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September 2012 Archives

Davy Crockett Envy? Woman Shoots Self in the Chest

Davy Crockett, is immortalized by song and always popularly portrayed with his signature 'coonskin cap. It was every boys' dream back in "the day" to be as brave and rugged as Crockett, with sales of BB guns and caps driving the economy (not really, but whatever).

Now it seems like an East Bridgewater woman was fixing to make herself a classic coonskin cap by capping a raccoon. Kerrilee Zimmerman was aimin' to shoot the varmint, when she done tripped and shot herself in the chest, according to the Boston Globe.

Zimmerman was seriously injured and taken to Cape Cod Hospital, according to the Globe. The question is whether she would have any claim against the pellet gun maker for her injury.

Retired Framingham Police Officer Dies in Lawn Mower Fire

A retired Framingham police officer was likely killed by a fire on Monday when he tried to refuel a hot lawn mower, according to the Boston Herald. Robert Sambuchi was found next to his mower, which was engulfed in flames with a can of gasoline next to it.

Emergency crews found Sambuchi with extensive burns that likely caused his death, according to the Herald. The burns were likely caused by gasoline vapors ignited by the lawn mower's heat.

Is this something that the lawn mower manufacturer should have warned about?

Flea Bath Mix-up Leads to Euthanized Cat: Contributory Negligence?

In a story that has reverberated around the country, blame has been bandied about like a game of tag. This isn't too surprising when you realize that cat videos are the only thing on the Internet that can legitimately compete with porn as the most-viewed sites.

If you haven't heard, the story is this: A man, Jesse Conlon, brings his mother's cat to a veterinarian in Gardner for a flea bath. When Conlon returns with his mother's second cat to be bathed, he finds that the first has been euthanized, according to the Telegram & Gazette. After a bit of investigation, it was discovered that when Mrs. Conlon called to ask about the bath, another man had called about euthanizing his cat almost simultaneously.

Driver Not Guilty of Homicide, But Wrongful Death Suit May Follow

The O.J. Simpson case brought a relatively obscure fact about the legal system to light: Even if someone is cleared of a criminal charge, he can still be found civilly liable for the same act. That's because there's a lower burden of proof for civil cases.

This may come into play after Erika Salloux of Cambridge was found not guilty of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and negligent driving in the 2011 crash that killed 16-year-old Blake Van Hoof Packard in Provincetown, according to the Cape Cod Times. The non-jury trial was decided by a judge who found there was reasonable doubt as to whether Salloux had negligently killed Van Hoof Packard.

But just because there was a reasonable doubt, does that mean the family can't bring a wrongful death lawsuit?

Saugus School Fails to Call 911 After Girl Breaks Arm

There are definitely some situations when you clearly need to call 911: for example, fires, hostage situations, and when small children get hurt and break their bones.

But when fourth-grader Ally Deon broke both bones in her forearm while on the playground at Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Saugus, nobody called for an ambulance, according to The Daily Item. The school instead called Ally's mother, Jen Deon, who arrived to find her daughter in the school nurse's office screaming with an arm that "was hanging like a hammock." The break could not be set at a local hospital, so Ally had to be transferred to Children's Hospital in Boston.

Could the school be liable for any delays in Ally's treatment?

Homemade Bombs on Bridgewater Lawn: New Leaf Clearing Method?

There might be some signs of fall, but the leaves haven’t started to fall yet. Maybe one person in Bridgewater was experimenting a new way of clearing a lawn, using the neighbor’s lawn as a testing site.

The bomb squad had to be called out to a Bridgewater home when two homemade explosives detonated on the lawn, burning the grass, according to WHDH-TV. A third device, made from a soda bottle and chemicals had to be detonated by the bomb squad. Investigators believe the explosives were set because of a property dispute between the two neighbors.

What liability would the bomb-maker face if the explosive had hurt someone?

Shirtless Man on Red Line Tracks: Trying for Premises Liability?

Earlier Thursday morning, a man without a shirt stopped the T after jumping down to the tracks and walking down them, according to the Boston Globe. He just strolled down the platform, shirt off, shoes on, and gingerly lowered himself to the tracks and began high stepping towards the security camera.

Did this guy think that he might try and get hit by the train and then bring a lawsuit against MBTA? Would he somehow claim that his ability to get on the tracks was the T's fault? Let's see how this thing would work out.

Don't Eat That Cheese! Listeria Danger in Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese goes nicely on a salad and it can even make for a good "white" pizza sauce. However, listeria does not go well on ricotta cheese. In fact, the two should never be paired at a dinner party or at a pie eating contest.

Unfortunately, a batch of ricotta from Forever Cheese Inc., based in Long Island City, N.Y., is being recalled over fears of possible Listeria contamination, according to WCVB-TV. So far there have been 14 illnesses in 11 different states that might be linked to the cheese. The cheese was sold in Massachusetts between June 20 and Aug. 9.

Are these recalls really necessary?

Olympian Aly Raisman Hurt in Fall, But Can She Sue?

We all heard the hoopla over Olympic gold medal winners and their potential tax liability. So we understand that these athletes need to get some attention and maybe some money while they prepare for the next Olympic Games.

Hometown hero Aly Raisman is promoting gymnastics by participating in the Kellogg's Tour of Champions. But during a stop in Ontario, Calif., Raisman fell flat on her stomach onto the cement floor during her uneven bars performance, according to NewsCenter 5.

Would she have any ability to sue if she was injured?

Could Fake Machete Attack at Lawrence Feast Lead to Lawsuit?

What do you expect to happen at the Feast of the Three Saints in Lawrence? There's food, lots of delicious food. And there's music, some loud music. But would you expect a stabbing, or even a fake one at that?

That's what feast-goers witnessed when three men staged a fake machete assault in front of thousands of people Saturday, according to the Boston Herald. One of the men was dressed in a black trench coat and held a machete covered in fake blood after he pantomimed an attack on the other men. After being arrested, the men claimed they were filming a movie.

While the men were arrested for disturbing the peace and other crimes, it seems like audience members could have a claim against them for intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED").

Court Rules Publicly Funded Sex Change for Inmate Will Go Forward

No matter what your political leanings, most of us think at one point that the world has gone crazy. There are Occupiers who have been saying the world’s gone crazy and the 1% need to pay for it. Then there are the Tea Partiers who say that the world’s gone crazy and that the government is the problem. Now, just when you thought that the world couldn’t get any more crazy, something even crazier happens.

A federal judge ordered that life sentence prisoner Michelle Kosilek (physically a man, identifying as a female) receive a sex change operation, otherwise known as sex-reassignment surgery, as prescribed by Massachusetts Department of Correction (“DOC”) doctors, according to the Boston Globe. Kosilek was convicted of murdering her wife in 1990 and has been living as a woman in an all-male prison in Norfolk since her conviction.

So how did this all happen?

Land of Pawz Likely to Take Pause After Bulldog's Death

Unfortunately for many dog owners, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be brought if the death of a person was caused by negligence or other wrongful acts. This means there are limited means to recover for the negligent death of your beloved pooch.

Guy Reynolds will be seeking out his legal options after he left his English bulldog Cooper at the Land of Pawz doggie day care only to later discover that Cooper had died from heat exhaustion while in the facility's care, according to WCVB-TV. Reynolds had not wanted to leave the dog alone on its birthday, and the canine's regular day care center in Hull was closed, so he drove Cooper out to Weymouth and the Land of Pawz.

Will Reynolds be successful in his potential lawsuit?