Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are not just areas of criminal law-they're also part of tort law. This means that you might be able to bring personal injury lawsuits if you've been the victim of assault or battery. Although quite similar, assault and battery have some subtle differences. Assault is an intentional threat or attempt to inflict injury on a person, whereas battery is the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without consent.

The one major difference between assault or battery as a crime and as a tort lies in the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the jury would have to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a tort case, also called a civil case, the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence.


Recently in Assault / Battery Category

When a hospital announces that one of its longest-serving obstetricians will require a chaperone when treating women in the maternity ward and has been removed from both hospital leadership and the list of doctors on call to deliver babies, you know something serious is going on.

A week after the Los Angeles Times reported Dr. Patrick Sutton had been accused of sexual misconduct by five former patients, three other women filed a lawsuit against Sutton and Huntington Memorial Hospital, claiming he subjected them to unwanted sexual remarks and touching during exams in the 1990s.

Three Girls Settle $4M for Molestation in Police Explorer Program

Three Southern California girls molested by a police officer while in a police explorer program have settled their civil suit against the Irwindale Police Department and Learning for Life, the company that runs the program, for a record $4 million. The settlement comes on the heels of another settlement against the same defendants last year for $2.75 million. All four victims were sexually assaulted by the same former police officer, Daniel Camerano, either in police cars during ride alongs or in police stations.

A mother and her children are suing the state of Victoria in Australia after two of its towns failed to protect them from domestic violence. The state had asked the judge for a summary ruling dismissing the case, but the judge felt he couldn't do that in good conscience. Though she had a protective order in place from her abusive ex-husband, the police failed to take action after she and her children were assaulted, and the police failed to protect the family on at least six occasions when she contacted them for protective help. 

This is the first time a case of this kind has been able to be brought before a judge in Australia, and opens the municipality up to liability over the police's breach of duty. Traditionally, police have not owed victims a duty of care. This case may change that.

In March 2015, a division director in the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services ordered 60 residents of the Pueblo Regional Center to be strip searched. The residents were developmentally disabled patients of the center, and DHA officials never sought consent from the patients, their families, or legal guardians. According to a lawsuit filed later, the aggressive strip searches included hands-on genital manipulation of the patients, many of whom had histories of physical and sexual abuse.

The state settled those claims this week, agreeing to pay $1 million to the families of the victims, and institute other reforms.

Uber Sued After Driver's Multiple Sexual Assaults

Uber is the target of yet another sex crime lawsuit, this time concerning a driver who purportedly is a repeat offender. The driver, John Kyle Lane, sexually exposed himself to a rider just days after he had sexually assaulted another rider in a nearby town. 

In this suit, the two women claim the company was negligent in its retention of Lane after the first incident, and are seeking at least $25,000 in damages yet to be determined.

Once our medical devices became "smart," or even just dependent on embedded computer or radio components for communication, the possibility of hacking those devices became a reality. While much of the focus has been on hacking pacemakers, doctors writing in the Chicago Sun-Times point out that those aren't the only vulnerable medical devices. "Defibrillators, neurostimulators and implantable drug pumps, like insulin pumps, rely on the same embedded computers and software radios for their two-way communication, they noted, adding, "weak security features have left these devices potentially vulnerable to outside manipulation."

And if a medical implant is tampered with, what can you do about it? Here's what you can do if your medical device is hacked.

Over 100 Uber Drivers Accused of Assault, Abuse

Millions of people have relied on Uber to get where they need to go. But not everyone arrives at their destination safely. Reporting and analysis by CNN reveals that over 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault or abuse over the past four years. With criminal charges, civil suits, and even class action lawsuits pending, customers are wondering what changes are being made, and Uber is promising to be part of the solution.

Two weeks ago, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand was just one of dozens of women who have accused the former actor and comedian of inappropriate sexual behavior and rape, and many of them have filed civil lawsuits against Cosby.

Does the guilty verdict in one case necessarily mean Cosby must pay out in the civil lawsuits? And how do convictions generally affect a person's civil liability?

Black Friday Injury Roundup

We warned you -- Black Friday is dangerous. And, as expected, quite a few people were injured while trying to take advantage of some sweet shopping deals this year. While we're not quite as morbid as BlackFridayDeathCount.com (or as humorous as The Onion), it can be valuable to take a look at this year's injuries, how they might have been avoided, and what lawsuits may follow.

Here's a rundown of 2017's Black Friday injuries:

The July confrontation in Utah made headlines nationwide: a University Hospital nurse standing off a Salt Lake City police officer, refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient involved in a car crash. Alex Wubbels correctly pointed out to Detective Jeff Payne the patient was not under arrest, Payne did not have a warrant to obtain the blood, and that he could not obtain consent from the unconscious man.

Payne arrested Wubbels anyway, ostensibly for obstruction of justice, but the nurse was released less than an hour later and never charged. Today, Wubbels and her attorney announced they have reached a settlement with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.