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personal responsibility

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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Kashmir Hill explains at Forbes:

Strava ‘player’ William “Kim” Flint got so competitive that when he lost his first place rank as “King of the Mountain” for a steep route in Berkeley, California, he raced down the road on his bike at 40 mph to try to reclaim his title. The 41-year-old electrical engineer had to brake suddenly; he flipped over a car and died on the 2010 ride, reports ABC News. Now his family is suing Strava for negligence, alleging that the start-up is responsible for Flint’s death.

More: BerkeleySide.

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Some stories just seem destined for this site, including this one about a woman whose legal complaint alleges that “her ex-husband met her after she was hired to work at McDonald’s and later pushed her into prostitution in Nevada.” [Courthouse News, NY Daily News]

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“Surveillance footage suggests that [Azcona] was heavily intoxicated, stumbling several times before he fell into a snow bank and didn’t get up.” Later a snowplow hit him. His survivors are suing the Trenton, N.J. bar that allegedly should have cut him off earlier, along with the city. [Ann Marie McDonald, New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Watch; Trenton Times]

“A New Jersey man who got so drunk playing beer pong at a Greenwich Village pub that he thought walking across a busy highway was a good idea cannot sue the bar over his injuries, a judge has ruled.” [Dareh Gregorian, NY Post]

Having decided to cut classes, a 15-year-old student at Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Fla. was fatally struck by a car one morning last year about a mile from school grounds. “Her mother says school officials could have prevented her death — and she’s pursuing legal action with the hope of changing their supervision and tardiness policies….The notice, drafted by Mamonoff’s attorney Stacy Kemp, offered to drop the matter and settle out of court for $1 million.” [St. Petersburg Times]

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Max Kennerly thinks we should understand their point of view. Earlier here, here, etc., etc.

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“A South Carolina woman is suing the bar that served her alcohol as a minor the night she had a car accident that left her paralyzed. Chelsea Hess, 22, is also suing the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for negligence for allegedly not maintaining the road shoulder she drove her car over in her accident.” [ABC via @amyalkon]

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But the estate of a Massachusetts man killed in an apparent accident when the gun went off was not allowed to sue the owner and gun manufacturer. [Volokh]

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“A man who overdosed on stolen drugs he ingested at a party in 2007 has settled his lawsuit with a pharmacy, several guests, the party’s host and the host’s mother for $4.1 million. … [Scott] Simon sued the pharmacy for not taking proper precautions to avoid the theft of drugs. He also sued several guests, the party’s host and the host’s parents, who were away for the weekend.” [AP via NJLRA, Schepisi & McLaughlin]

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“The president of the Florence Park District says he’s disappointed in a system that allows a man riding a motorized bicycle on a winter night on a trail that doesn’t allow motorized vehicles to receive an insurance settlement. Half of the settlement came from a Florence bar because snow was pushed onto the trail when the bar parking lot was plowed.” [AP]

“Two passengers riding in a stolen car that was involved in a wreck sue the car’s 91-year-old owner” The driver of the wreck was a man defendant George Hinnenkamp had sometimes hired to do odd jobs; the passengers claim he had extended permission for the man to take the car that night, but a district attorney who successfully prosecuted the case says that isn’t so, noting that Hinnenkamp had reported the car stolen well before the accident. [Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard]

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“D.C. United’s Charlie Davies is suing the owners of a Washington nightclub and the drink company Red Bull for $20 million, claiming they are responsible for a fatal car crash that ended the MLS player’s hopes of joining the 2010 U.S. World Cup team. Davies, now 25, was a passenger in the car driven by a woman who has since pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving in the 2009 one-car crash that killed a second passenger.” Perhaps his theory will be that the nightclub had an obligation to assess how drunk the woman was, but he didn’t. [AP/ESPN]

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The teenage girl’s family has now sued the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, the event company Insomniac, a former events manager, and other parties alleging negligent staffing and supervision, inadequate security, slow emergency response and other deficiencies [L.A. Times]

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“Daniel Schuler, whose wife, Diane Schuler, killed herself and seven others in a wrong-way crash on the Taconic State Parkway is suing the state and his brother-in-law, whose three daughters were victims. Daniel Schuler filed a lawsuit Monday against the state in the New York Court of Claims, arguing that the highway was poorly designed and lacked proper signs.” [White Plains, N.Y. Journal-News] More on the catastrophic crash, which is the subject of a new HBO documentary by Liz Garbus: Bloomberg.

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Teacher gave me booze, pills and car keys, says Dylan Ferguson, and so it’s the school district’s fault that I hurt myself [Orlando Sentinel]

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