Legal News

Can You Get Workers' Comp for Being Mauled by a Rhino?

FindLaw Injury News - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:49

Working alongside 4,000-lb wild animals may seem like an inherently dangerous job. And wildlife lovers may not have a whole lot of sympathy for a zoo employee injured by an animal that has already tried to escape twice and should be roaming free in the grasslands of Central Africa.

But a female zookeeper struck by "Archie's" horn at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is probably just wondering if she can get paid for the time she'll miss work.

Archie Nemesis

Most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, which reimburses employees for lost wages due to a work-related injury. A "work-related injury" is generally defined as one suffered while doing something on behalf of your employer or otherwise in the course of employment. While most of the injuries classified as work-related occur at the workplace, some covered accidents may occur at other locations or in company-owned vehicles -- as long as the employee was doing something connected to their job.

In this instance, zoo spokesperson J.J. Vitale said the zookeeper was injured when she came into contact with Archie during a routine training session. The zoo's executive director, Tony Vecchio, said zookeepers conduct the sessions with the animals to prepare them for medical exams, and the training generally involves teaching them how to open their mouth and lift their feet on command, as well as submit to blood tests.

While Vecchio also said there is always a safety barrier between the zookeeper and the animal -- and that there were vertical and horizontal bars in between the zookeeper and Archie -- Jacksonville Fire and Rescue confirmed she was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Zoo Workers' Comp

Workers' comp covers injuries which can be connected in some way to an employment requirement or condition, so it's likely the zookeeper will be covered in this case. If you're wondering if your work injury falls under workers comp, need help filing a claim, or you've had a workers' comp claim rejected, contact a local attorney for help.

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64 Attackers Convicted After Rape Kit Backlog Tested

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 16:42
While law enforcement officers are more diligent than ever about collecting forensic evidence in rape investigations, they often still lack the financial resources to ensure rape kits are tested in a timely fashion. According to some estimates, hundreds of thousands of untested kits remain in police and crime lab storage......

Court: Sandy Hook Lawsuit Against Remington Can Proceed

FindLaw Injury News - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 16:33

In 2016, a Connecticut judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre against Remington, the manufacturer of the weapon used in the killings. But this week, the Connecticut Supreme Court revived part of the lawsuit, ruling that federal protections did not prevent the families from bringing a lawsuit based on wrongful marketing tactics, and claims based on a state law regarding unfair trade practices could move forward.

Here's a look at the ruling, and what it could mean for future lawsuits against gun makers.

Laws, Lies, and Liability

The suit was initially dismissed pursuant to the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act (PLCAA), signed into law by George W. Bush in 2005. In the 4-3 ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court largely agreed with that decision, finding that most of the claims raised by the families were precluded under the PLCAA and a gun manufacturer or dealer cannot be held liable for how a gun is used if the gun was sold legally.

But the parents' lawsuit also attacked Remington's marketing campaign, including ads for the AR-15-style Bushmaster used in the 2012 attack that invoked combat violence and told would-be buyers, "Consider your man card reissued." And the court said the suit could go forward under Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act.

That statute is aimed at harmful marketing and prohibits advertising the use of a weapon as a potential tool for "offensive military style combat" by civilians. Other Bushmaster ads featured soldiers on patrol in jungles along with the phrase: "When you need to perform under pressure, Bushmaster delivers." Remington allegedly promoted the rifle to civilians as "the ultimate combat weapons system," and the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that "it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet."

The End of the Road and the End of Immunity?

Appeals are assured and a jury may still find in Remington's favor, so the suit is far from over. But attacking a gun maker's ads through state consumer protection laws may provide gun violence victims a path to compensation that didn't exist before.

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Court: Sandy Hook Lawsuit Against Remington Can Proceed

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 16:33
In 2016, a Connecticut judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre against Remington, the manufacturer of the weapon used in the killings. But this week, the Connecticut Supreme Court revived part of the lawsuit, ruling that federal protections did not prevent......

Top 7 Legal Tips to Avoid Religious Discrimination Claims

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 16:29
You might be thinking of your small business as a secular oasis -- solely a place for work that is either an escape from or quiet alternative to religious argument or worship. Your employees, on the other hand, may not see it the same way, or so easily separate the......

Spring Break and the Law: Your Vacation Roundup

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:11
Whether you're crossing things off your packing list and ready to hit the road, or you're crossing your fingers that your kids will come home safe from partying at the beach, there are probably one or two legal questions running through your mind as you get ready for spring break.......

College Coaches Indicted in Admissions Bribery Scandal

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 18:03
If you thought the college admissions scandal that brought down Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin was confined to Aunt Becky, think again. Federal prosecutors also indicted nine college coaches for their role in an alleged bribery scheme that funneled rich kids into elite schools. That's because part of the scheme......

Paul Manafort Sentenced to Federal Prison, Faces New State Charges

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 17:47
Two federal judges have sentenced President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort to a combined seven and a half years in prison for assorted financial crimes, conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. And his troubles may not be over yet. Minutes after his second sentence......

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman Star in College Admissions Scandal

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:45
Both Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been named in a federal criminal complaint that alleges the actresses bribed their children's ways into their respective colleges. The actresses were not alone, but rather part of a much larger group of other parents alleged to have engaged in the same......

Serial Podcast Subject Adnan Syed Won't Get Retrial

FindLaw Headlines - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 16:52
In a shocking turn of events for the subject of the Serial podcast, and now an HBO mini-series, Adnan Syed won't be getting that retrial he won on appeal, at least, unless Maryland's, or the United States', Highest Court steps in. The Maryland Court of Appeals recently reversed the......

DOJ Rounds Up Elder 'Tech Support' Scammers

FindLaw Headlines - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 16:28
A recent press release from the Department of Justice announced the largest-ever nationwide sweep of fraudsters targeting the nation's seniors. The sweep targeted over 260 fraudsters and accounted for approximately $750 million. The DOJ's press release explained that this sweep includes 13 percent more criminals, and 28 percent more......

Johnny Depp Sues Ex-Wife Amber Heard for $50M

FindLaw Headlines - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 12:21
If you expected Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard to pull any punches, were are sorry to disappoint you. Read more on FindLaw legal blogs....

Tips for Consumer Protection Week: How to Avoid Online Scams

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 18:04
This week is officially National Consumer Protection Week, according to the Federal Trade Commission. But here at FindLaw's Common Law blog, we do consumer protection every day, year-round. So, we've rounded up some of our best posts on avoiding online scams and staying safe on the internet. Here you go:......

Are the Feds Finally Going to Address Pot Banking Barriers?

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 13:54
While 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it, the federal government hasn't. And that can throw a big financial wrench into the workings of any cannabiz. Without access to FDIC-insured banking services -- like small business loans, cashless transactions, and even checking accounts -- even legal marijuana......

Cop Drones Have Thermal Imaging Now

FindLaw Headlines - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 13:42
The long arm of the law meets the eye in the sky. The Franklin County Sheriff's office in southern Washington announced it has two new "officers" on the force: drones with thermal imaging cameras. And they couldn't be more fired up about it. "It's really amazing the kind of technology......

Oregon Rent Control Law Looks to Cap Rent Spikes

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 18:14
As the popularity and cultural cache of certain neighborhoods, cities, and states increases, long-time and even life-time residents can get priced out of their homes. Case in point: Portland, Oregon has been a hipster mecca for about a decade, and CBS talked to a local woman whose landlord of seven......

Federal Judge Overturns San Francisco's Money Bail Schedule

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 18:01
The concept of money bail is almost as old as the penitentiary itself. And on its face, it seems logical: people charged with a crime can secure their release, and the justice system has a financial interest in motivating defendants to appear for trial. But in practice, it means that......

Which Twin Did It? New DNA Test May Have the Answer

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 15:57
It's a classic legal defense, at least for soap operas: My evil twin did it. And, until recently, it was pretty effective. Read more on FindLaw legal blogs....

Silicon Plateau? Wyoming Makes Bid for Blockchain Innovation

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 15:39
The Great Seal of Wyoming features a rancher near a banner with the words "Livestock" and "Grain" on it, and a miner next to a banner that reads "Mines" and "Oil." They may also want to add "Bitcoin" to their mining operations. The Equality State just enacted 13 laws aimed......

March Madness in the Office: How to Make Sure Your Small Biz Is Ready

FindLaw Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 12:24
According to estimates from last year, March Madness costs employers anywhere from $2.3 to $6.3 billion in lost productivity and profits. Between long lunches, streaming games at the desk, and organizing. updating, and conversing about the office pool, hours and dollars seem to disappear this month. Does that mean you......