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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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