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July 2012 Archives

Peeping Tom Gets Picked Up at Kmart in Claremont, N.H.

We're always out for a cheap thrill, like speeding a little more than normal on the back roads, donuts in snowy parking lots, checking out the dudes and ladies at the beach. Those things that you don't need to pay for to enjoy. Issues arise, however, when you take these activities beyond just having a little fun.

For example, Mark Squires couldn't just go to the beach; instead he allegedly tried to take pictures of a woman trying on lingerie under the dressing room door at Kmart, according to WCVB-TV. Squires was stopped from leaving the dressing room area by the woman's boyfriend who was close by. Police arrested Squires days later after executing a search warrant on his car. He is also a suspect in two other peeping cases.

Besides a criminal charge of violation of privacy, could Squires be held civilly liable as well?

Nothing Says Summer Like a Cantaloupe Recall at Hannaford

One of the great parts of summer is delicious produce, like sweet watermelon, peaches, and cantaloupe. We always think that these treats are going to be safe. After all, we think any harmful contaminates on fruits and vegetables would be on the outside and easily washed off.

Unfortunately for all of us, cantaloupes from Burch Farms and sold at Hannaford Brothers supermarkets are being recalled because they might contain listeria monocytogenes, better known solely as "listeria," reports the Boston Globe. This recall comes on the heels of a Cargill ground beef recall in less than a week, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Buckyballs Magnets: To Recall or Not, that is the Question

To recall or not to recall, that is the question. Is it nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of bad press, or take arms against a sea of lawsuits?

Perhaps the decision to recall a product is not as weighty issue as whether to take one’s own life, but it is a difficult one for a company to make. Maxfield and Oberton, maker of Buckyballs, is currently refusing to recall its product, even after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) filed an administrative complaint, according to The Associated Press.

Stroller Strangulation: Recalls by Peg Perego and Kolcraft

Is nothing safe anymore? Ok, most things are safe, but hearing about a recall on children's products is always disheartening. This is especially true when the recall is only after injuries and death have been caused by the failing product.

Peg Perego has recalled over 200,000 strollers based on one 2004 strangulation death and one 2006 near death caused by a fault that allows children to become trapped between the tray and seat, according to The Associated Press.

In comparison, Kolcraft's strollers merely pose a risk of the child falling because of faulty front wheels and a choking hazard when screws holding the basket in come loose, according to Consumer Reports.

Two-Alarm Fire in Roslindale Caused by Child with Lighter

Kids and fire. For kids, it’s a great combination and all kinds of fun. For parents, it is nothing more than a horror as fears of all sorts are usually realized. Unfortunately, those fears were realized in Roslindale on Monday.

A child with a lighter started a fire in a home in Roslindale that ended up causing an estimated $300,000 in damage to the home, $25,000 in damage to a neighbor’s house, and a back injury for one firefighter, reported the Boston Globe. The fire started on a second floor near the porch and burned up to the third floor porch and into the attic.

Will anyone be liable for the damage?

When you go to a friend's home to visit, you don't expect there to be danger lurking in every corner. That's why they usually will tell you about things like the loose step or the rotted floorboard. Or that caged tiger in the backyard.

Over the weekend, a 20-month-old Haverhill boy fell from a second floor window at the home of his mother's friend in Lawrence, reports The Eagle-Tribune. The toddler fell after climbing up a bench and pushing on a screen, which then tore, allowing the boy to fall to the pavement. Luckily for the boy, he only suffered scrapes on his elbow and back.

When does a property owner owe a duty to warn about such potentially dangerous issues?

Salt and Ice Challenge Part 2: Negligence

In our last post we talked about the most awesome new dare to hit the streets since Double Dare hit television screens years ago. But nowadays Marc Summers hosts a food show and kids pour salt on their skin and rub an ice cube on it to cause a frostbite-like burn.

We also talked about the possible battery claims that a child might have if they were administered the challenge by someone else. So what about those that make the dare, or post the videos, can they be held legally responsible?

From Bath Salts to Salt and Ice Challenge, What Will Kids Do Next?

If you are scared that your kids are up to no good, you're probably right. Now that the Internet has its ubiquitous place in a majority of households, schools, and libraries, it is easier than ever for stupid kid dares to spread across the country.

Ponder this, the movie A Christmas Story showed the world the ever-present dare to stick your tongue to something metal when it's cold, but that required you to actually go to a movie theater or rent the movie (yes, now it is played ad nauseum at Christmastime, but we're talking about when it came out). Now, a kid can punch "dare" into Google or YouTube and have any number of insane things pop up.

Radiator on Bulldozer Fails, Badly Burning Man

You've probably seen that warning on your radiator cap that says, "never open hot." Unsurprisingly, that warning is there for a purpose. Unfortunately for one worker, he found out that sometimes it is better to not even get close to it when it is hot.

On Thursday in Southborough, David Bartolini of Hopkinton was badly burned when the radiator on his bulldozer failed as he came near to inspect it, reports WCVB-TV. Bartolini was burned over approximately 25% of his body and is now confined to a bubble at Massachusetts General Hospital to avoid infection.

This looks like a possible case of products liability.

Milford Guidance Counselor Chases Kids with Car; Wrong Guidance!

Kids these days, you know?

As each generation gets older, the younger ones always bear the brunt of the “darn kids” statements. As far back as the ancient Greeks, old people were complaining about how the youth of the day would not amount to anything.

It seems like this was the situation in Framingham on July 7th, when Peter Bruce yelled at three boys to get out of a parking garage and then chased them out of the garage with his car, reports A man living nearby called the police after witnessing the event, which he saw as Bruce chasing the boys and one of them falling while trying to escape.

Robert Kraft's Audition Video Leak: Bad Enough for a Lawsuit?

You've probably already seen the audition video (there was a link here, but yes, it was taken down) of Robert Kraft with his ladyfriend Ricki Lander acting out a scene for an upcoming Vince Vaughn vehicle before it got pulled from YouTube and Vimeo. But that doesn't mean that we can't talk about it some more, right?

Recently, there has been much criticism of Kraft over the video of Kraft and Lander, because Kraft uses "offensive" language and Lander is in a bikini the whole time, according to the Boston Herald. Kraft has since apologized and stated that the video was never meant to be public.

But is it so bad that it could spawn a lawsuit?

Baby Fell Into Washing Machine and Burned; Washer's Fault?

Now there are more reasons to use cold water to wash your clothes. It used to be that you washed only dark colors and delicate fabrics in cold water, but recently there have been new developments in detergents that remove dirt and grease at low temperatures, saving you on the costs of heating the water.

The newest reason is to prevent second degree burns if you leave your washer open while changing a baby next to it. This is precisely what happened in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday when a baby fell into a washing machine, according to WCVB-TV.

As the 5-month-old baby's parent changed him on a changing table next to the washer, there was a distraction and the baby shimmied his way into the washer filling with 150 degree water.

MBTA Bus Hits Bullock Movie Truck; Is the Public Agency Liable?

Everybody is excited that Hollywood wants to spend its money in Boston. Maybe it was the massive amount of charm and good PR that started with Good Will Hunting and was boosted by The Departed, The Town, and The Fighter, or all of them together.

When the latest Hollywood invasion occurred (a Sandra Bullock movie) the production came equipped with of its necessities in trucks. Sometimes these trucks can get in the way of the MBTA buses, as evidenced by the accident that occurred Monday between a MBTA bus and a semi-truck filled with movie gear, reports the Boston Globe.

This raises the issue of whether MBTA could be held liable for either the damages to the movie production equipment or the people on the bus.

Discovery Kids Lamps Discovered to Burn

Just when you thought electricity was safe, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) strikes again with its press releases about unsafe products.

Of course, electricity is not safe when improperly routed. That just so happened to be the case with Innovage's Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps, which due to wire placement near the circuit board has caused 11 short circuits, 3 of which resulted in fires, according to the CPSC.

Road Rage Leads to Shooting But was it Self-Defense?

Some people just take their anger out on the road. You all know someone that is mild-mannered in person, but once in a car they change. They don't become Superman or Supergirl, but instead a raging lunatic, yelling at anyone they believe to be wrong.

Usually if you are in this situation, and the driver's wife or husband is in the car, you will often hear "don't drive like that, someone is going to shoot you." Now there is a road rage story for those concerned spouses: a 16-year-old girl from Maine was shot on vacation in Merrimac most likely because the driver of her car was being slightly rude to another, according to the Boston Globe.