Every year we discuss new tort actions tied to Halloween as part of our “Spooky Torts” tradition. A new case was just filed by Shannon Sacco and her daughter over their visit to the Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania. The park, owned by Cedar Fair, included costumed employees as part of a Halloween attraction. Sacco claims that the costumes were too scary and caused trauma worth more than $150,000.Continue reading “Amusement Park Sued Over Trauma Caused During Halloween Event”
In Torts, we discussed slip-and-falls and the problem of fraudulent claims against businesses. The upgrading and expansion of surveillance cameras help protect against such liability (more than catching shoplifters). It is rare however to see a fraudulent slip and fall in realtime.Continue reading “New Jersey Man Caught On Video Faking Slip and Fall”
Barbershop owner Young Hwan Choi, 72, allegedly had a side business of doing cosmetic surgery and the results were as predictable as their were criminal. Various women suffered facial scars from the laser surgery. What is striking is that the police released images of his barbershop, suggesting that the women may have actually gone to the barbershop for the surgery as opposed to some fraudulent surgery center. If true, the bizarre decision of these victims could factor into any tort damages as plaintiff’s conduct questions.Continue reading “Women Go To Barber For Cosmetic Surgery . . . Well You Know The Rest”
There is a bizarre torts case in New York city where Shirell Powell is suing St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx after he mistakingly authorized the termination of life support for a stranger. She had been told that the man was her brother, Frederick Williams. The family later found out that it was a Freddy Clarence Williams, who was no relation.Continue reading “New York Woman Sues Hospital After Terminating Life Support on A Stranger”
Regulars on this blog are familiar with the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (or “the thing speaks for itself”). One twisted case near Phoenix, Arizona would certainly seem to fit that definition after a patient in a vegetative state gave birth. AZ Family reported that he victim is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe who nearly drowned 10 years ago. Police or the company may seek DNA samples from all male employees at Hacienda HealthCare. In this case, a positive match would by definition confirm rape given the non-consensual context.Continue reading “Police Search For Rapist After Woman in Vegetative State For Ten Years Gives Birth In Arizona Facility”
In torts, we learn about animal liability rules governing dogs. While domesticated animals are generally not subject to strict liability, a dog with a vicious character (or one that has previously attacked) does fall under the strict liability standard. However, what about a vicious owner. Police are looking for a woman who attacked a jogger who used pepper spray to fight off her dog. The woman, not the dog, bit the jogger.Continue reading “One Free Bite? Jogger Fights Off Dog With Pepper Spray . . . Dog Owner Bites Jogger”
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on my annual list of Christmas torts and misdemeanors.
Here is the column:Continue reading “Christmas Torts: The 2018 Listing Of Holiday Mishaps and Madness”
I have previously criticized President Donald Trump for his calls for greater liability of the media for its coverage of the controversies surrounding his Administration. This weekend, Trump was again suggesting the need for legal review as he was excoriated by Saturday Night Live in a skit based on the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Fortunately, the courts have maintained core free speech and free press protections from such assaults, particularly in the realm of comedy and parody.Continue reading “It’s A Wonderful Libel? Trump Suggests Legal Action Against SNL For Latest Skit”
In St Ives, Cambridgeshire, the children at the Christmas grotto with Santa were justifiably traumatized when the normally jolly elf came out, ripped off his beard and screamed at them to “get the f**k out.”Continue reading “Bad Santa: Children Left Traumatized When Santa Screams At Them To “Get The F**K Out””
We previously discussed the sometimes thin line between free speech and a nuisance. The latest such controversy has arisen in Westford, Vermont where Ted Pelkey decided to make a statement after city officials refused his permit to build an 8,000 square foot garage on his property. His response was a single finger salute to the Westford Selectboard and Development Review Board. This is not the first such salute piece to prompt legal questions over its display. Notably, the Vermont Supreme Court recently ruled that ugly is not a nuisance.Continue reading “Vermont Man Causes Controversy Over One-Finger Salute To City Officials”
In my column yesterday, I discussed the major news story out of the Guardian that former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort repeatedly met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Guardian reported that Manafort visited Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016. That last visit allegedly occurred around the same time as Manafort’s selection as Trump campaign chair. Ecuador’s Senain intelligence agency reportedly said that the logs include “Paul Manaford [sic]” and mentioned “Russians.” Now however Manafort and Wikileaks have completely denied the story and Manafort charged that the story is “totally false and deliberately libelous.” If so, that could lead to an interesting defamation lawsuit that should be relatively easy to prove either way. Continue reading “Will Manafort Sue The Guardian? Former Trump Campaign Chair Declares Assange Story “Totally False and Deliberately Libelous””
Gambling in Vegas is always precarious when playing against the house. It appears the same is true in both the courts and the casinos. Glenn Richardson sued Mandalay Bay resort for personal injuries sustained near the hotel pool. The hotel offered a $2.5 million offer and Richardson surprisingly turned it down and instead opted to go to a verdict. He received just $524,000 from the jury — a $2 million loss. Continue reading “Bad Bet: Plaintiff Turns Down $2.5 Million Offer From Mandalay Bay . . . Jury Then Awards Just $500,000”
In celebration of Thanksgiving, I give you our annual Turkey Torts of civil and criminal cases that add liability to libations on this special day (with past cases at the bottom). Many criminal defense attorneys and torts attorneys give special thanks for a holiday that can involve copious amounts of alcohol, strained family relations, over-the-hill amateur football players, “Black Friday” sale stampedes, and novice cooks. These cases are why Johnny Carson said “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
A hunter in Arkansas, Dale Williams, is under criminal investigation after shooting 72-year-old Jane Rust when he mistook her for a deer. As we discuss in torts, such accidents are relatively common and often do not result in criminal or even civil liability. Continue reading “Hunter Shoots 72-Year-Old Woman Mistaken For Deer”
Conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, a conservative lobbyist and radio host, are outspoken supporters of President Donald Trump and called reporters to come to a Holiday Inn in Washington to hear from a woman who would allegedly accuse Special Counsel Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct. Previously, Mueller referred an allegation to the FBI that women were promised money to accuse him of wrongdoing. With the no show of their accuser, Wohl and Burkman could well be looking at both criminal and civil liability.