November 25, 2014

DUI Charge Against Woman Caught Texting and Driving

Late last week, a Madisonville, Kentucky woman hit a parked car while she was texting. According to a local news report, the woman was heading north on South Seminary when she hit a parked car that was facing north. Apparently, the woman was suspected to be under the influence when the accident occurred. She was texting during the time of the accident as well. She was taken to a Madisonville hospital to be treated for her injuries following the accident. Police cited the 21-year-old woman for failure to maintain insurance and operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Phone Use and Driving Laws in Kentucky

communication-2-1090898-m.jpgThere is no overarching prohibition on mobile device use in Kentucky, except for bus drivers and novice drivers. Although there is no prohibition against talking on a cell phone, there is a law against texting while driving.

In Kentucky, drivers may not read, send, or write any text-based communication. This includes instant messages, emails, and texts. Additionally, no individual under 18 can operate a car or other motor vehicle when using a telephone or other communication device. The only exception is when the individual needs to contact emergency medical personnel or law enforcement during an emergency.

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November 18, 2014

Update: Fatal Kentucky Speedway Crash

In a blog post earlier last month, we addressed a speedway crash that occurred at a prominent Kentucky speedway. As a local news report reiterated, the young man was celebrating his birthday at the speedway when something went awry and an accident occurred. He was lift flighted to a medical center, where he eventually passed away.

daytona-track-779675-m.jpgEven after all this time has passed, the raceway has been unable to provide any insight as to how or why the crash occurred. The family has been attempting to garner the assistance of witnesses who may be able to provide support in the investigation. To further complicate the investigation, no law enforcement agency was called to the scene of the accident following the crash.

Establishing Premises Liability against Speedways and Amusement Parks

In Kentucky, owners of a public property, high-thrill activiy, or amusement park may be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. It is the duty of the amusement park to maintain its property and ensure that it is safe for those who are utilizing its property or services. The property owner does not only need to correct any safety dangers that it knew about but is also liable for dangers that it should have known about.

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November 11, 2014

Kentucky Amusement Park Denies Allegations of Negligence

Two individuals filed suits earlier this month against a Kentucky amusement park for injuries they sustained on the premises. According to a local news report, the two individuals are claiming that they incurred injuries after going down a water ride at the park. They are alleging that as a result of the accident they have suffered serious physical injuries.

flumes-2-1245687-m.jpgThe park is strongly contesting this assertion and has begun a thorough investigation of the claims. The park owner has received affidavits from other individuals who claim that the victims were planning on purposely getting injured to sue the water park. They also have vehemently defended their staff and have compiled information that would indicate that their staff was highly trained and that the victims are malingering in the recovery process. Additionally, the water park is contending that the individuals attended the park numerous times before and after their injuries and have had their passes revoked for participating in dangerous behavior and not abiding by the park rules.

Amusement Park Liability

Kentucky has a series of laws relating to slip and falls and premises liability for those individuals who were injured at another's property or business. If an individual slips or gets hurt in another way at someone else's property because of the owner's negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensatory damages.

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November 4, 2014

Plaintiff's Jury Award of $5.9 Million Reversed Due to Evidence Rule

The Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded a case to district court because of an evidence-rule violation. A woman brought a wrongful death action on behalf of her husband. She claimed that her husband developed lung cancer because of his addiction to cigarettes. She brought a suit against the manufacturer of the cigarettes.

untitled-1391828-m.jpgApparently, the defendants discovered evidence that the plaintiff's husband was addicted to alcohol in addition to cigarettes. The plaintiff filed a motion in an attempt to exclude the evidence of her husband's alcoholism. She focused on the expert's report and his opinion that additional data was needed to determine the cause of her husband's death and any relationship his alcoholism had to his cancer. Her motion was granted by the judge.

The plaintiff was awarded a large settlement. However, the defendants appealed the decision and claimed that evidence of the plaintiff's husband's alcoholism should not have been excluded. The court found that under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, the evidence of the plaintiff's husband's alcoholism was "highly probative and did not cause a high amount of unfair prejudice." The court remanded the case for a new trial.

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October 24, 2014

Kentucky Forklift Operator Killed In Work Accident

Early this week, a Kentucky forklift operator was involved in a fatal workplace accident. A local newspaper reported that the woman was only employed with her employer for approximately two weeks when the accident occurred. An investigation has yielded information indicating that some part of the machinery malfunctioned, which resulted in the accident. Employees who witnessed the accident explained that the woman was operating the forklift in the driver's position when it continued to move upwards, eventually decapitating her. Sadly, the woman was only in her 20s, and she was the mother of a young child. The company explained that it is still investigating the accident.

forklift-1-1125238-m.jpgManufacturer Liability

In many personal injury cases, individuals are not only injured by the negligence of an individual person but by a defect in a product or part of a product. In the above case, the victim may pursue her company for negligence, but she may be able to bring a suit against the manufacturer of the forklift that malfunctioned as well, or her company may choose to do so.

In Kentucky, product liability follows the rules and regulations put forth by the Kentucky Product Liability Act. Individuals or their representatives may bring a suit for product liability if they are injured, or if it results in their death or damage to their property. The suit can be based on things such as the design, manufacture, and assembly of the product.

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October 17, 2014

Pulaski County, Kentucky Accident Sends 3 to the Hospital

Earlier this week, three individuals were involved in a two-car crash on Cumberland Parkway in Pulaski County, Kentucky. According to a local news report, two of the people involved in the crash included a city worker and a police chief.

untitled-1374301-m.jpgApparently, the police chief was driving an SUV with a city worker as his passenger when his car hydroplaned and skidded from the westbound lane into the median and then into the eastbound lane. The car ended up hitting a 29-year-old who was driving in the eastbound lane. Unfortunately, the driver's car was thrown into the safety rail, and he was stuck inside the car. He needed emergency personnel intervention to get out of his car. The police chief and city worker were both thrown from their cars as well. Officials stated that no one was wearing a seat belt and all were taken to the hospital.

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October 10, 2014

Court Finds Doctor's Previous Employer Doesn't Owe Duty to Future Patients

In a truly disturbing case out of Massachusetts, a court determined that a doctor's previous place of employment does not owe any duty to future patients of that doctor after he leaves the place of employment.

usg-1-262481-m.jpgIn the case Roe No. 1 v. Children's Hosp. Med. Ctr., a doctor was accused of performing unnecessary genital examinations on young children. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit named one of the hospitals that the doctor used to work at in the suit, alleging that the hospital should have reported the doctor to licensing agencies after accusations arose that he was sexually abusing child patients. However, the court determined that because all of the alleged conduct in the current lawsuit took place after the doctor had left the defendant hospital, the defendant hospital didn't owe any duty of care to the future patients of the doctor.

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October 3, 2014

Kentucky Driving School Student Dies in Raceway Crash

A young man was killed after crashing at a Kentucky raceway while taking a few laps in a dream car. According to a recent report, the man died after he sustained severe injuries following his crash at the driving school. The raceway provides individuals the opportunity to pay to experience a day of racecar driving.

speedo-1013020-m.jpgApparently, individuals can pay the company to drive NASCAR-like cars around a race track. The price ranges anywhere from $169.00 up to $1,099, depending on the package the individual would like. The company requires that those racing must have their own insurance and are liable for any damage done to the cars.

Unfortunately, the driver was on his third lap when the accident occurred. He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he died. The company contends that this is the first fatality to occur at its premises, and the state police are not currently investigating the crash because it occurred at a private race track. The case is still being investigated by the race track.

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September 23, 2014

Expert Witness' Testimony Excluded in Accident Case

Earlier this month, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a lower court's ruling to exclude an expert's testimony was appropriate under the circumstances.

sunset-run-1427546-m.jpgBackground

Back in 2005, a woman was killed in Tennessee after an accident with a semi-truck. The woman was driving a Kia that was not equipped with a fuel shut-off switch.

Her mother brought a wrongful death suit against Kia Motors, claiming that they should have equipped the car with a fuel shut-off switch. She claimed that the Kia was inherently dangerous because of the airbag system and the lack of the fuel shut-off switch. Additionally, she claimed that Kia should have warned consumers about the unreasonable dangers.

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September 16, 2014

Deadly Crash in Greenup County Leaves Open Door for Potential Civil Lawsuit

According to a local news report, one man was killed and four people were injured as part of a two-vehicle crash. Apparently, early last week 911 dispatchers were called to an accident scene near KY 207 and KY 503. The driver of one of the vehicles had veered out of his lane into the center lane, subsequently crashing head-on into a truck.

road-to-death-valley-1438370-m.jpgUnfortunately, the driver of the vehicle that swerved out of the lane was hurt, along with an adult and two children in the other vehicle. The adult woman is suffering from a collapsed lung, and one of the children broke a jaw. They were flown to different hospitals. All surviving parties are scheduled for several surgeries.

A Greenup County Sheriff explained to local news reporters that no charges are going to be filed because the accident was not the result of intentional conduct, according to the police.

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September 9, 2014

Kentucky Teen Struck and Killed By Ambulance

Late last month, a teen was hit and killed by an ambulance in Knox County. A local news syndicate reported that the young man had just began high school before the tragic accident occurred.

ambulance-1334533-m.jpgApparently, the young man was spending time with his friends riding his bike on the median on US 25, near Corbin. At the same time, an ambulance was driving a patient to the hospital down US 25. The report explained that at some point and for an unknown reason the ambulance went off the road and hit the young man and two of his friends, who were also riding their bikes.

Two of the victims were taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin. Sadly, the other young man was declared dead at the scene of the accident. He was only 14 years old, and his family had only recently moved to Corbin.

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September 2, 2014

Kentucky Driver Killed in Semi-Truck Accident

old-truck-1228351-m.jpgLate last week in Campbell County, one individual was killed and three were injured after two semi-trucks collided. According to a report by a local Kentucky news station, the accident and subsequent explosion occurred on I-75 in Campbell County.

Apparently, one of the truck drivers crossed into the center median and caused a head-on collision with another semi-truck.

One of the tractors was carrying batteries, and the other was carrying an unknown "oxidizing" agent. This combination only exacerbated the already dangerous situation by causing a large explosion. The explosion then caused a deadly fire and a cloud of thick smoke.

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August 25, 2014

Driver Killed in Fatal Kentucky DUI Accident

Earlier this week near Burkesville, one woman was pronounced dead after she was involved in a fatal drunk-driving accident. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred shortly after three in the morning on KY 90, about seven miles west of Burkesville.

tonic-with-lime-fruits-isolated-in-black-background-1427842-m.jpgEvidently, the woman was heading eastbound on KY 90 when she began to drift over the center median and into oncoming traffic. As she entered the eastbound lane, a semi-truck driver attempted to avoid her by swerving off the road but could not avoid the impact. After the initial impact, the semi-truck ended up off the side of the road in a ditch.

The driver and one passenger in the semi-truck were both wearing seat belts during the accident. They were treated and released by a local hospital. One other passenger, a 13-year-old boy who was sleeping unrestrained in the sleeping compartment, suffered a broken leg.

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August 18, 2014

Transportation Company Found Liable for Driver's Negligent Acts

When an employee acts negligently and causes injury to another person, sometimes the employer of that employee can be held liable in a Kentucky personal injury action. That is exactly what happened in a recent case in front of the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

handicapped-410035-m.jpgMV Transport v. Allgeier: The Facts

Back in 2006, Allgeier was a passenger on a para-transit bus that was fitted with a lift to help passengers with boarding and exiting the bus. The ramp, under normal conditions, operates to lift people in wheelchairs from the ground onto the passenger level of the bus, and vice-versa.

On one occasion, however, the lift malfunctioned and there was a gap between the bus and the metal plate of the lift. The bus driver failed to see the gap and allowed Allgeier to attempt to disembark the bus, although it was unsafe to do so. As she tried to disembark, Allgeier's wheelchair got caught in the gap, and she eventually fell onto the ground below, shattering both femurs.

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August 11, 2014

Indiana Supreme Court Allows Injury Claims Against Fraternity to Move Forward

university-campus-964649-m.jpgThe Indiana Supreme Court both affirmed and reversed a trial court's grant of summary judgment in a fraternity injury case.

In Yost v. Wabash College, Brian Yost was a freshman at Wabash College who pledged at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and suffered injuries at the fraternity house in 2007. Yost claimed that these injuries were due to a fraternity hazing incident and filed a lawsuit against Wabash College, the local fraternity, the national fraternity, and one of the fraternity members. The college, which owns the fraternity house, and two defendants sought summary judgment against Yost's claims, which the trial court granted. Yost then appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court looked at each of the claims against the defendant to see whether they met the standard of summary judgment: whether there was no genuine issue of material fact, allowing the defendant to receive judgment as a matter of law. First, the Supreme Court looked at the claim against Wabash College. Wabash College argued that it did not have a duty as a college or landlord to protect Yost from a fraternity member's alleged negligence or criminal attack, and that it was not subject to vicarious liability for the actions of any codefendant. The Supreme Court concluded that Yost could not establish facts that Wabash College acted as a landlord and undertook duties designed to protect Yost from dangers on the property. Wabash College's policy on hazing was not enough to establish a landlord-guest special relationship.

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