a Russian orphan adopted at age 5 by divorced Pittsburgh-area millionaire Matthew Mancuso.

Over the course of five years, Mancuso turned Masha into a child porn Internet sensation by producing and circulating about 200 explicit images of her, some of which were taken at Disney World. Authorities believe the images have been viewed millions of times online.

Mom Sues Bullies, NYC Schools Over Son's Suicide

The family of a 12-year-old boy in Harlem who committed suicide, allegedly because of school bullying, is suing the accused bullies along with New York City's public school system.

Joel Morales hanged himself last year after two years of unrelenting bullying, his mother Lisbeth Babilonia claims. She believes Joel was targeted because he was small and sometimes stuttered.

Babilonia has filed suit against the city, NYC's Department of Education, the alleged teen bullies, and their parents.

Tasered Teen Dies; Family to Sue Miami Beach PD

Relatives of a Florida teen who died after being Tasered by police plan to pursue justice by suing the Miami Beach Police Department.

Israel Hernandez-Llach, 18, was caught spray-painting graffiti on a shuttered storefront by Miami Beach police officers earlier this month. After a foot chase, officers shot him with a Taser, reports The Miami Herald. Hernandez-Llach's friends say he was lying on the ground in need of medical help while officers laughed and gave each other "high-fives." Hernandez-Llach later died at a hospital.

Will Hernandez-Llach's family be able to successfully sue over the teenager's death?

1st Federal Transvaginal Mesh Verdict: $2M

A transvaginal mesh injury verdict has led to a $2 million award for the victim.

It was the first trial in federal court to determine if C.R. Bard Inc. failed to warn of the dangers associated with its mesh implants, which are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Thousands of cases against the New Jersey-based company are pending nationwide.

Jurors apparently felt that Bard should have to pay a hefty price for failing to warn of the dangers associated with vaginal mesh devices.

Tour Bus Crash Injures More Than 50 in SoCal

A tour bus crash in Southern California left five passengers with what doctors described as "pretty basic blunt-force trauma injuries."

In all, more than 50 passengers were injured when the bus -- en route to the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland, east of Los Angeles -- overturned on a freeway. Another three people in cars caught up in the crash were also hurt.

Who may be to blame for the bus careening and overturning?

Man Loses Leg in Wrong-Way Crash, Gets $5.2M

A Texas man has won a $5.2 million jury verdict against an elderly wrong-way driver who caused him to lose his leg.

Jerry Wall was riding a motorcycle in Parker County, Texas, west of Fort Worth, in 2010 when he was struck by an 83-year-old woman driving the wrong way on Interstate 20. Wall lost his leg in the crash, reports the Weatherford Democrat.

Why such a large verdict against an elderly driver?

School Sports Injury Lawsuits Can Be Hit or Miss

If your child is a student athlete and gets injured, you've been warned: Not all school sports-related injury lawsuits will succeed.

School sports injuries run the gamut from a simple bruise or cut to more permanent injuries that can affect students for life. When injuries happen, parents often think about taking legal action. But because of a number of reasons, the outcome of school sports injury lawsuits can be very hit or miss -- some end in large payouts, while others are tossed out of court.

Why is this? Here are some common reasons:

Grandpa Injured in Black Friday Arrest Gets $30K

An Arizona grandpa received a $30,000 out-of-court settlement for his injuries after two local police slammed the man to the ground during a havoc-filled Black Friday arrest.

The city of Buckeye, Arizona, agreed to settle with Jerry Newman, 54, who was injured by less-than-gentle Buckeye police officers during a trip to the town's Walmart on Black Friday 2011, reports Newman also sued Walmart and reached a separate settlement that was not disclosed.

What claims against Walmart and the City of Buckeye did Newman have?

Top 10 Back-to-School Traffic Safety Tips

As kids and their parents get back into the swing of school, it's important to keep traffic safety in mind.

Drivers should remember that as the new school year begins, kids will be walking, crossing streets and maybe even horsing around a bit on their way to school. Parents should also talk to their kids about getting to and from school safely.

Here are 10 tips for adults and children on back-to-school traffic safety:

Can You Sue Over Injuries to Your Pet?

Can you sue over a pet injury?

You probably know that there are laws about what happens when your pet attacks or injures someone else. But what if your precious pug or favorite feline gets injured because of another animal's (or human's) actions?

Suing over injuries to one's pet raises some interesting legal issues. Here are a few you may want to consider:

For Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits, Time Limits Vary

While sexual abuse is often the subject of criminal punishments, the emotional and psychological damage of child sexual abuse can also lead to a civil lawsuit against the abuser, assuming the time limit for filing a suit has not passed.

The insidious nature of child sex abuse often keeps victims from discovering the cause of their trauma for years after the incident -- sometimes, after the general statute of limitations has expired for a civil lawsuit.

To combat this problem, each state has developed different ways of dealing with time limits for child sex abuse lawsuits. Here are some of the more common methods:

Geek Squad Accused of Stealing Naked Pics

An Alabama student claims a Geek Squad tech support agent stole naked pictures of her and posted them online.

University of Alabama art student Nicole March has filed an invasion of privacy suit against Best Buy, alleging that a Geek Squad employee at a Tuscaloosa store stole and distributed her photos after she brought in her computer for repairs, reports The Huffington Post.

What recourse could March or any other victim have against computer repairmen who allegedly pilfer private photos?

Sinkhole Near Disney World Destroys Villa

A massive 100-foot sinkhole near Disney World has swallowed a Florida villa in Clermont, west of Orlando.

One building was completely destroyed and 105 people were evacuated, according to the owner. Two other buildings were also evacuated, reports The Associated Press. No one was killed.

Here's what the villa owner and injured victims will have to do going forward:

Teen's $1M Judo Injury Lawsuit Thrown Out

A teenager's $1 million-dollar judo injury lawsuit has been thrown out by a New York judge.

Anthony Morales Jr., now 14 years old, broke his ankle three years ago while in the middle of a take-down move at a martial arts academy on Staten Island, New York. Morales and his father alleged that because the younger Morales was partnered up with a heavier and taller adult, the academy should be found negligent and held liable for the injury.

But after weighing all the arguments, the judge decided he couldn't pin the boy's injury on the martial arts school. Here's why.

Vet Sued for Extortion Over Surgery Threat

A California woman is suing a vet's office for $1 million claiming that they threatened to report her for animal cruelty for declining a $10,000 dog surgery that she was unable to afford.

Karen Kelly took her dog Mojo to a veterinary clinic in Tustin after Mojo was hit by a car in 2011. Kelly was told that necessary surgery would cost $10,000, reports ABC News.

Kelly's suit for civil extortion alleges that she tried to get the money but couldn't. The clinic allegedly threatened to report her for animal cruelty if she insisted on taking her dog home.

6 Tips to Lawsuit-Proof Your Pool Party

With the dog days of summer upon us, here's hoping your pool party doesn't belly-flop into a lawsuit.

When it comes to potential pool party liability, safety is key. Before you fire up the grill and play another round of "Marco Polo," take all the necessary pool safety precautions -- or you could get sued.

Here are a few tips on how to lawsuit-proof your pool party:

Can Children Be Sued?

While it might not be a great motivator for children to behave, children can potentially be sued for their actions. But it's usually the parents who foot the bill.

The law offers some protection to children who are sued, but for the most part, they can still held liable for their legal misdeeds.

But aren't children too young to be sued? Actually, it depends.

1st Cyclospora Lawsuit Filed Over Salad Outbreak

The first Cyclospora lawsuit from this summer's outbreak, now linked to salad served at certain restaurant chains, has been filed.

A Texas woman is suing the Darden Corporation of Orlando, Florida, which owns the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains.

Suzanne Matteis says she became ill in July and tested positive for Cyclospora infection, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Nationwide, there have been at least 378 confirmed cases of Cyclospora-related illnesses in 16 states since mid-June.

Power Plant Implosion Injures 4 Spectators

A California power plant implosion went horribly wrong when two spectators were seriously hurt by flying debris. One of the victims, a 43-year-old-man, had his leg partially amputated in the blast.

At least two other spectators suffered minor injuries from the demolition of a power plant in Bakersfield on Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

So who could eventually be held liable for these injuries?

Tawana Brawley Hoax: Defamation Payments Begin

Tawana Brawley's hoax is going to haunt her for the rest of her life in the form of monthly payments.

Twenty-six years after the infamous hoax, Brawley has started making defamation payments to Steven Pagones, the ex-prosecutor whom she falsely accused of rape in 1987.

Brawley made her first payment last week -- in checks totaling $3,764.61 -- though she still owes Pagones $431,000 in defamation damages.

Rural Injury Rate Higher Than in Cities: Study

According to a new study, you may want to think twice before heading for the hills. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that that the rural injury rate is significantly higher than in cities.

Using a federal database that collected death certificate information from across the country, the study analyzed nearly 1.3 million deaths from injuries between 1999 and 2006.

The conclusion: Life as a country bumpkin may be more dangerous than you'd think. Here are a few of the study's key findings:

Accident in a Company Car: Who's Liable?

You might know what happens if you get into a car accident, but what about an accident in a company car? Are you liable, or is your boss the one who’ll have to pay for the damage?

Many jobs entail driving as either a primary or secondary task, or simply require that employees have a valid driver’s license to run the occasional job-related errand.

So what happens if you get into an accident while driving a company-owned car?

Can You Sue Over a Salad Poisoning Outbreak?

Health officials have identified bagged salad mix as the source of an outbreak of Cyclospora -- a rare parasite that causes a lengthy gastrointestinal illness.

The contaminated salad outbreak has sickened more than 170 people in Iowa and Nebraska, reports CNN. About 200 others in 13 additional states have also become ill from Cyclospora, but it's not clear whether those cases were part of the same outbreak, according to the CDC.

It's also not clear exactly which products or brands may be the source of the outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska. But if bagged salad is indeed to blame, can the victims sue over a salad poisoning outbreak?