A hotel guest who was raped by a housekeeper employee will have the opportunity to take her lawsuit against the hotel to trial, following a recent ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court. hallway.jpg

Her attacker pleaded guilty to sexual assault, but attorneys for the hotel argued in Anderson v. Mandalay Corp. that it couldn’t be responsible for the worker’s actions, which were unforeseeable and outside the scope of his employment. Trial court agreed and granted summary judgment to the defense.

But not so fast, said the Nevada Supreme Court. There was evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude the employee’s actions were reasonably foreseeable, and claims of direct negligence and vicarious liability weren’t futile because the conduct was foreseeable.
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The case of Diversicare Leasing Corp. v. Hubbard, recently before the Alabama Supreme Court, was just another example of the fact that virtually every for-profit nursing home these days requires new patients – or their representatives – to sign an arbitration agreement.
These agreements essentially require patients to give up their access to the civil justice system, should something go wrong (i.e., abuse or neglect is discovered). Instead, they agree to have any “disputes” handled by an arbitrator, where proceedings are confidential and tend to result in findings more favorable to the defense.

Some people don’t even realize when they are forfeiting when they sign, and others may have no business signing in the first place. Personal representatives usually can’t sign away constitutional rights for someone else, and the person being admitted may lack the mental capacity to understand what they are signing. In some cases, courts have found provisions of arbitration agreements to be unconscionable and contrary to public policy, and therefore invalid.
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Negligence lawsuits wherein more than one party is potentially liable, proceedings can get tricky. wetfloor.jpg

In many cases, defendants will attempt to shift blame onto the plaintiff (a form of comparative fault), and this can be especially damaging in North Carolina, one of just four states that bars legal action when plaintiff shares any degree of fault. In most other states, though, it’s a means to limit the damage award. Defendants may also try to push responsibility onto other defendants or, in some cases, third parties that are not named as defendants.

In the slip-and-fall case of Thompson v. Winn-Dixie Montgomery, Inc., questions arose regarding the liability apportionment between a grocery store chain and a cleaning crew.
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All property owners owe a duty of care to people who are on that property lawfully. The exact nature of that duty often depends on the status of the lawful guests (i.e., an invitee, licensee or trespasser), the type of property, where it’s located and what it’s used for.
Property that is open to the general public is usually held to a high standard in terms of ensuring it is reasonably safe and free of foreseeable hazards.

However, there is a provision that exists in North Carolina law – as it also does in many other states – that lessens the duty of care owed by the landowner if the property is privately-owned, yet is open for public access for free recreational use. The law in North Carolina is referred to as the “Landowner Limited Liability Law.” It’s also sometimes referred to as the “Recreational Use Statute.” The purpose is to encourage owners and managers to allow public access for creation use on their lands.
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The family of a Clemson University fraternity pledge at the start of the 2014 school year has prompted his family to file a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the school, the national fraternity and three of the fraternity’s brothers. The local chapter of the fraternity was initially also named as a defendant, but was dissolved by the time a complaint was filed.
As a 19-year-old political science major at the school in Oconee County (about an hour northwest of Anderson), he had sought membership in the local chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He was on an early morning run with a number of members of the group in September 2014 when he died.

Later that same day, his body was found below the State 93 bridge over Lake Hartwell. A coroner determined he died from head injuries from falling onto the rocks in shallow water. His mother said she always believed his death was the result of hazing, but there hadn’t been any solid proof – until August, when a new witness came forward.
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Exercising is supposed to improve your health. However for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Las Vegas), the current Senate minority leader, it resulted in serious injury that has caused him to lose sight in one eye, altered the dynamic of his marriage and played a role in ending his longstanding, prominent political career.
In a lawsuit recently filed in a Nevada county district court, Reid alleges that a resistance exercise band, produced by a Northeast Ohio company, was defectively designed, resulting in his injury.

The product, known as a TheraBand, had been reportedly mounted to a sturdy object in a bathroom of Reid’s Nevada home. On Jan. 1, 2015, Reid was using the band when it either broke or slipped out of his hand, causing him to spin around and slam his face on a cabinet. Blood started to pool around his eye, and the 75-year-old reported he was in immediate and enormous pain.
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As hundreds of thousands of students across the country are delving into their first year of college, parents may still be uneasy about the number of things that could go wrong. Particularly when their child is studying several hours away or abroad, they may have an expectation that the university will serve as a kind of surrogate parent, seeking to protect students from harm. college.jpg

It’s true that many colleges do tout their “safety records” as a draw to new students and parents.

But the extent of the protection that is offered may be limited, as we saw recently with the case of Regents v. Super. Ct., recently before the California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District, Division Seven. Of course, this is an out-of-state case and each state may have varying standards, but it’s worth examining when talking about the extent of duty a university owes its students.
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The number of patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury and survive has increased considerably in recent years. There are a variety of reasons for this. One is that more people are actually suffering massive head injuries and surviving the initial trauma and surgery. This is generally a result of the many injuries that occurred in the Global War on Terror and the major advances in military medicine. These advances have become part of the national standard of care in the United States in civilian injuries as well.

brainscan.jpgAccording to a recent news feature from KSL, a new study involving massive amounts of data seems to offer a good look into what has been the mystery of what goes on during the traumatic brain injury recovery period. One study author said that even though the average neurologist and neurological surgeon in the United States is very competent at treating traumatic brain injury patients, they have generally been operating in what researchers call a “black box.”
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According to a recent news article from Business Insider, a school band was participating in a completion with other bands at a high school in the greater Charlotte area. Authorities say the students were under a large canopy or awning at one of the buildings being used to host the completion when there as a loud popping sound.

brass-band-1541989.jpgOne student in the band said as soon as heard what sounded like snapping metal, he ran toward the lawn outside the awning. As he ran to the lawn, he heard the canopy collapsing and saw people getting trapped under it. While the total number of injuries has not been released, it has been confirmed that at least one student was taken to a hospital in Winston-Salem with what has been described with life-threatening personal injuries. There has been no official update on this victim’s condition. In total, authorities reported 25 people were injured as result of this accident.
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A new study conducted by researchers at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame suggests there is a noteworthy correlation between offering substantial stock options to the CEO and future product recalls.
Published in the Strategic Management Journal, the findings indicate that these stock options, which are often used by boards of directors as a way to encourage CEOs to go after high-risk initiatives, can quite often result in a higher percentage of safety problems.

From the board’s standpoint, they want higher-risk initiatives that have the possibility of earning their shareholders more money. But CEOs tend to naturally be naturally more reticent to take chances. Stock option pay is one way boards try to balance this tendency.
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