Posts tagged as:

personal responsibility

Menlo Park, Calif.: A 90-year-old lawyer’s BMW SUV jumped the curb and pinned two 6-year-old twin brothers against a wall, seriously injuring them. Now the driver, Edward Nelson, “states in his response to the lawsuit that the plaintiffs ‘carelessly, recklessly and negligently conducted and maintained themselves’ in a way that contributed to the accident. Furthermore, ‘knowing the probable consequences thereof, (they) placed themselves in a position of danger and voluntarily participated in all the activities,’ and so assumed any related risks. Finally, the plaintiffs failed to ‘reasonably mitigate’ any damages they sustained.” [Sandy Brundage, The Almanac (Peninsula communities, Bay Area)]

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“Two Northeastern Pennsylvania bars have settled for a combined $6.6 million with a man who became quadriplegic after driving drunk and crashing his car into a tree.” Jason Mercado sued two East Stroudsburg, Pa. bars on the theory that they had inexperienced bartenders and staff who should have known better than to serve him. Attorney Robert Sink, who represented Mercado, said the case was not without its difficulties: “if the jury found the drunk driver was more than 50 percent at fault, then he would have gotten nothing” under Pennsylvania law. The insurers defending the case decided that the risk of a verdict otherwise was worth $6.6 million. [Legal Intelligencer]

P.S. Redditors discuss.

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“A mom found to be insane when she drowned her three young children can’t get money from the wrongful death settlements that followed their killings, a Nassau judge ruled [last week].” [Newsday, earlier]

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“A Romanian man who has admitted to stealing masterpieces by Gauguin, Monet and Picasso on Tuesday threatened to sue the Dutch museum he took them from for making his robbery too easy.” [AFP/ArtDaily]

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Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of teenagers held an illegal party in the upstate New York home of former NFL star Brian Holloway. They left a wide swath of photos on social media, and Holloway put up a website identifying more than 100 of the 300 partiers. “But rather than apologize to Holloway for their children’s behavior, some parents have contacted their lawyers to see what legal action they can take” against him. [New York Daily News; response from radio personalities Chuck and Kelly, WGY]

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“… wants cut of wrongful death settlements.” “A mentally disturbed suburban New York woman who drowned her three young children in a bathtub in 2008 wants a cut of $350,000 in wrongful death settlements obtained by the children’s fathers, attorneys said Friday. Leatrice Brewer, 33, was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, so her attorneys say she should not be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.” [Associated Press/NY Daily News]

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Albuquerque: “The wife of an armed robbery suspect shot dead by a shop clerk said the clerk was wrong, and now she has filed a civil lawsuit claiming wrongful death….’He [deceased robber Ramon Sedillo] does bear some fault, but it’s like a pie. You divide out the fault accordingly, and [store clerk Matthew] Beasley could have done something different,’ [Sedillo family lawyer Amavalise] Jaramillo said.” [KRQE]

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The family, now represented by Chicago’s Corboy & Demetrio, is refiling a suit dismissed earlier [Deadspin]:

According to The New York Times, the complaint alleges that the N.H.L., through the actions/inactions of the teams and team physicians charged with caring for Boogaard, breached a duty to Boogaard in failing to monitor his prescription drug use. The suit also alleges that the league’s substance abuse program violated its own rules when it failed to suspend or reprimand him for his several lapses, even in the face of multiple failed drug tests and his admissions that he occasionally purchased the drugs illegally.

P.S. In other sports-lawsuit news, “Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour on Wednesday for exposing him to ‘public humiliation and ridicule’ during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer-antler spray that ended last week when the tour dropped its case against him.” [ESPN, auto-plays video]

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And now William Lawler is suing the Amarillo, Tex. sports bar that served both of them earlier in the evening, saying it should have cut them off. The suit, which seeks $1 million or more,

also claims the two had an “amiable relationship, and would have never fought were it not for their extreme level of inebriation.”

Lawler’s lawyer Ryan Turman said he thinks they have a solid case.

“We feel like we’ve got solid facts. We feel like Pink is responsible,” he said. “You just trust a jury to do what is right on these.”

He said the lawsuit was filed in accordance with the Dram Shop Act.

[Amarillo Globe-News, more, Jon Mark Beilue column; & welcome Above the Law readers]

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Great moments in blame-shifting: In Dade City, Fla., an ex-con with cocaine and other drugs in his system tried to outrun the cops in a high speed chase, then veered into a farm neighborhood where he smashed his car into two trees on a one-lane dead-end private road, instantly killing himself and a passenger. Now the estate of his passenger (who was also on drugs) is suing 21 local residents who jointly maintain the private road, saying they should have kept it clear of trees and did not provide adequate signage. “There were no apparent visual roadway obstructions or environmental factors that would have contributed to this crash,” a report from the Florida Highway Patrol stated at the time. [Tampa Bay Times](& Alkon)

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“A former California law student who suffered a spinal cord injury he attributes to nitrous oxide has sued three head shops that sold him the substance.” Jason Starn says after two months of steadily abusing the gas he developed Vitamin B-12 depletion, a side effect of overexposure to the compound. [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal; Sacramento Bee]

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“A woman who admitted to drowning her three young children in her bathtub in New Cassel nearly five years ago is telling a judge that she deserves some of the money from her children’s $250,000 estate. … [Innocent] Demesyeux [father of two of the three children] settled a lawsuit against [Nassau] county last year for $250,000, claiming that social services caseworkers could have done more to save his children.” A lawsuit on behalf of the third child is pending. [Newsday]

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“Saying that a moving train presents an obvious danger, the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a $3.9 million jury award against a trio of railroad companies.” A 12-year-old had “tried to impress his friends by jumping onto a moving train in Chicago Ridge” and was badly injured. [Madison County Record]

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“The parents of Derek Boogaard, the N.H.L. enforcer who died in May 2011 of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and alcohol, have sued the N.H.L. Players’ Association. … The suit seeks the $4.8 million in salary he was scheduled to make and $5 million in punitive damages.” [NY Times, Andrew Buzin]

Francesco Piserchia and another suspect were speeding away from the scene of a botched burglary when the police caught up with them. Piserchia’s suit claims he was trying to surrender when he was shot. [CBS New York]

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July 30 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 30, 2012

  • Backing down, sort of: “Menino says he can’t actively block Chick-Fil-A” [Boston Herald; Michael Graham on the Boston mayor's curious standards] Glad for small favors: Maryland public officials have wisely stayed out of the fracas [my post at Maryland for All Families got an Instalanche, thanks Glenn Reynolds] Earlier here, here, here;
  • Trying to start a business in Greece? What to expect [Reuters on shrimp farm]
  • Proceeds of California’s Prop 63 “millionaire’s tax” were supposedly earmarked for mental health. Here’s where the dollars have actually been spent [AP]
  • George Will on prosecution of whale-watcher for “harassing” humpback [WaPo, our January coverage]
  • Tries to slide down banister four stories up, survivors now suing Chicago’s Palmer House hotel [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Link bait: the ABA Journal picks the 12 greatest courtroom plays;
  • Prop 65 and carryout bags: “California, Land of the Free” [David Henderson]

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“A Massapequa woman who claims to have spent “over 100 nights” with an on-duty Nassau County police officer has filed legal notice that she intends to sue the county for $10 million. Tara Obenauer, 42, said in court papers that the county failed to supervise Officer Mike Tedesco, allowing him to visit her home regularly for about seven months until February, almost always during his shifts, in his uniform and while driving his patrol car.” [Newsday]

More, NY Post: local attorney “flabbergasted that officials are being blamed for not chaperoning the couple’s sex romps.”

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Jonesboro, Ga.: the defense lawyer called it “a fun fact pattern” involving “quite a cast of characters,” while the plaintiff’s lawyer acknowledged taking the case to trial even while knowing “that there was a less than 10 percent chance of winning on liability. … I never turn down the chance to take a case to trial when there is a real injury involved, no matter how tough the liability picture.” Does that imply that he represents other clients whose injury isn’t as “real”? [Fulton County Daily Report]

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