Archive for the ‘Torts’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

scales_of_justiceThe Washington Supreme Court heard an appeal brought by attorneys representing the internet website backpage.com resulting from a lower court ruling allowing the trial to proceed against the site for allegations that it assisted child sex traffickers to lure children toward sexual exploitation in the state. The argument primarily rests on whether backpage.com can claim immunity under the Communications Decency Act, Title 47 USC 230. The respondents, three unnamed child victims, argued that backpage.com created an environment and construed posting rules that guided alleged sex traffickers and those offering adult services to evade law enforcement and other sanctions, thereby assuming the role of a developer of content which would exempt backpage.com from immunity under the CDA.

The case is being monitored for its potential implications on the freedom of websites to host content from subscribers without being subject to undue liability in the strict sense and the limits to which websites can be responsible. Amicus briefs were filed by interests such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

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220px-Verbrennung_eines_Toten_in_einem_Krematorium_2009-09-05There is an interesting, if somewhat off-putting, story out of Richmond where the Southside Cremation Services building was set ablaze during a cremation in its attempt to cremate an 800 pound man. Fire crews had to extinguish the flames caused by the excessive heat and oil from the cremation. The story stood out from an insurance stand point. I am not sure how such risks are addressed in standard insurance and liability plans. While the fire did not spread, it would have made for a fascinating proximate causation case. Presumably, the over-sized cremated man is at no liability risk.

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Submitted by Darren Smith, weekend contributor

150px-burger_king_logosvgAccording to a lawsuit, a Customer claims that he suffered an assault with a deadly weapon after asking a restaurant employee to reheat the cold onion rings he received.

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Submitted By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

sirgiorgio-clardy-croppedIt only took half an hour for an Oregon court to dismiss a $100,000,000.00 lawsuit filed against Nike by a convicted pimp who sued the company for allegedly not warning consumers its product could be used as a deadly weapon.

The lawsuit was originally filed in January by Sirgiorgio Clardy, who is serving a one hundred year sentence for an assault stemming from the use of his shoes.

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250px-white-tailed_deer250px-UltimateLifthillsNow this has the makings for an interesting torts lawsuit. Riders on what is billed as Europe’s longest roller coast in Ripon, England experienced an unexpected fearful element when their car hit a deer — covering the riders in deer blood. “The Ultimate” ride left many hoping for a bit less than the decapitation of a deer.

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rtrerte5646456 There may be some interesting tort questions raised by a new Internet sensation created by former flight attendant Shawn Kathleen, who has started a movement to shame passengers who act badly on flights. Passenger Shaming has taken off with travelers on Facebook and Instagram.

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screen-shot-2014-09-01-at-8-36-57-am-e14095751988281In a previous posting, I published a warning about another malicious fake news story by National Report which showed a picture identified as an Associated Press photo of Paul Horner, 15, allegedly was given 25 years to life for “swatting” — calling in a face police report on an online gaming opponent. The problem is that the story is entirely untrue. I discussed how this article went further then prior juvenile postings by National Report designed to trick news organizations and blogs into posting false stories. There is nothing funny about the stories. These are just mean-spirited efforts to embarrass media and bloggers. However, on his occasion they used a picture of a real person and tied Associated Press to their story. At the time, I asked why anyone has not sued these editors, particularly Associated Press. I have now spoken with Associated Press about the incident.

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