Legal News

Top 10 Tips, Answers Regarding DUI Penalties

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 14:09
While drunk driving arrests are all too common, each DUI case is unique, meaning the possible penalties you could face when charged with drunk driving will vary depending on the specifics of your case. There are, however, some general rules that prosecutors and courts follow when charging, plea bargaining, and......

NFL Player Arrests Are Down. Here's (Supposedly) Why

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 14:04
Depending on which television stats you cherry pick, the National Football League is either dying or it's immortal. But there's little doubt the NFL has been locked in a public relations battle the past few years. From a wave of domestic violence and assaults, to concussion and painkiller class action......

Women Sue L.A. Hospital for Gynecologist Sexual Misconduct

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 17:48

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.

Maternity and #MeToo

The women were only identified by their initials in the latest legal filing. K.G. claims Sutton made lewd comments to her and groped her breasts during a 1999 postpartum checkup. And when T.F. sought advice for migraines during her pregnancy, Sutton allegedly instructed her to "masturbate in order to make the blood rush to her head." He also asked that she let him know by phone whether she had been able to achieve orgasm.

As for those five other alleged victims, Sutton settled four of those accusations without admitting any sexual wrongdoing, and asserts he will contest the fifth pending complaint.

Repeat Obstetric Offender?

Sadly, these are far from the only allegations of sexual misconduct made against Dr. Sutton. The Medical Board of California has twice sought to revoke or suspend Sutton's medical license based on similar charges, although he was able to avoid suspension by agreeing to probation, professional boundaries courses, and even psychotherapy.

In 2005, two former patients filed a lawsuit accusing Sutton of inappropriate touching and graphic, sexually charged remarks during medical exams. Sutton also settled that case for an undisclosed sum.

Related Resources:

Women Sue L.A. Hospital for Gynecologist Sexual Misconduct

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 17:48
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......

Will I Get Arrested If I Use Drugs During Pregnancy?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 17:39
Though you may be arrested for using illegal drugs, there are generally no additional criminal charges for doing so while pregnant. Two states, Alabama and South Carolina, have upheld criminal child abuse verdicts for prenatal illegal drug use, primarily on the grounds those states believe a viable fetus is......

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

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 16:33
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......

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

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 16:33

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.

Assaulting Officer and Complicit Police Department

According to plaintiffs' claims, Officer Camerano was using his position of power and authority to victimize young woman who had a strong respect for police. In fact, these victims had joined the explorer program in hopes of one day becoming police officers. Not only was the officer's position abused, but other officers allegedly knew of the crime, and were complicit. This combination allowed the assaults to continue, with repeat assaults on each victim. These cases are indicative of systematic problems other departments are experiencing throughout California.

Officer Sexual Assault on Teenage Explorer Girls -- a Repeated Offense

In September 2018, a Northern California police sergeant was arrested for allegedly molesting a teenage girl in the Porterville Police Department explorer program of the Porterville Police Department. In August 2018, a Los Angeles police officer, Robert Cain was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in their version of an explorer program. Given the length of the charges against Cain, he faced up to eight years in prison. The victim and her family were very "unhappy" about the light sentence ultimately handed out.

According to attorney Andrea Ritchie, sexual assaults by police officers against teen girls are not as uncommon as one might think. "Sexual assault by police officers against women is extremely prevalent," Ritchie states. "It's been reported that it's the second most frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force." Ritchie claims one study found that a police officer is caught in an act of sexual misconduct every five days, and that almost a quarter of these involve minor victims. Ritchie believes the numbers are probably far worse, since these numbers only reflect the officers actually caught.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact a personal injury attorney. A seasoned legal veteran will be able to listen to the facts or your case, and help decide best next steps for you, including possible outcomes and processes. Though a lawyer can't help erase the past, there may be some help for the future.

Related Resources:

Back to the Settlement: Court Erases Royalty Lawsuit From DeLorean Widow

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 16:23
Few cars are as synonymous with a movie as the DeLorean DMC-12 is with the Back to the Future franchise. After all, as Doc Brown said, "If you're going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?!" Perhaps because the DeLorean Motor Company......

Tips for Divorcing While Self-Employed

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 16:11
While a divorce may be an emotional decision, that doesn't mean it comes without financial considerations. And those considerations can be significant if you're self-employed. Your time and your bottom line may be stretched pretty thin as it is -- how will the added emotional and dollar expense affect your......

Major San Francisco Landlord Sued for Driving Out Rent-Controlled Tenants

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 15:06
Veritas Investments, the largest residential landlord in San Francisco with more than 200 buildings and 5,500 apartments, is being sued yet again for trying to drive out rent-controlled tenants. This lawsuit, which represents 68 plantiffs, is the fourth filed by tenant's rights attorneys Ryan Vlasak and Ken Greenstein, against......

Is Using AI in Hiring Actually a Good Idea?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 14:01
When we hear stories about companies like Lockheed Martin using a "14-foot-tall, gleaming black box that can only be opened by solving one of the world's most impossible aerospace equations" as part of their hiring process, the future feels like it's finally arrived and our heads begin spinning with the......

Widower Hopes Supreme Court Will Overturn Ban on Military Injury Lawsuits

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:04
While the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the sovereign immunity of the federal government under certain circumstances, but those circumstances don't include injury claims by members of the armed forces and their families for injuries arising out of or in the course of activity related to military service. That......

Widower Hopes Supreme Court Will Overturn Ban on Military Injury Lawsuits

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:04

While the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the sovereign immunity of the federal government under certain circumstances, but those circumstances don't include injury claims by members of the armed forces and their families for injuries arising out of or in the course of activity related to military service. That might make sense for combat injuries sustained on the field of battle -- after all, can you imagine if the government got sued every time a soldier was injured or killed?

But what about when a healthy 33-year-old woman, who happens to be a Navy lieutenant and giving birth in a military hospital, mysteriously bleeds to death within hours of childbirth?

Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel 's widower, Walter Daniel (a former Coast Guard officer himself), is suing in a search for answers as to his wife's death. And he is now taking his wrongful death case to the Supreme Court to try and get around decades of precedent preventing injury lawsuits against the federal government involving active-duty military members.

Answers and Causes

"I've had no answers," Walter Daniel claims, regarding the Navy's handling of his wife's death, that occurred in the same maternity ward where she worked as a labor and delivery nurse. "It was utter chaos," he recalled of that day. "I remember multiple towels and sponges like they were trying to soak up the blood ... but it kept coming."

A Navy autopsy allegedly concluded Rebekah Daniel died of "natural" causes possibly linked to an amniotic fluid embolism. But her husband suspects she died from botched medical care that failed to stop her from hemorrhaging. "There was no timeline, no records of what steps were taken," Daniel claims. "I don't want this to happen to any other family."

Stars, Bars, and Barred Lawsuits

The legal principle blocking Daniel's lawsuit is known as the Feres Doctrine, stemming from a 1950 case in which the Supreme Court declared that the federal government could not be held liable under the FTCA for injuries to members of the armed forces arising from activities incident to military service. Late Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the idea in a dissent from another 1987 case upholding the doctrine. "Feres was wrongly decided," Scalia wrote, "and heartily deserves the widespread, almost universal criticism it has received."

Unfortunately, Feres persists despite that criticism. But Daniel's lawyer, Andrew Hoyal hope this case will warrant another look from the Supreme Court. "We thought if we're ever going to take a shot at the Feres doctrine, this is the case to do it," Hoyal said, after Daniel's case has been dismissed from lower courts. "It was clear negligence. It was an awful situation. And every civilian in the country would be able to bring a lawsuit to get accountability, except for members of the service.

"She was treated differently because she had lieutenant's bars."

Related Resources:

Never Break the Chain: Ousted Lindsey Buckingham Sues Fleetwood Mac Members

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 17:03
Fired Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham has filed a lawsuit against remaining band members Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks, attempting to enforce his "right to share in the economic opportunities he is entitled to as a member of the partnership created to operate the......

What's the Penalty for Laptop Theft?

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 16:56
Stealing a laptop comes in so many forms: breaking into a car or a home, or simply grabbing one that is in plain sight from an unsuspecting, or tuned-out, owner. What's the crime for laptop theft? That depends on the jurisdiction and the laptop, but some states are saying......

When Is It Too Late to Challenge a Traffic Ticket?

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 16:52
You didn't think you were speeding. You definitely had your blinker on. And there's no way you rolled through that stop sign without stopping. But here you are, pulled over on the side of the road, with an officer writing you a traffic ticket. She's probably explaining your legal options......

Harry Potter Amusement Park Ride Lawsuit Settles

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 14:48
Tommy Fry was stuck on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios Orlando for about an hour back in 2015, when the ride he and his two sons were on malfunctioned. Fry claimed to have been suspended upside down for this time, though the facts......

Harry Potter Amusement Park Ride Lawsuit Settles

FindLaw Injury News - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 14:48

Tommy Fry was stuck on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios Orlando for about an hour back in 2015, when the ride he and his two sons were on malfunctioned. Fry claimed to have been suspended upside down for this time, though the facts are unclear, since the ride technically does not invert passengers, but rather, tilts them. Fry sued in 2017, claiming injury and mental anguish among other things. Last week, an amicable settlement was reached between the two parties for undisclosed terms.

This brings up an interesting question: can you sue an amusement park for being injured on a ride? Apparently yes, and the cases often settle, with payouts running into the millions of dollars.

Did the Amusement Park Negligently Operate the Ride?

Amusement parks are responsible for the acts of its employees. All employees must operate rides safely and carefully. Sometimes this doesn't happen based on actions, or inactions, by the employees. In this instance, Universal could be help liable if the operators, or maintenance workers, were negligent in their care and operation of the ride. Specifically had:

  • Proper maintenance schedules been followed?
  • Operators been properly trained?
  • Employees properly operated the ride?

If the amusement park employees failed to perform any of these duties, and this failure led to the ride stopping, which led to the injury occurring, it is possible that the rider could have a negligence claim against the park.

Did The Rider Assume the Risk?

Even if the amusement park failed to provide the proper duty of care to riders, and it caused injury, the park may be able to offer an affirmative defense in the form of assumption of risk. Negligence is a state law claim, and not all states will allow an assumption of risk defense, but some do. The concept behind this defense is that if someone knows that participating in an act is inherently dangers, but chooses to partake nonetheless, they have "assumed the risk" of that activity.

For instance, a roller coaster is meant to be frightening. It's impossible to have one without inflicting some level of terror. But it is possible to have a roller coaster that has all of its parts in working order. The issue becomes do you reasonably assume the risk that a ride will break down and you will be stuck for an hour inverted or tilted? This will be an issue for jurors to discuss, since it may be reasonable to assume being stuck on a ride, but the reasonableness of the duration and position could easily be debated.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an amusement park ride, contact a personal injury attorney. A seasoned lawyer can review your case, often for free, and determine if you have a viable claim against the park owner.

Related Resources:

Michigan Man Found Guilty of Assault for Shooting at Teen Asking for Directions

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 14:28
Homeowners generally have the right to defend themselves and their property in their own home. Specifically, the so-called "castle doctrine" says that a homeowner does not have a duty to retreat if they are in their home, though state laws may limit the amount of force allowed and require that......

Walmart to Pay $65M Settling Lawsuit Over Cashier Seating

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 13:43
Walmart cashiers in California won a landmark victory in their class action suit, Brown v. Walmart, for the right to take a seat. Though denying any wrongdoing in this nine-year-old federal case, Walmart agreed to pay $65 million to nearly 100,000 current and former cashiers, preventing the case from......

Pages