Legal News

Are Anti-Gay Assaults Hate Crimes?

FindLaw Headlines - 4 hours 19 min ago
Nearly every state and the federal government has hate crime statutes that can increase penalties for crimes targeting specific individuals based on immutable characteristics like race, religion, or national origin. But the wording of hate crime laws, in terms what they prohibit and who they protect, can vary from jurisdiction......

Dram Shop Lawsuit: 2 Staten Island Establishments Sued for 1 Crash

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 19:09
In February 2015, two drunk drivers crashed head-on in Staten Island, New York, which left William Cuffee, a passenger in of the driver's vehicles, brain damaged and severely injured. Cuffee's mother, who now cares for her son, recently filed a lawsuit against both drivers, as well as the pair......

Dram Shop Lawsuit: 2 Staten Island Establishments Sued for 1 Crash

FindLaw Injury News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 19:09

In February 2015, two drunk drivers crashed head-on in Staten Island, New York, which left William Cuffee, a passenger in of the driver's vehicles, brain damaged and severely injured. Cuffee's mother, who now cares for her son, recently filed a lawsuit against both drivers, as well as the pair of establishments one driver was drinking in prior to the crash that night.

The drivers each pleaded guilty to separate criminal charges related to the incident. However, when a person convicted on criminal charges caused injury to another person while in the process of committing a crime, a criminal conviction may not be the end of it as they can be sued in civil court as well. Cuffee's mother had to sue on his behalf as the court declared him incapacitated.

Dram Shop Laws

Because drunk driving is such a major on-the-road safety concern, a majority of states have some form of dram shop laws. These laws allow victims of drunk driving accidents to hold alcohol serving establishments liable when patrons are served too much alcohol and allowed to drive away drunk.

These laws not only impose financial liability as a result of an establishment's negligence in allowing a drunk patron to drive, some jurisdictions impose fines, and potential criminal penalties for the employees that serve alcohol to drunk people that later end up on the road. State laws will vary on what must be proven to hold an establishment liable, but it generally involves:

  • Proving the establishment sold the person alcohol
  • Proving the establishment continued to sell alcohol when the person was drunk
  • And sometimes, proving the establishment knew the person was driving

Who's Liable?

Depending on the jurisdiction, dram shop laws will only extend to protect third parties rather than the drunk drivers themselves. This means that only a third party will be able to hold an alcohol serving establishment liable for injuries caused by a drunk driving patron. However, in a few jurisdictions, under the right circumstances, a drunk driver that injures themselves in a crash may be able to pursue the establishment that got them drunk.

Related Resources:

Target Agrees to Pay $18.5M and Change Customer Data Security

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 19:05
As a result of the 2013 holiday shopping season data breach at Target stores across the country, the retailer has agreed to pay $18.5 million to end a multistate enforcement action. This settlement is reported to be the largest ever in a multistate consumer data-breach enforcement action. The multimillion dollar......

Walmart Sued After Car Crashes Through Store's Front Door Killing 3 Shoppers

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 18:40
On December 1, 2016, Lindsey Rietveld was shopping at the Walmart store where she worked in Pella, Iowa, when a Ford F-150 pickup truck came crashing through the front door of the store. The truck struck and killed Ms. Rietveld and two others. As a result of the fatal......

Walmart Sued After Car Crashes Through Store's Front Door Killing 3 Shoppers

FindLaw Injury News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 18:40

On December 1, 2016, Lindsey Rietveld was shopping at the Walmart store where she worked in Pella, Iowa, when a Ford F-150 pickup truck came crashing through the front door of the store. The truck struck and killed Ms. Rietveld and two others. As a result of the fatal crash, Rietveld's estate has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, the driver of the truck, and the architectural designer of the front of the store. The lawsuit claims the lack of barriers is to blame for the wrongful death.

The driver of the truck told police that he choked on a sip of coffee, passed out, and woke up after crashing through the front of the store. As a result of suffering the medical emergency, the driver was not charged criminally.

Liability for Cars Crashing Into Stores

While the civil suit alleges that the driver of the vehicle was negligent in causing the accident, the theory of liability against Walmart and the architectural firm are a little different. Generally, stores can be held liable on a premises liability theory of negligence when an injury occurs in an area controlled by the store, including sidewalks, parking lots, or anywhere else the store controls or maintains. In short, stores are required to make sure their premises are safe for customers. Providing safe premises means not just protecting against obvious causes of injuries, like wet floors and falling debris, but also protection against any kind of foreseeable injury.

While it may seem random, the type of injury accident that occurred in the Pella Walmart is not completely unusual. In fact, many stores routinely install barriers or objects specifically designed to stop out of control vehicles from crashing through a store's door. Some states even require these sorts of barriers for stores in certain locations, or with exclusive parking lots.

A rather similar accident happened last year in Springfield, Massachusetts. In that case, a man had a stroke and crashed through a grocery store's door, killing only one person. That case resulted in a $30+ million verdict. The jury found that the grocery chain had the resources to install safety barriers, and failed to do so despite the obvious risk.

Related Resources:

If We Never Married, Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 18:36
Child support is an inescapable obligation. Even if you were never married to your co-parent, the law still requires that a parent provide financial support to the other parent for their child, except in unusual circumstances. This is separate from alimony or spousal support. If you have a child,......

Can Kidnapping Insurance Protect Against Ransomware?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 16:54
Many companies that do business in some dangerous parts of the world have kidnapping insurance to protect their executives and employees. But now that so much of our commerce and data is online, the whole world becomes dangerous and our companies become vulnerable to ransomware attacks. So if hackers "kidnap"......

What to Do When Treated Unfairly at Work: Top 10 FAQ

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 16:47
Most of us don't want special treatment in the office. We just want to the opportunity to do great work, preferably in a field we enjoy, and be fairly compensated for our labor. But fairness comes in a lot of forms outside of our salary, and there are numerous ways......

Who Can I Call as an Expert Witness?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:48
When going to trial, particularly in cases that involve technical or scientific evidence, having the right experts on your side can make or break a case. Not only does the expert need to actually be a subject matter expert, but having presentation skills, or just charisma, can be just......

How to Protect Your Business From the WannaCry Ransomware?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:00
Over the past few weeks, businesses small and large have been forced to deal with the most recent ransomware attack, aptly named WannaCry. Like other ransomware, a business's computers, networks, data, and servers, all get locked down by a hacker that demands payment in untraceable bitcoins to unlock the......

NFL Painkiller Claims: The Difference Between a Grievance and a Lawsuit

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:54
There are, as of this writing, still two active lawsuits against the NFL and/or its member teams regarding the prescription of painkillers to players. Dent v. NFL was filed in the District Court of Northern California in May 2014 and claimed the league withheld medical information from players, oversaw acquisition......

Boating Accident Liability: When to Sue for Wrongful Death?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:45
Boats, many of which lack brakes, seat belts, and airbags, can be just as dangerous as cars. And a recent lawsuit in Washington details just how dangerous they can be. The surviving family members of a man who drowned in a boating accident at Lake Coeur d'Alene last summer claim......

Boating Accident Liability: When to Sue for Wrongful Death?

FindLaw Injury News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:45

Boats, many of which lack brakes, seat belts, and airbags, can be just as dangerous as cars. And a recent lawsuit in Washington details just how dangerous they can be.

The surviving family members of a man who drowned in a boating accident at Lake Coeur d'Alene last summer claim the man piloting another boat wasn't paying attention after dark and plowed right through a stationary boat, killing three people. The wrongful death lawsuit also claims the man behind the wheel, Dennis Magner, lied to investigators about who was driving at the time of the crash.

Right of Way on the Water

Boating accidents are, tragically, easily avoidable. Boating sober, within posted speed limits, and only in safe weather conditions can prevent most boating accidents. And keeping a close eye out for other boaters is absolutely essential.

Justin Lurh and two of his friends were drifting in a stationary boat when Magner's Mastercraft collided with it last August, according to the lawsuit. The impact threw the three men into the water, where they drowned. Boating law requires moving boats to yield to stationary boats, and the lawsuit alleges Magner's boat was up on a plane at the time of the crash.

"[W]hat we're looking at is that it was a head-on collision," said Kootenai County Sheriff's Lieutenant Stu Miller, while investigating the crash. "The bows of both boats came into contact with each other."

Lake Liability

There are generally three main elements to a successful wrongful death suit:

  1. The death of a human being;
  2. The death was caused by another's negligence, or intent to cause harm; and
  3. The survival of family members suffering monetary injury as a result of the death.

Justin Lurh left behind a wife and two children, and Bill Gilbert, the attorney representing them, believes Magner was negligent the night of the accident. "They weren't out there paying attention, worried they might run into somebody," Gilbert told Spokane's KXLY. "Again, it was after dark. They probably didn't think anybody was on the water. But you still have to pay attention, especially after dark."

The Lurh's lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages to compensate for Justin's death.

Related Resources:

Drone Hobbyists Don't Need to Register With FAA, Court Rules

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:32
The US Court of Appeals for D.C. issued a ruling that drone hobbyists are rejoicing over. The 2015 FAA emergency regulation that required all drone and model aircraft users to register their glorified toys was struck down last week. Now hobbyists can fly their drones, and RC planes, without......

What Is an EB-5 Investment Visa?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:17
Before he was a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, also Ivanka Trump's husband, ran Kushner Companies, his father's real estate development and lending company. Earlier this month, his sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, invoked Jared's name when imploring Chinese investors to "invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United......

Cyclist Sues Portland for Wrongful Arrest Based on Racial Profiling

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:12
Anthony Allen, of Portland, Oregon, is suing the city for nearly half a million dollars as a result of a wrongful arrest that happened in May 2015. While this may seem like a big number, keep in mind that not only was this man wrongfully arrested, criminal charges were......

Tech Support Scams: Beware Pop-Up Windows and Redirects

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:15
Nearly every internet user has encountered some form of the tech support scam in their browsing history. Although these tech support scams are rather common, the level of sophistication can vary as the majority of these are just online phishing scams. The most common tech support scams involve a......

Conan O'Brien Joke Theft Lawsuit Can Proceed to Trial

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:08
A recent decision in the civil case against Conan O'Brien is no laughing matter for the late night host. Writer Alex Kaseberg filed suit in 2015 over a series of jokes that he claims were stolen from his blog and Twitter feed. The federal judge hearing the copyright infringement......

What Is a Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator?

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:00
Any time a person files for bankruptcy, federal courts will apply a means test to see if the debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The first step in that test is to compare the person’s average monthly income for the six months preceding the filing to their state’s median family......

Pages