Tours of haunted houses are supposed to be thrilling. Being shocked by gory scenes or spooky apparitions is all part of the experience. But these experiences aren’t supposed to cause real danger. When they do, and someone is injured, the operators and promoters of the haunted house may face legal liability in real life.spooky

That’s what happened to a Michigan woman who suffered serious injuries in 2014. According to The Oakland Press, the plaintiff was knocked to the ground when a moving wall suddenly knocked her down in a poorly lit aisle. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered severe fractures to her leg, as well as a soft tissue injury to her back and spine, lacerations, and bruising.

A personal injury lawsuit she filed against the company was recently settled for $125,000. The owner of the operation declined to comment, except to release a brief statement insisting the operation is safe and has been in business for many years.

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Animal owners owe a responsibility, not just to the animal but to society in general, to keep the animal safely secured so they are not a hazard to themselves or others. The degree to which this is necessary will depend on the specific breed, size, and temperament of the animal.Horse in road

In many cases, North Carolina law does not always require those injured by improperly secured animals to prove the owner had any knowledge of the creature’s previous viciousness or propensity to cause harm. In some instances, a strict liability standard may be applied. That means owners are strictly liable for the damage or injuries their pets or livestock cause. In other cases (such as dog bites or dog-related injuries, per N.C.G.S. Chapter 67), actual negligence may need to be shown by proving the owner had knowledge their dog was a “dangerous dog.”

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals weighed whether the owner of a horse should have to face a trial in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who was seriously injured when the defendant’s horse wandered into the road in front of the car in which the plaintiff was a front-seat passenger. The impact killed the horse and caused serious injuries to the plaintiff. The issue in Peoples v. Tuck was whether the defendant could be liable for a failure to exercise reasonable care in hitching his horse in front of his sister’s home and leaving the horse unattended in a non-fenced area.

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When it comes to personal injury lawsuit verdicts, courts have consistently held that plaintiffs should not expect to obtain double recovery. For example, if a health insurance company pays for a portion of the damages, it is the insurer – rather than the insured – who would be entitled to reclaim those funds. However, the collateral source rule provides that compensation an injured person receives from a source other than the tortfeasor is not going to reduce the amount of damages the tortfeasor has to pay. pregnant woman

The idea is that independent source payments aren’t going to allow a defendant to be “off the hook” for those damages.

In the recent case of Simms v. U.S., the plaintiff in this wrongful birth/medical malpractice lawsuit sought damages from a federally supported prenatal care provider for failing to inform her in a timely manner about the fact that her child would be born with severe congenital abnormalities. The defendant knew based on an ultrasound conducted at 18 weeks that the fetus was abnormal, but this information was not relayed to the plaintiff for a full three months. By that time, it was too late under state law to undergo an abortion because she was well into her third trimester.

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Although Florida is more known for its booming cruise travel industry, South Carolina has its own, primarily in Charleston.Cruise Ship Docked

For those who are injured on a cruise ship, there are a few things you must understand. The first is that, even though these ships dock at a South Carolina port, they are not South Carolina businesses. Most are based in the Bahamas. Also, most injuries associated with cruise lines happen at sea. That matters because state courts usually don’t have personal or subject matter jurisdiction in these cases, which means any injury lawsuits typically have to be filed in federal court. In fact, most cruise lines will stipulate that any injury claims have to be filed in a federal district court.

Another element to consider is that while most personal injury lawsuits in South Carolina are bound by a three-year statute of limitations, most cruise injury lawsuits have to be filed within one year. That’s not even maritime law but the agreement to which passengers agree when they purchase a ticket and board the ship. This stipulation is included in the fine print of the ticket, and courts have upheld it as valid. This means that cruise ship injury plaintiffs have to act quickly.

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The state supreme court in Washington has imposed more stringent time limits on certain wrongful death lawsuits. In a 5-4 ruling in the case of Deggs v. Asbestos Corp., the justices ruled a wrongful death lawsuit cannot move forward if the statute of limitations has already run on the decedent’s own cause of action by the time of his or her death. Asbestos Dust Hazard

The majority in this instance rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the heirs’ cause of action for wrongful death can’t arise until after the decedent dies.

According to court records, the decedent filed a lawsuit in 1999 against nearly 40 defendants for negligence regarding injuries arising from exposure to asbestos. He settled with a number of those defendants, and some others were dismissed. He ultimately went to trial with the last defendant remaining and secured a judgment in excess of $1.5 million. He died nine years later at the age of 84.

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Motor vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of death among children in the U.S. More than 600 children under the age of 12 died, and more than 121,000 were injured in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Especially concerning is the fact that CDC research showed that in a single year, nearly 620,000 kids from infant to age 12 rode in vehicles without the use of either a child safety seat, a booster seat, or a seat belt “at least some of the time.” A third of the children who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t buckled up at belt

Children are among the most vulnerable people on the road, and it’s imperative that parents, loved ones, and caregivers take car seat/restraint recommendations and guidelines seriously. That means:

  • Children need to be in the right size and type of car seat for their age and size;
  • The car seat needs to be installed correctly; and
  • The car seat needs to be registered so that parents and caregivers can be notified of possible recalls.

Now, a recent analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that booster seat use among children between the ages of four and seven (the intended age group for this particular kind of restraint) is down.

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Manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson is facing allegations of product liability for its alleged concealment of the risk of developing ovarian cancer by using products containing toxic talcum powder. The case, Hogans, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, is one of thousands of such claims pending against the company and the third in this multi-district litigation action to go to trial. powder

The two previous talc injury cases that went to trial resulted in verdicts of $72 million and $55 million, respectively. It’s estimated there are 1,200 lawsuits pending in Missouri and New Jersey, and the outcome of this third case could dictate whether the company moves to settle those pending cases (and for how much) or whether it continues to fight them.

The plaintiff in this action has been diagnosed with Stage Four ovarian cancer. She has reportedly used Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products on her genitals for most of her adult life. She alleges the company was aware that talc applied in this region could travel to the ovaries and pose a risk of deadly cancer, and yet it chose to conceal this information from the public.

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An appeals court has affirmed in part and reversed in part an $8 million damages award in favor of a California couple who sued a doctor and a hospital for medical malpractice after the husband, undergoing pain management treatment, was rendered quadriplegic. Hospital Room

Jurors had awarded nearly $7 million to the patient and another $1 million to his wife (who sued for loss of consortium). The personal injury lawsuit, Markow v. Rosner, was recently considered by the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division One.

The plaintiffs filed claims against two defendants:  the doctor who provided care and the hospital where the care was received. While hospitals certainly can be negligent in their own right for medical malpractice resulting in a patient’s injury, the assertion here was that the hospital was vicariously liable for the actions of the doctor. Employers can be held vicariously liable for the actions of employees acting in the course and scope of employment. However, the doctor in this case wasn’t an employee; he was an independent contractor. The question was whether the plaintiff’s belief to the contrary was reasonable (i.e., did the doctor or hospital make it clear that the doctor was not an agent or employee of the hospital?).

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Inadequate inspection policies at a Dollar General Store resulted in serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident in Alabama. That’s according to the findings of jurors in Alabama, who awarded the plaintiff $1.75 million in damages.spill

According to, the incident in question occurred four years ago at the retail chain store, where a customer, then 60, slipped on a clear liquid on the tile floor in the chemical aisle. That liquid was later determined to be laundry detergent. As a result of the fall, she sustained severe fractures to her leg and shoulders that necessitated eight surgeries. Additionally, she required nearly 400 doctor visits and incurred some $470,000 in medical bills.

The plaintiff was rendered permanently disabled as a result of the fall, according to her lawsuit.

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Three teenage sisters were in the car with their parents and 90-year-old grandmother on their way to a family reunion. Their oldest sister, in her 20s, had to work and couldn’t join them. In their Kia Sedona minivan, the family traveled along U.S. 67 in Texas. That’s when a man in a Pontiac Bonneville crossed the center line.

yellow line

Instantly, both parents and the grandmother were killed. The girls suffered serious physical injuries, although they did eventually recover. But the emotional scars will likely never heal, they say. Then came the questions. Specifically:  why didn’t the airbags in the van deploy? Numerous lawsuits have been filed due to faulty airbags, but that is not what is being alleged here.

The decedents had purchased the vehicle just a few weeks earlier, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As they would later learn, that very same vehicle had problems with the airbag. The plaintiffs now believe that the dealership that sold the vehicle may have failed to put in the fuse or reconnect the airbag sensors while troubleshooting a problem with the previous owner’s complaint. That previous owner had made numerous complaints about the airbag light over the three-year period in which she owned the car. Even in spite of these chronic airbag warning light problems, the dealership accepted the vehicle as a trade, later selling it to the decedents.

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