Workplace hazards must be taken seriously, whether the job is being carried out at a construction site, a restaurant, or an office. chef

In a recent case in Connecticut, a personal chef employed by a wealthy homeowner tripped and fell on a plastic runner, placed there by a construction contractor initiating a host of renovations at the home.

In a situation like this, the worker would be considered the employee of the homeowner. Assuming the homeowner provided workers’ compensation (and in an arrangement like this, that wouldn’t necessarily be guaranteed), the worker would be unable to pursue litigation against the employer. However, there would be no stopping a claim against a liable third party, in this case the construction company. According to the Greenwich Time, that’s exactly what the plaintiff did – and prevailed.

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In any wrongful death lawsuit, it’s imperative that attorneys adhere to the strict procedural rules of the court. This means filings have to be timely. They have to contain the right information. They have to go to the correct individual or entity. They have to follow a certain order. Dropping the ball on any one of these could have a serious impact on the outcome of a case. truck

In a recent lawsuit before the Nebraska Supreme Court, this was illustrated when, after the judge granted summary judgment to one of three defendants in a fatal truck accident case, the plaintiff entered a joint stipulation to to dismiss the case without prejudice. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal regarding the earlier summary judgment. However, the state supreme court held that the voluntary dismissal without prejudice didn’t create a final order upon which the plaintiff could base an appeal.

To find that the appellate court had jurisdiction to review the summary judgment in this instance would mean going against long-standing precedent, in which there has to be a final order from which to appeal. That is, the plaintiff can’t move to voluntarily dismiss a case without prejudice, consent to the entry of this order, and then afterward seek appellate review of an earlier pretrial order. The reason for that precedent is that the court wants to avoid piecemeal litigation and a review process that would be substantially weakened.

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Businesses that open their doors to customers have the highest responsibility to take reasonable measures to keep those guests safe from foreseeable injuries. Yes, that means making sure spills are cleaned promptly and staircases are well-lit so that guests don’t fall. But it also means making sure that measures are taken to minimize the risk of a criminal attack.parking lot

Although there is no universal definition of what this means, generally patrons can expect that parking lots will be well-lit, private rooms will have working locks, and security on site will be adequate, given the risk of crime for that business or in that area. Even though business owners don’t plan third-party criminal attacks, their inaction can leave patrons or visitors vulnerable to them, and in those cases, victims can seek compensation from the property owner through premises liability law.

In a recent case before the Texas Supreme Court, the plaintiff was assaulted and robbed in an apartment complex’s visitor parking. He filed a premises liability lawsuit against the apartment complex business and its owners, alleging it was known or should have been known that there was a high crime rate on the premises and in the surrounding area, and yet they failed to use ordinary care to make the complex safe.

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Arbitration agreements are becoming an increasingly common way for businesses and service providers to limit their liability. These agreements, which can be either expressly signed or, in some cases, implied with purchase, strip the consumer of the ability to take any disputes regarding the product or service – including those that stem from injuries – to the court. Instead, consumers are compelled to resolve the matter in arbitration. doctor

Why does this matter? Because arbitration and the court system are not equal, and in many ways, there are stark disadvantages for personal injury plaintiffs. First and foremost is the fact that arbitrators tend to favor the business or service provider. Research has shown that even when awards are granted in a plaintiff’s favor, they tend to be smaller than the awards issued in court. Arbitrators do not have to follow the law, and arbitration proceedings are not public. There is also no right to appellate review if one side believes the determination is unfair.

Arbitration agreements are considered binding contracts, so their enforceability is weighed according to North Carolina’s contract law. There are a number of challenges that can be asserted, including a finding that the arbitration agreement is unconscionable. This means the contract is so overwhelmingly one-sided or unjust in favor of the party with superior bargaining power as to be contrary to good conscience. This was what was alleged in a recent medical malpractice lawsuit before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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Chemical restraints involve the use of any type of drug for the purpose of restricting a person’s movement or freedom. A chemical restraint usually involves either a sedative, an anti-anxiety medication, or an anti-psychotic medication. In a nursing home setting, it’s illegal to use these drugs unless they are medically necessary to treat a specific medical condition or prevent the resident from causing immediate physical harm to themselves or others. wheelchair

Unfortunately, there are too many nursing homes that use these types of drugs on individuals for whom they are not medically necessary. Instead, it’s done for the convenience of the staff. For example, a dementia patient may have the propensity to wander, but that’s far less likely if they are sedated. The facility will drug the person rather than invest the time and money needed to provide proper supervision of the patient. But that’s a form of nursing home abuse. This can be a confusing matter for the family, especially since facility administrators are unlikely to refer to these drugs as “restraints.”

Recently in Virginia, a family filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit against a facility that had been in charge of caring for an 84-year-old matriarch. According to The Virginian-Pilot, staffers at the nursing home not only bound her to her wheelchair with bed sheets but also injected her with a powerful sedative in order to “silence” her.

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Earlier this year, a school bus driver in Belmont, N.C. was charged with reckless driving by the North Carolina Highway Patrol after the driver allegedly overturned the bus with four students on board. The bus was approaching a sharp curve on a wet road and the driver ran off the muddy shoulder, covered with wet leaves, losing control of the bus. Thankfully, according to WCNC.com, no serious injuries were reported. school bus

Unfortunately, not all students in school bus accidents are so fortunate. One such case in California involved a driver who passed out behind the wheel, causing the school bus to smash into a tree while 11 children were on board. That was in 2014. The driver is charged with numerous felonies, including child abuse and endangerment and inflicting great bodily injury. Now, the OCRegister reports the school district has agreed to pay $10 million to the families of five of those children who were seriously injured. Their parents had filed lawsuits alleging the district was negligent in failing to heed warnings signs that the driver suffered from a serious medical condition and was not fit to be driving, let alone be responsible for safety and well-being of children.

There are a few different complicating legal factors in that case, underscoring the need for an experienced injury attorney.  Continue reading

A judge in Georgia has dismissed a personal injury lawsuit filed by a driver who was critically injured in a car accident against social media company Snapchat. Plaintiff had accused the company of responsibility for the crash, arguing the firm incentivized users to speed in motor vehicles while using its app, which awards points to people who use the app to record their speed. iphone

The company, however, insists that it does not encourage users to utilize its smartphone application while driving, and further actively discourages people from using the speed filter while driving.

Ultimately, in what is potentially a precedent-setting ruling, the judge decided that Snapchat as a social media platform is afforded a broad degree of immunity per the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (also sometimes referred to as Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996). That statute primarily was in response to concerns about the ability of minors to access pornography on the internet, but it also afforded certain protections to companies that allow their platforms to be used for public communication. Section 230 of that law extended federal immunity to any internet service provider defendants for information that originated with a third-party user of that service.  Continue reading

In any personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to have a skilled lawyer for several reasons. The first is that while the truth most assuredly matters, what also matters is what is provable. Ensuring that important evidence is timely admitted or that harmful evidence is suppressed if possible is imperative. Understanding and adhering to the procedural guidelines is critical. doctor

In medical malpractice lawsuits in particular, there is often so much at stake. These cases are complex and time-consuming and require detailed testimony from numerous expert witnesses. You don’t want to invest that kind of time, only to have efforts fail based on a procedural technicality. You need a lawyer and a law firm committed to being detail-oriented.

medical malpractice lawsuit out of California shows what can happen when attorneys on both sides fail to mind important procedural details. This was a case in which plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic after being admitted as a patient at the defendant hospital. The hospital argued that while it was negligent in plaintiff’s treatment, this was not the cause of his quadriplegia. Plaintiff later died. The matter before the California Supreme Court was whether a motion for a new trial was timely filed and also whether the objection to that motion was timely filed. The answer to both questions was no, but the defendant’s failure to timely object to plaintiff’s late motion for a new trial meant that the case would be scheduled for a re-trial.  Continue reading

When a guest in a hotel is injured on site, hotels can be liable for the negligent acts of hotel employees. In order for a hotel to be legally responsible for injuries incurred by a patron, plaintiffs need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. In other words, the hotel owed the visitor a duty of care, and breached that duty and the end result was that the person was injured.hotel

Generally speaking, hotels have a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the business and protecting guests. Under premises liability law, a hotel visitor would be considered an “invitee,” which means he or she would be entitled to a high level of protection (as compared to, say, a trespasser or someone who is on site strictly for their own benefit). Invitees can generally expect that a hotel would conduct background checks on its employees, make the parking lots secure and have locks on the doors, maintain stairs and elevators and train pool staff on prevention of guest injuries. It also means that hotels would take care to reduce the chances of a slip-and-fall accident on site.

In the recent case, weighed by the Idaho Supreme Court, plaintiff suffered personal injury in a fall at a hotel. The issue the state high court had to consider was whether the statute of limitations (the time limit she had in which to file his claim) should be tolled (extended) because of confusion in identifying the actual owner of the hotel at the time of the incident. This case underscores why it is so imperative to have an experienced hotel injury attorney handling your case. Continue reading

A bicyclist is suing the local city government where she was injured in a bicycle accident while on a bicycle trail last summer. The woman suffered a punctured lung and five broken ribs, according to the complaint.bicycle

According to the News and Sentinel, at the time of the incident, city workers from the small metro area in Ohio were reportedly washing the embankment and, to do so, pulled a fire hose across a bike path. However, they failed to issue any notification to users of the bike path that the path might be obstructed or to use caution. Plaintiff was riding her bike downhill when she suddenly struck the inflated hose filled with water. The hose, she would later say, wasn’t obvious to riders from a distance and she didn’t notice it until it was too late to stop. It was later noted by a member of council at a public meeting that this was the third such injury in three years that had been reported to the city involving these hoses, and, in the councilman’s own words, the hose should have been marked with the use of traffic cones, which he called, “just a basic standard rule of work.”

The issue was previously raised by the council member to trail committees, but there was no adequate response on the issue prior to this bicycle accident. In one of the memos he issued to the committee responsible for maintaining the path, he noted that the city is responsible for ensuring visitors and residents alike are safe, and there is “no excuse for people to get unnecessarily hurt.” Continue reading

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