Some people are natural born complainers. Like this one from Middle Class Problems on Twitter: “A pecan from my maple and pecan slice has tragically fallen into my fresh coffee. Worst day ever.” (If you have never checked out Middle Class Problems, you should.) But some of us are loathe to complain. We do not want to be perceived as demanding, obnoxious, whiny, needy, etc. Or, we don’t complain because we think it will not do any good. But from my perspective as a personal injury lawyer, there are times when it is critical to complain. Below are 5 times you should complain freely and without hesitation. Continue reading
This seems to be Congress’ position on the issue. Because in the past year, they have decided to weaken a number of important safety measures despite the fact that the death toll in truck-involved crashes has risen 17 percent from 2009 to 2013 (which is the most current data) and despite the estimated cost of tractor-trailer and bus accidents is roughly $99 billion dollars a year. Yes, that is billion with a B. And, that is just economic cost. It does not reflect the emotional suffering the victims and their families suffer as a result of these accidents. So, let’s take a look at just a few steps that Congress has taken in favor of the trucking industry and against the rest of the motoring public. Continue reading
Yesterday, Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiracy, fraud and other federal charges that related to knowingly shipping out salmonella-tainted peanut butter that sickened and killed people. And all I can say is: it is about time. It is about time that corporate executives who make reckless or knowing decisions that ultimately kill people receive jail time.
“Just ship it.” That was Mr. Parnell’s response when notified of the problem by a plant manager. To be clear, this was not a case in which a company was unaware of a problem with their product. To the contrary, Parnell and Peanut Corp. of America knew the peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella. In fact, they covered up positive lab tests and shipped it out anyway. The result: 9 people were killed and 714 were sickened. Perhaps, Parnell’s sentence will send a message to corporate executives across the country that public safety comes before profits. Continue reading
The last two posts have been about the John Jay High School incident in which two players purposefully hit a referee from behind and then while he was lying prone on the ground. The first post examined Tennessee civil (not criminal) law on assault and battery. The second post reviewed the defense of provocation because the players claimed they were provoked by the referee’s use of racial slurs against them. On our final post on this incident, we will discuss Tennessee’s law on defamation. The referee has insinuated he might take legal action against the players for falsely stating he made racist remarks to, in what he believes, justify their battery of him. And yes, this all really did start as part of a high school football game.
Under Tennessee law, defamation can take two forms: slander and libel. Libel is a written defamatory statement and slander is a spoken defamatory statement. If someone has slandered you, then you have 6 months to bring suit. If someone has committed libel against you, you have one year to bring suit. To prove a case for defamation, you must show: Continue reading
Our last post was about whether the John Jay High School football players who intentionally hit a referee during a game could be found liable for the torts of assault and battery. As promised, we will now take up the racial slur issue and the defense of provocation.
Provocation is a defense to battery, but it is not a complete defense. Instead, it can be used to minimize the damages and it stems from the idea that a person should not be entitled to benefit from their own wrongful conduct. Or, in schoolyard terms: you started it. Continue reading
You have probably seen it: the video of the two defensive backs targeting and intentionally hitting a referee. While an investigation is underway and criminal charges may be brought, let’s look at the incident from a tort perspective under Tennessee law. A tort is a legal claim for personal injury or wrongful death in which money damages are sought.
While many news outlets are indicating the local District Attorney is considering assault charges, the referee probably does NOT have a civil claim for assault, but he clearly does have a claim for battery. Let me explain why I say that. Under Tennessee law, a battery is an intentional act that causes an unpermitted, harmful or offensive bodily contact. In the video, the referee has his back to the two players and immediately after the play starts the players attack him. The hits are clearly a battery upon the referee. On the other hand, an assault is better explained as the threat and apprehension of a battery. In other words, a person is not guilty of assault unless the victim has a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm. Continue reading
This morning, I saw two troubling articles about daycare incidences. The first was a toddler who was covered in broken-skin wounds from being scratched multiple times and bitten 10 times in a single day. It is tough to look at the pictures. Look, I understand: kids bite. And if your kid attends daycare, do not be surprised if at some point they are either the biter or the bitten. But the pictures of this child go way beyond the norm and clearly indicate a lack of supervision by the staff.
The second story that riled me up this morning was about two daycare workers who instigated fights between children and then filmed it calling it a “fight club” like the popular movie. They even shared the videos on Snapchat. I would like to send those two daycare workers to a fight club with Ronda Rousey. But, I digress.
Since these two stories were about daycare fails and because September is baby safety month, here are 5 things you can do to help keep your child safe while at daycare. Continue reading
Remember the old song? Escape by Rupert Holmes. The guy is lounging in bed with his significant other and reading the personal columns. He notices one that catches his eye and, because he is in a rut in his relationship, he responds. A meeting is set up, and when he shows up at the appointed time, it turns out that it was his girlfriend who he intended to cheat on had actually placed the ad. She appears at the rendezvous not knowing it was her lover who had responded and is equally, but happily, surprised: “they laugh for a moment and I said I never knew that you like Pina coladas and getting caught in the rain . . .” A happy ending; all is well.
Today, most folks looking to cheat in their relationship apparently don’t use the personal columns but instead 32 million of them turned to Ashley Madison. And after the hack of the company’s website, spouses around the globe are checking to see if their spouse was a user of the site. Doubtful there will be any happy endings. In fact, divorce lawyers are seeing an uptick in business. Continue reading
If you follow us on Google Plus or regularly read this blog, then you know our family recently acquired a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel If you don’t follow us on Google Plus, then let me first say you should and second let me introduce you to Lincoln Day. Lincoln is the love of my 7 year-old daughter’s life. Thankfully, we are past the potty-training stage and are now working on what is appropriate behavior when guests arrive at our house, how to properly walk on a leash, etc. As my daughter is finding out, owning a pet is a big responsibility.
Unfortunately, some pet owners do not take it seriously enough, so we thought we would outline, from a legal perspective some considerations and actions you should be prepared to take before taking on a pet. Continue reading
Each year, more than 1.4 million people will suffer a brain injury from a car accident, fall, assault or some other cause. The brain is incredibly complex and so is the treatment of brain injuries. Primarily, physicians have relied upon CAT scans and physical symptoms such as loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, confusion and the like to determine the severity of the brain injury.
But both of those methods have their limitations. For instance, CAT scans can only detect if there is cranial bleeding. They are unable to detect damaged brain cells that are not bleeding. As for the physical symptoms, they may not always be detected or reported. For instance, in a car accident, a person may lose consciousness for a short period of time and regain it before any emergency medical personnel reach the scene. Or with a young infant who has not yet learned to talk, it would be difficult to know if the child was slurring its speech or was dizzy, etc. Continue reading