Legal News

Were Grand Canyon Visitors Exposed to Radiation?

FindLaw Injury News - 5 hours 27 min ago

"If you were in the Museum Collections Building (bldg 2C) between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were 'exposed' to uranium by OSHA's definition." Not exactly something you want to hear after your vacation to the Grand Canyon, but that's what the park's health and safety manager is claiming.

Elston "Swede" Stephenson says radioactivity readings gathered by Park Service officials on three buckets of stones believed to be uranium specimens appeared to be hundreds of times higher than federal exposure thresholds.

A Box of Rocks or a Load of Radiation?

Apparently not everyone is on board with Stephenson's evaluation of radiation risk at the park. "It's just a bucket of rocks," Craig Little, a health physicist who spent 25 years at the Oakridge National Laboratory told the Arizona Republic. "I wouldn't line my baby's crib with it, but ..." The central disagreement appears to center on whether uranium ore, which was discovered in three 5-gallon buckets that had been stored next to a taxidermy exhibit could emit dangerous radiation levels.

"Uranium naturally occurs in the rocks of Grand Canyon National Park," the Department of Interior told CNN. "A recent survey of the Grand Canyon National Park's museum collection facility found radiation levels at 'background' levels -- the amount always present in the environment -- and below levels of concern for public health and safety. There is no current risk to the public or Park employees."

Stephenson stood by his calculations, however, and noted that OSHA technicians wore full protective gear when they visited the building. "Please understand, this doesn't mean that you're somehow contaminated, or that you are going to have health issues," he said in a warning email. "It merely means essentially that there was uranium on the site and you were in its presence ... And by law we are supposed to tell you."

Suing the Grand Canyon

So, could lawsuits from park visitors be forthcoming? If the park in fact violated environmental laws on the storage or disposal of radioactive materials, it could be held liable. Additionally, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows individuals to recover against the federal government for personal injury caused by the negligence of a federal employee. However, claims under the FTCA must be made following a specific procedure, in writing, and within two years after it becomes apparent a cause of action exists.

If you're wondering if you have a claim for radiation exposure, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.

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Supreme Court Curtails Civil Asset Forfeiture

FindLaw Headlines - 5 hours 44 min ago
For years, state and local police departments have been piggybacking on federal investigations and statutes that allow for the forfeiture of property derived from or involved in criminal activity. While the law was intended to deprive criminals of the ill-gotten fruits of their illegal labor, too many police departments began......

Jussie Smollett Arrested, Charged With Filing False Police Report in Alleged Attack

FindLaw Headlines - 8 hours 24 min ago
Smollett has been arrested and charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, allegedly because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the show....

When Is It Too Late to Report a Crime?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:12
There can be some very good reasons to call the police and report a crime right away, like if a crime just occurred or someone could be a danger to the public. And there are some very good reasons to wait: maybe you fear retribution from the person committing the......

Federal Court: Trump Admin. 'Literally Has No Power to Act' to Punish Sanctuary Cities

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:45
As President Trump has made immigration a central policy arena, sanctuary cities and states have become important flashpoints of legal action. Under former Attorney General Jeff Session, the Justice Department threatened to withhold federal funds from cities and states that declined to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, and those......

Not Even Carlton Can Copyright the 'Carlton Dance'

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:25
You know the Carlton Dance. And if you don't, here you go:......

Top 5 Legal Tips for Small Biz Yelp Reviews

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 14:02
Yelp and other online review sites have become the bane of some small businesses, with many struggling to navigate sticky social media situations and asking some tough questions. Yes, you probably can ban a customer for a bad Yelp review, but the bigger question is whether you should. But banning......

When to Sue for a Chemical Burn

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:50
Dozens of workers every year suffer chemical burns on the job. And the products we use and businesses we frequent often contain or use dangerous chemicals. So, if you're one of the people who suffers a chemical burn, when (and who) can you sue? That will largely depend on the......

When to Sue for a Chemical Burn

FindLaw Injury News - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:50

Dozens of workers every year suffer chemical burns on the job. And the products we use and businesses we frequent often contain or use dangerous chemicals. So, if you're one of the people who suffers a chemical burn, when (and who) can you sue?

That will largely depend on the circumstances of your case. Here's a look:

Product Liability

In 2017, almost 300,000 iPhone cases were recalled after leaking glitter from cracked cases caused chemical burns. Two dozen customers claimed they suffered skin irritation or chemical burns from leaking cases, and one person "reported chemical burns and swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands." Product liability claims hold a manufacturer or seller liable if their product causes injuries.

There are generally three types of product liability lawsuits, depending on the cause of the malfunction or injury:

  1. Defects in Design: A defect in the design of the product that poses an unreasonable risk to consumers, even if it is manufactured and used as intended;
  2. Defects in Manufacturing: A mistake in the production of a well-designed product that introduces a new danger to consumers; or
  3. Defects in Warnings: A company's failure to properly warn consumers of known risks in using the product, if they are inadequate warnings, inaccurate warnings, or no warnings at all.

Premises Liability

Maybe you suffered a burn on someone else's property. At a restaurant, perhaps, or a car wash that uses chemicals to clean. In that case, the property owner might be held responsible under premises liability. The level of responsibility will often hinge on your relationship with the property owner.

Invitee (those who are invited onto the property of another, like customers in a store) and licensees (those who are guests or present at the consent of the owner) are owed a reasonable duty of care from the property owner, meaning they have taken reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises. If that's not the case, you may have a premises liability claim.

Workers' Compensation

If you are injured on the job, you'll most likely need to file a workers' compensation claim before you can file a lawsuit. Make sure you seek and receive any necessary medical treatment as soon as possible, and report the accident to your employer. If your workers' comp claim is denied, or the benefits don't fully cover your medical costs, lost wages, or expenses, you may have other legal options.

To know how to proceed with any injury claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.

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Are Drug Sniffing Dogs Accurate?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 18:22
Not long after we all fell in love with CSI and the science behind forensic evidence, much of that science was called into question. Beyond the accidental errors and purposeful evidence tampering at crime labs and by lab technicians, it turns out that the underlying basis for many types......

Kaepernick, NFL Settle Collusion Grievance

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 17:34
For over two seasons, just about every new quarterback signing in the NFL has had one name attached to the story: Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick had accused the league and teams of colluding to blackball him from NFL rosters following his criminal justice system protests during the 2016 season. And every......

Top 5 Misconceptions About Immigration Law

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 14:09
It seems like every day brings another story of a new immigration law or policy, increased deportation efforts, or, yes, a wall. And with all that news can come quite a bit of misinformation. So, how do you separate fact from fiction when it comes to immigration law? Here are......

More Cities Allowing 911 Texts

FindLaw Headlines - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 18:15
Plano, Texas is just the latest city to upgrade its 911 system to receive text messages, but as local NBC news reported, not all area counties or cities have the same option. Clearly, the ability to text (rather than call) 911 can save your life, and may be the only......

Chicago's 'Bubble Zone' for Abortion Clinics Upheld

FindLaw Headlines - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:15
Abortion has always been a controversial topic, and much of the pro-life/pro-choice debate has taken place in public forums like marches, demonstrations, and other protests. And some pro-life advocates have taken their message straight to medical clinics and facilities, much to the chagrin of women's health care providers. In response,......

When Should a Business Sue Over Zoning Laws?

FindLaw Headlines - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:11
When you're leasing commercial space, you're just looking for the best place to start, grow, or continue your business. If you're getting an entire building to yourself, you probably know you need to track down local zoning ordinances to make sure your business is allowed to operate in that location.......

When Is It Too Late to Get a Flu Shot?

FindLaw Headlines - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 17:04
Whether you're trying to keep yourself healthy, keep young children and old relatives from getting sick, or you just need to do it for work, you might be thinking about getting a flu shot this year. But hey, it's already the middle of February and spring is right around the......

Can President Trump Declare an Emergency to Build Border Wall?

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 16:37
Donald Trump campaigned on border security. One of his first executive orders as president directed "the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border." And he allowed the federal government to shut down for three weeks to secure funding for wall construction. Now, according to Senate Majority Leader......

Scarred on the Slopes: Our Top 5 Legal Tips for Skiing Accidents and Injuries

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 13:52
With all the winter weather most of the country has been getting blasted with, chances are you've hit the slopes already. And with no snow letup in sight, you might be headed back. So, be careful out there. But, accidents happen. Most of us are aware of the risks that......

Scarred on the Slopes: Our Top 5 Legal Tips for Skiing Accidents and Injuries

FindLaw Injury News - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 13:52

With all the winter weather most of the country has been getting blasted with, chances are you've hit the slopes already. And with no snow letup in sight, you might be headed back. So, be careful out there.

But, accidents happen. Most of us are aware of the risks that come with skiing, but every now and then an accident isn't just an accident, and someone else is at fault. When that happens on the ski slopes, who's responsible and what can you do about it? Here's what you need to know about skiing injuries and legal liability.

1. Ski Accidents: Top 3 Ways Not to Get Injured

Hopefully, you're well aware of how to stay safe on the slopes. If not, an experienced skier or guide can help. And if you're determined to do it all on your own, make sure to avoid skiing alone, be careful around trees and rocks, and don't treat ski lifts and equipment like toys.

2. When Is a Ski Resort Liable for Injuries?

As a business open to the public, ski resorts are generally responsible for preventing foreseeable injuries in and around the resort. But on the mountain? That could be a different story. And while many (if not all) resorts require you to sign a liability waiver or include one with the sale of a ski pass, not all those waivers are enforceable in court.

3. Ski Injuries: 3 Factors Affecting Lawsuits

Perhaps the biggest factor in determining liability for ski injuries is the behavior of the skiers involved. Did you hop on a double black diamond your first time out? Did you purposely ski outside the resort's boundaries? Or did someone else recklessly plow into you?

4. Who Pays for Rescue Costs?

Speaking of boundaries, for some veteran, adventurous skiers, only the backcountry will do. But what happens if you get in trouble out there? Search parties and rescue efforts don't come cheap, and some counties and states are charging rescuees with those costs.

5. Ski Accidents: When to Sue, When Not to Sue

Your best bet for legal advice regarding your specific ski injuries is going to be an experienced injury attorney. You can find one in your area below.

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5 Biggest Drug Kingpins and How They Were Taken Down

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 19:52
This week, drug lord and escape artist Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was found guilty on 10 counts of drug trafficking and is expected to receive life without parole. But those 10 charges fail to encompass the decades-long career of a man who murdered rival cartel heads, escaped twice from Mexican......