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August 2012 Archives

Witnesses to Wellesley Bike Crash Key to Wrongful Death Suit

When bicycles are on the road they are supposed to be treated the same as automobiles. But cyclists have a duty to allow other vehicles to pass them as easily as possible. The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill that specifically addressed these issues in 2008 to better protect cyclists, and to make cyclists protect themselves by following the rules of the road.

It's not clear if these rules were being followed when the driver of an 18-wheeler struck and killed a bicyclist in Wellesley on Aug. 24. Investigators are searching for witnesses, many of whom have been identified by traffic cameras, according to the Boston Globe.

If the cyclist's relatives sue the driver and trucking company (if they are different), then they will also need to hear from these witnesses for a wrongful death lawsuit to succeed.

Julia Child's Estate Cooks Up Lawsuit Against Thermador Ovens

When you think of the late Julia Child, you remember her long-lived cooking show, her cookbooks, and Dan Aykroyd cutting himself on SNL. But did you remember her endorsing her oven?

The BSH Home Appliances Corporation certainly remembers her using its oven in her shows. In fact, the Thermador oven that she used is in the Smithsonian Museum, according to the Boston Globe. That's the reason BSH has told the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy it is using Child's likeness and quotes in its marketing of the Thermador oven.

Now Child's foundation is suing BSH for misappropriating Child's likeness for a commercial purpose.

Cows on I-195 in Dartmouth, Traffic Mooving Slowly

Driving is hazardous enough on its own. This is especially true as you get out of the city and go west or north. At that point you start running the risk of hitting deer, bear, or even moose.

But Monday morning on I-195 in Dartmouth, drivers were treated to having the entire right lane being blocked by two bulls that would not move out of the way until the farmer came to the rescue with his trailer, according to the Boston Globe.

Do you think the farmer would have lost more than a cow if someone had hit a bull?

Could 'Wiki Weapon Project' Trigger Product Liability Claims?

It used to be the case that everyone was trying to build a better mousetrap. Now everyone is trying to build a better piece of technology. However, there are a few who are trying to build a better gun, or at least a more accessible one.

The "Wiki Weapon Project" aims to create a printable gun using the soon-to-be widely available 3D printer. The goal of the founders at Defense Distributed ("DD") is to come up with a blueprint that people can download and print; the end result would be a .22 caliber weapon, according to Forbes. So far, there are blueprints to print the lower receiver unit of an AR-15, the civilian version of the M-16 military rifle.

What happens if these guns backfire and injure the end-user? Can DD potentially be held liable?

How Dry Do You Like Your Clothes? Tinder Dry? LG Dryer Recall

As much as we dread the end of summer, it is indeed upon us. Soon the nights will have a crispness to them and the leaves will start to warn us of the impending winter. Why are we talking about winder? Well, because if you have a woodstove, you have to make sure you have enough seasoned wood.

If your wood's not seasoned well, you'll have a hard time starting that fire and keeping your house warm. But if you're looking to start a fire, you could just get an LG or Kenmore gas clothes dryer that has a tendency to set things on fire because of a faulty valve, according to

Not that the Sox really need any more bad news this year, but Carl Crawford is likely done for the season because of his upcoming elbow surgery. This comes after Crawford had to deal with outright racism while playing with the Portland Sea Dogs on a rehab assignment.

Unfortunately, the rehab didn't do enough to help heal Crawford's elbow. He will be undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, according to The Boston Globe.

When Crawford undergoes surgery, he will have to give informed consent to the doctors. How will that affect what the surgeon can do?

Bear Grylls Machete Recalled Because It Might Cut You

Product recalls usually make a lot of sense from their headlines. For example, "cantaloupes recalled for Listeria" or "apple slices recalled for Listeria" make sense, because Listeria will make you wicked sick if it's in your system. But not all recalls make sense on their face.

One of the most recent product recalls is for the Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete, which if you don't know is a giant knife that is used to cut through brush. The recall has been announced because there is a risk of laceration (cutting) from the use of the machete, according to The Associated Press. Sure the actual danger is that the handle breaks and then it can cut you, but that's not clear from the headline.

Another Peeping Tom, This Time Living Under a Woman's Trailer

You would think that there was no Internet access for these guys. Recently, there have been reports of video-taping a changing room and a shoe camera to take upskirt shots at Walmart. Even in the San Francisco Public Library there are privacy screens so that others can't be offended by people looking at porn there.

For some, the Internet is not enough. Christian Hobbs of Orleans was caught living under the trailer home that he had sold to a woman and her toddler son, according to WBZ-TV. Hobbs had cut out the floor of the trailer under the bathroom and installed a baby monitor to record the woman.

German Shepherds Attack Owner and Friend in Whitman

Dogs are human’s best friends, right? In some circles they’re become a replacement for children, being called “granddoggies” and “dog children” by owners’ parents and owners respectively. This seems to make people forget that dogs are still animals and don’t have the logical reasoning that people do.

Maybe the two German shepherds were not being good dog children when they attacked their owner and a friend in Whitman on Monday. The two women had bites all over their arms and legs, with one woman having multiple bites on her torso as well, according to The Enterprise. The dogs have been quarantined since the attack and will be so for a total of 10 days.

Will the owner be liable for her friend’s injuries?

Back to School: Liability for Sports Injuries, Who Pays?

As the commercials on television started to tell us at the end of July, it is back to school time again. Time for the kids to get their supplies and attempt to read their summer reading list in five days. Or it could be that you have a student athlete that already started their preseason camp and games like the Pats that has you acutely aware of the upcoming school year.

No matter how you know that the school year is upon us, it is good to know what your school could be liable for if your student athlete is injured. While it is generally true that a school or coach is not at fault when a student is harmed during practice or a game, there are certain situations that could make the school liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Shot in Head at Strip Club; Liability in the Champagne Room?

If there’s something that people know, it’s that there’s no sex in the champagne room. Thank you Chris Rock. What we should instead promote is no guns in the strip club.

In the middle of the night, two men were shot in the head in what seems like a conflict over seats in the Glass Slipper strip club in downtown Boston. The shooter, Steven Gayle, claims that the men sat down next to him in a booth where he was sitting, after which an argument started. The argument turned ugly and Gayle shot one man twice and then the other man once, according to the Boston Globe. Both men survived and are expected to recover.

Gayle would likely be guilty of battery (in addition to the criminal charges), but is the Glass Slipper liable for the men’s injuries?

Life Imitates Art? Shoe Camera Invasion of Privacy at Walmart

Who isn't excited about the new Bourne Legacy and Skyfall, the latest Bond thriller? There's the intrigue, the action, and of course, the gadgets. Q will surely have some new device or a new Aston Martin for Bond to drive, but what about the micro-cameras?

And here is where life gets like the movies: You don't even need to go to the theater to hear about spy cameras. In Scarborough, Maine a man was walking around with a camera mounted to his shoe and was taking pictures up women's skirts in a Walmart, according to The Portland Press Herald. Several women reported the man, but he was only caught on a surveillance camera.

Could you recover money from him if your privacy was invaded in Walmart?

Springfield Woman Dies in Three-Car Crash; Wrongful Death?

Cars are dangerous; they are even labeled deadly weapons when used improperly. Yet we drive around like we are invincible, getting angry and driving faster when someone is driving too slow for our taste. In Massachusetts alone, there were on average over 140,000 car crashes a year between 2006 and 2008, with 4,000 resulting in serious injuries and 400 resulting in death.

Adding to this year's statistics is a three-car crash in Springfield that claimed the life of a 34-year-old woman who was a passenger in a 2001 Ford Explorer, according to the Boston Globe. The accident occurred on I-291 westbound, but police have not yet released more details about the crash.

Could the surviving driver be liable for his passenger's death?

Ballston Beach Shark Attack; Is There a Lawsuit Under the Surface?

Everyone has seen or knows about the movie "Jaws." It has inspired fear of the ocean in countless numbers of people all over the world. People just don't want to go in the water because they think that some frightening music will start up and a giant fin will accelerate towards them.

Something far less frightening happened on Ballston Beach in Truro recently, when Chris Myers of Colorado was bitten by what was likely a juvenile great white shark, according to the Boston Herald. Myers suffered puncture wounds on both legs and a severed tendon, requiring 47 stitches after he and his son had swam 400 yards offshore to a sand bar.

This was the first shark attack on Ballston Beach since 1936 when a teen was killed, according to the Boston Globe. The question remains, could Myers sue?

Jockey, 76, Stopped from Riding at Suffolk Downs; Why?

It used to be that kids were the ones who were complaining that they couldn't do things because they were too young. Now it seems like it's the older generations that are complaining that they are being stopped from engaging in their favorite pastimes or careers because they're too old.

That is the claim made by Jockey Frank Amonte, who at 76 has been a jockey for 60 years. The Chief Operating Officer of Suffolk Downs, Chip Tuttle, released a statement that it would basically be unsafe for horses and jockeys if Amonte was to ride, according to WBZ-TV. This comes a year after Amonte fell off a horse just beyond the finish line.

Suffolk Downs claims that it is denying Amonte the ability to race for insurance reasons, but what liability would the insurance cover?