Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

February 2014 Archives

'Hot Convict' Sues Website Over Mugshot Ad

A Florida woman is suing a background check website for using her mugshot in a "hot convict" ad that went viral.

Meagan Simmons, 28, of Zephyrhills, has filed a lawsuit accusing of using her image for financial gain without her permission -- and especially without giving her a cut of the profits, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Does this "hot convict" have a case?

Can Adults Sue Over a Parent's Wrongful Death?

For an adult child, filing a lawsuit over the wrongful death of a parent can be a tricky matter.

Generally, surviving members of a victim's family can sue for wrongful death when the victim dies from the negligence or misconduct of another.

But because of the way damages are calculated, recovery for a parent's wrongful death can get complicated when adult children file suit. Here's why:

Dump Truck Hits, Kills Mom Putting Kid in Van

A mother of three was struck and killed by a dump truck near a suburban middle school outside Washington, D.C., on Monday. The tragedy highlights a few factors that are common in truck accident cases.

Jennifer Lawson, 39, of Arlington, Virginia, was placing her child into a car seat when a dump truck struck her and her van, The Washington Post reports. Fortunately, her child wasn't hurt.

As the investigation into the fatal dump truck accident continues, several factors will be key in determining potential civil liability.

With Cover Charge, Party Hosts May Be Liable in Calif.

Social hosts who charge a cover to attend their parties can potentially be held liable for injuries caused by their drunken underage guests, the California Supreme Court has ruled.

The unanimous ruling means anyone in California who charges admission to a party and serves alcohol to an intoxicated minor can be just as responsible for the minor's actions as a person who directly sells alcohol to a drunken minor, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Some lawyers say that by extending this type of liability to party hosts, it'll further deter people from serving alcohol to intoxicated guests under 21.

School Bus Crashes: 3 Questions Before You Sue

After a school bus crash, when does it make sense to file a lawsuit?

Some parents and at least one injured driver may be asking that question today, after a school bus crashed near Walt Disney World in Florida. The accident between a school bus and a PT Cruiser left 10 people hurt, including nine students on the bus and the driver of the PT Cruiser, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

If you're involved in a school bus accident -- either as a passenger or a driver of another vehicle -- you may want to ask yourself these three questions before filing a lawsuit:

Man Framed for Murder by N.Y. Cop Gets $6.4M

A man framed for murder by an NYPD detective has settled a complaint with the City of New York for $6.4 million.

David Ranta, 58, spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit based on the machinations of a rogue detective, Louis Scarcella, The New York Times reports.

Although Ranta can't get back his 23 years, he may still have a legal bone to pick with those who put him away.

Woman Jailed for Recording Deputy Plans to Sue

A Florida woman plans to sue the Broward County Sheriff's Office after she was forced to spend a night in jail for recording a deputy during a traffic stop.

Brandy Berning, 33, began recording Lt. William O'Brien when she was pulled over for driving alone in a carpool lane. After a dispute over the recording, in which O'Brien told Berning she'd "just committed a felony," Berning was arrested and spent one night in jail, the Sun-Sentinel reports. She was never charged with any crime.

The case highlights an issue people often wonder about: Is it legal to record law-enforcement officers during traffic stops? And if so, can you sue when that right is violated?

Trampoline Park Sued Over Teen's Head Injury

A Texas family is suing an indoor trampoline park after their teenage son was seriously hurt while using its trampolines.

Cosmic Jump, a business in Houston, is being sued over a head injury suffered by then 16-year-old Max Menchaca, who allegedly "fell through a hole or a rip in the trampoline canvas" and hit the concrete floor below, his lawyer told Houston's KRIV-TV.

Trampolines are often magnets for injuries, but what are the specifics of Menchaca's lawsuit?

Deaf Man Sues Over Police Beating, Taser Use

A deaf man in California has filed a lawsuit against Hawthorne police after they allegedly used a Taser on him twice and beat him unconscious as a result of his inability to hear their orders.

Jonathan Meister claims officers misunderstood his attempts to communicate via sign language as aggressive hand signals, reports the Daily Breeze.

The lawsuit revolves around the police department's alleged lack of training and protocol to handle situations involving people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

GM Recalls 780K Cars After 6 Deaths

General Motors is recalling more than three-quarters of a million cars because of safety issues linked to six front-seat fatalities. But GM also blamed some of the deaths in part on drivers themselves.

GM announced that the 778,562 affected cars are at risk for the ignition switching out of the "run" position, turning off the engine "and most of the car's electrical components," Reuters reports.

How do these GM cars suddenly shut off, and which GM vehicles are affected?

Winter Car Crashes: Can You Blame the Weather?

If you get into a winter crash, can you blame the weather to avoid liability?

Meeting challenging winter conditions on the road takes skill, experience and attentiveness. Unfortunately, each winter many drivers come up short, causing thousands of automobile accidents on the road. Winter car accidents often involve snow, ice or slush, or dense fog.

But when you get into a crash during bad weather, will you face liability? Here's a general overview of what drivers need to know:

$17M Wrongful Death Settlement for Crane Accident

The family of a man killed by a construction crane has reached a $17 million settlement with a Philadelphia steam plant owner.

Adam Nowak Sr., a 45-year-old father of five, was struck and killed by a 300-pound iron hook which fell from an industrial crane at Veolia Energy's Schuylkill Steam Plant in 2011, Philadelphia's WCAU-TV reports.

The wrongful death settlement is being called the largest ever in Philadelphia's trial court system. But would Nowak's family have fared better at trial?

Should You Sue Over a Stolen Invention?

Here's a timely question on National Inventors Day: If someone steals your invention, what can you do about it? Calling the cops may not help, but you may be able to sue the culprits.

For example, remember the Apple v. Samsung case in which the two tech giants fought over patent infringement? That's just one example of how an allegedly stolen invention can lead to a long, costly court battle. Would it be worth your efforts to do the same?

The answer will likely depend on the strength of your case. When suing over a stolen invention, here are a few factors that might be considered in court:

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Lead to Lawsuits

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced by burning fuel, including coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas, and fuel oil. It can also give rise to lawsuits in certain situations.

Coined a "silent killer," carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of accidental poisonings in our country.

Injuries that result from carbon monoxide poisoning can often be blamed on a host of parties, including manufacturers, businesses, builders, and landlords. Here's what you need to know:

'Storm Doctrine' Debated in Slip-and-Fall Suit

If you've suffered a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk and are considering a lawsuit, something called the storm doctrine could impact the way your case plays out.

In states with a "storm doctrine" on the books, the law can limit the ability of plaintiffs to sue businesses for slip and fall accidents that occur on their property during a storm.

A recent case in Iowa reveals the contours of the continuing storm doctrine and fleshes out what exactly counts as a "storm."

Man Paralyzed in Portable-Toilet Prank Gets $5M

A man who was paralyzed in a portable-toilet tip-over prank is set to receive $5 million to settle his personal injury lawsuit.

The prank left Donald Adams III, of Pennsylvania, a quadriplegic. He sued the pranksters -- his two cousins-in-law -- along with the portable-toilet company and the toilet's installer for his injuries, according to The Associated Press.

How did the prank happen, and why was the portable-toilet manufacturer named in the suit?

Coaches Sued Over Teen's Hazing, Brain Injury

A high school football player's parents are suing over their teenager's brain injuries, blaming his coaches for allegedly sanctioning a dangerous hazing ritual.

Head football coach Britton Devier and assistant coach Todd Bringman of Woodmore High School in Elmore, Ohio, are named in a suit brought by the parents of a 16-year-old student, The Associated Press reports. As a result of the alleged hazing, the teenager now suffers learning and memory problems, the lawsuit states.

Can some football practice horseplay be the source of a federal lawsuit?

Who's Liable for Sledding Injuries?

Who's liable for sledding injuries? Like the 10-year-old girl who was impaled by a piece of rebar while sledding in Maryland on Monday morning, injuries are known to happen. The girl underwent surgery and is expected to recover, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Many sledding injuries are related to the condition of the property where the sledding occurred. If a lawsuit is filed, it would generally fall under the legal theory of premises liability.

Here are three potential factors that can affect sledding-related personal injury suits:

Will Alleged iPhone Fire Lead to Lawsuit?

There's another alleged iPhone fire in the news. Could it lead to a lawsuit?

A middle schooler in Maine claims she suffered second-degree burns last week when her iPhone 5C caught on fire in her pants pocket, reports the Portland Press Herald.

Although the 14-year-old girl's parents haven't yet filed a lawsuit against Apple, a prior lawsuit involving an Apple product catching fire may offer some insight into what could potentially happen in this case.