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Fermented Grain Sampler
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This little story was relayed to me by a bike shop a few years ago when we BS'ing about stupid litigation. Not sure how much truth there is to it but I wouldn't be suprised if it were true.
There's always the case of the ding bat who rode his bike at night, no lights, wearing black, on the street. Guess what, he was hit by a car. Who'd he sue? His LBS (different one), bike manufacturer and a few others for not warning him that said activity was a dangerous undertaking. The LBS lost.
That's one case where the car should have won. Darwinism would have been served.

Werner
 

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ballbuster
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Coffee lady got justice, IMO

Joe Steel said:
Where dipshi# who purposely brought his/her bike to the trail must have some knowledge that there is risk involved?

I can't believe they're wasting time with this.

Although I couldn't believe they award stupid people who burn themselves with coffee either.

Go figure
Well, don't cite the coffee burn lady as a symptom of a corrupt system. McDonalds was clearly liable.

Read this:

http://lawandhelp.com/q298-2.htm
 

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Medium?
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I volunteer to testify

I jumped over that gravel pile three or four times one day. I remember it in detail. The trail obviously went around it to the right.

If the idiot made it down steep and rocky Spring Creek, and stacked on that little gravel pile, he's was a putz before the lawsuit.
 

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What a moron. It is his own fault that he fell on a pile of gravel. He should get his a$$ beat for being such an idiot and should give up Mt. Biking all together because if I ever saw him out on a trail I would kick him off his bike and laugh at him cowering on the ground in the fetal position
 

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rob said:
"Courtesy of Legal News and Views, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers"

well this explains everything :rolleyes:
The fact that the source is biased doesn't necessarily make the story untrue.
 

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So does all this mean I should go out and hang myself? There is an old line, all lawyers are crooks, except for your personal lawyer who is a great guy. I deal with attorney's every day, in fact I am one. For every prick out there, there are 20 guys who are perfectly nice people. For some reason, people think that lawyer = ambulance chaser.

I guess we should just ignore the attorneys who do things like probate (who are you calling when you need help with that?), Tax, Securities law, patent law, land use law, etc.. Of course if the same guy who is suing the state right now had posted "I just got hit by a car and my leg is broken and my frame tweeked" everyone would have said get a lawyer.

Like everyone on this board, us lawyers are trying to make a living. Should I call my client this morning and tell him he shouldn't be suing the prime contrator that didn't pay him for the extra work he did? I he litigation happy because he wants to get paid for his work? Perhaps there is a bit of jealousy on the part of others because lawyers tend to make a decent living. Of course many of us had to sacrifice 7+ years of life in college, plus $100,000+ in debt to get where we are.

Finally, for all those people that want to harp on the McDonalds case, you should read the factual information. In short:

1) 80 year old lady gets handed a cup of coffee in the drive through with a loose lid.
2) The coffee spills all over her legs giving her 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
3) She asks McDonalds to pay for her $50,000 in medical expenses. They refuse. She tells them multiple times she doesn't want any money other than her medical expenses paid.
4) McDonalds argues that she should have jumped out of her car and stripped her clothes off to mitigate damages.
5) Jury is appalled by McDonalds behavior and awards punatives (to punish) of 1 weeks worth of coffee sales for McDonalds.
 

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Counter suit

If my neighborhood trail was at risk of closing due to a lawsuit it cause me great mental pain and anguish. It sounds as if many of you who ride this area are suffering from the pain already. That would mean a possible class action against the dukkie-head in question. Now before you say that is ridiculous; isn't the first lawsuit just as silly. It only costs between $15-50 to file a complaint right?
 

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Fermented Grain Sampler
clinking clanking clattering collection of collagenous junk
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State Government codes

This case will come down to how the following state codes are interpreted:
Cal. Gov't. Code § 831.2 and 831.4. Those of you with access to details on this can dig up more details.
The short version:
"§ 831.2. Natural condition of unimproved public property
Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for an injury caused by a natural condition of any unimproved public property, including but not limited to any natural condition of any lake, stream, bay, river or beach."

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE COMMENTS:
This section provides an absolute immunity from liability for injuries resulting from a natural condition of any unimproved public property. Thus, for example, under this section and Section 831.4, the State has an absolute immunity from liability for injuries resulting from natural conditions of a state park area where the only improvements are recreational access roads (as defined in Section 831.4) and hiking, riding, fishing and hunting trails.
This section and Section 831.4 continue and extend an existing policy adopted by the Legislature in former Government Code Section 54002. It is desirable to permit the members of the public to use public property in its natural condition and to provide trails for hikers and riders and roads for campers into the primitive regions of the State. But the burden and expense of putting such property in a safe condition and the expense of defending claims for injuries would probably cause many public entities to close such areas to public use. In view of the limited funds available for the acquisition and improvement of property for recreational purposes, it is not unreasonable to expect persons who voluntarily use unimproved public property in its natural condition to assume the risk of injuries arising therefrom as a part of the price to be paid for benefits received."


From what I can see, looking through some of the case law, these rules have been subject to interpretation through-out the state. The crux will be how the judge deals with the gravel pile. Some good lawyering will be needed.



Werner
 

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CDMC said:
Of course many of us had to sacrifice 7+ years of life in college, plus $100,000+ in debt to get where we are.

You were doing so well before you said that. But I'm afraid you just lost the jury's attention. Seven years in college! Oh the horror! :D
 

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Fermented Grain Sampler
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4 years for Bachelor's plus law school is a horror?
So you're gonna harp on doctors who put in how many years until their MD and generally a decent size debt load too?
What about many business professionals.... generally 6 or so years (4 + the MBA) are they horrifying too?
 

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wg said:
4 years for Bachelor's plus law school is a horror?
So you're gonna harp on doctors who put in how many years until their MD and generally a decent size debt load too?
What about many business professionals.... generally 6 or so years (4 + the MBA) are they horrifying too?

I think the word CDMC used was "sacrifice". I used the word "horror".

Though I'm a little worried that you might be replying to me and might think that I wasn't being sarcastic. :eek:
 

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scorcher seb said:
You were doing so well before you said that. But I'm afraid you just lost the jury's attention. Seven years in college! Oh the horror! :D

Well I'm glad that you found college to be so easy. Did I have fun in undergrad, yep. I also worked 30 hours a week to pay my bills, not to mention study time. While friends who didn't have to work partied, I was often working (not that I am complaining, I worked for University of California Police Department and had several shifts a week where I was paid to ride a mountain bike and patrol parking structures). Law school, I can't count the number of nights I was at school until midnight studying. Weekends off, I wish. More like go out friday night with friends, get up saturday and study all day and then catch up on sunday with things like laundry.
 

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Fermented Grain Sampler
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I was replying to you. Didn't catch the scarcasm though. If that's the case... oops.
 

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CDMC said:
Well I'm glad that you found college to be so easy. Did I have fun in undergrad, yep. I also worked 30 hours a week to pay my bills, not to mention study time. While friends who didn't have to work partied, I was often working (not that I am complaining, I worked for University of California Police Department and had several shifts a week where I was paid to ride a mountain bike and patrol parking structures). Law school, I can't count the number of nights I was at school until midnight studying. Weekends off, I wish. More like go out friday night with friends, get up saturday and study all day and then catch up on sunday with things like laundry.
LOL. I'm sure you worked very hard and all credit to you for doing so. But please don't try and pretend that getting an education is a sacrifice. Are you saying it wasn't worth it and that you wouldn't do it again?!

I was just pointing out how irrelevant it was to the rest of your argument about the role lawyers play in society. The majority of those who have chosen to take that course aren't just thinking about making the world a better place. They take on the debt and spend the time in the knowledge that it is a sound investment in their future. They're not sacrificing themselves to inevitable poverty and giving up the prime of their life to spend it in college.

Anyway, you can justify your chosen profession in whatever terms you like. But don't be surprised or offended if other people find it funny. ;)
 

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Do It Yourself
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Coffee lady details....

From http://www.stellaawards.com...

<em>The Stella Awards were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages, but that's not the whole story.

Stella was not driving when she pulled the lid off her scalding McDonald's coffee. Her grandson was driving the car, and he had pulled over to stop so she could add cream and sugar to the cup.
Stella was burned badly (some sources say six percent of her skin was burned, other sources say 16 percent was) and needed two years of treatment and rehabilitation, including skin grafts. McDonald's refused an offer to settle with her for $20,000 in medical costs.
McDonald's quality control managers specified that its coffee should be served at 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Liquids at that temperature can cause third-degree burns in 2-7 seconds. Such burns require skin grafting, debridement and whirlpool treatments to heal, and the resulting scarring is typically permanent.
From 1982 to 1992, McDonald's coffee burned more than 700 people, usually slightly but sometimes seriously, resulting in some number of other claims and lawsuits.
Witnesses for McDonald's admitted in court that consumers are unaware of the extent of the risk of serious burns from spilled coffee served at McDonald's required temperature, admitted that it did not warn customers of this risk, could offer no explanation as to why it did not, and testified that it did not intend to turn down the heat even though it admitted that its coffee is "not fit for consumption" when sold because it is too hot.
While Stella was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages, this amount was reduced by 20 percent (to $160,000) because the jury found her 20 percent at fault. Where did the rest of the $2.9 million figure in? She was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages -- but the judge later reduced that amount to $480,000, or three times the "actual" damages that were awarded.
But...

The resulting $640,000 isn't the end either. Liebeck and McDonald's entered into secret settlement negotiations rather than go to appeal. The amount of the settlement is not known -- it's secret!
The plaintiffs were apparently able to document 700 cases of burns from McDonald's coffee over 10 years, or 70 burns per year. But that doesn't take into account how many cups are sold without incident. A McDonald's consultant pointed out the 700 cases in 10 years represents just 1 injury per 24 million cups sold! For every injury, no matter how severe, 23,999,999 people managed to drink their coffee without any injury whatever. Isn't that proof that the coffee is not "unreasonably dangerous"?
Even in the eyes of an obviously sympathetic jury, Stella was judged to be 20 percent at fault -- she did, after all, spill the coffee into her lap all by herself. The car was stopped, so she presumably was not bumped to cause the spill. Indeed she chose to hold the coffee cup between her knees instead of any number of safer locations as she opened it. Should she have taken more responsibility for her own actions?
And...

Here's the Kicker: Coffee is supposed to be served in the range of 185 degrees! The National Coffee Association recommends coffee be brewed at "between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction" and drunk "immediately". If not drunk immediately, it should be "maintained at 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit". (Source: NCAUSA.) Exactly what, then, did McDonald's do wrong? Did it exhibit "willful, wanton, reckless or malicious conduct" -- the standard in New Mexico for awarding punitive damages?</em>
 

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scorcher seb said:
LOL. I'm sure you worked very hard and all credit to you for doing so. But please don't try and pretend that getting an education is a sacrifice. Are you saying it wasn't worth it and that you wouldn't do it again?!

I was just pointing out how irrelevant it was to the rest of your argument about the role lawyers play in society. The majority of those who have chosen to take that course aren't just thinking about making the world a better place. They take on the debt and spend the time in the knowledge that it is a sound investment in their future. They're not sacrificing themselves to inevitable poverty and giving up the prime of their life to spend it in college.

Anyway, you can justify your chosen profession in whatever terms you like. But don't be surprised or offended if other people find it funny. ;)
Dragging this one a bit more, my original comments were relative to the subject of negative comments concerning lawyers often being based in lawyers earning a good living. How many jokes start with "a rich lawyer"?

My second comment was in response to your sarcastic comment that life must have been rough in college. Contrary to what many people think, life at some of the harder colleges is not like it is portrayed in the movies. Fun yes, but the people that party all the time, they don't graduate.

Was it an investment? Yes. Did I have to sacrafice? Absolutely. I was poor for a long time in college (and for a few years after), and being poor sucks. Would I do it again? College Yes, Law School I'm not as sure about. I like the prestige of the degree and the profession (it is still a respected profession contrary to the jokes), but question if I would have been happier with a Masters in Finance or MBA.
 

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CDMC said:
Dragging this one a bit more, my original comments were relative to the subject of negative comments concerning lawyers often being based in lawyers earning a good living. How many jokes start with "a rich lawyer"?

My second comment was in response to your sarcastic comment that life must have been rough in college. Contrary to what many people think, life at some of the harder colleges is not like it is portrayed in the movies. Fun yes, but the people that party all the time, they don't graduate.

Was it an investment? Yes. Did I have to sacrafice? Absolutely. I was poor for a long time in college (and for a few years after), and being poor sucks. Would I do it again? College Yes, Law School I'm not as sure about. I like the prestige of the degree and the profession (it is still a respected profession contrary to the jokes), but question if I would have been happier with a Masters in Finance or MBA.
I though the original comment about the sacrifice of spending 7 years in college was funny, but that was before I knew that we went to the same University (though not necessarily the same campus). In the light of that it just made it funnier.

People are meant to be poor in University! Only a privileged few can claim not to be poor during and for a few years after university!

Anyway, the prosecution rests its case.
 

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What about the people who sacrificed four years of college and spent the next several years working meaningless low paying jobs because they couldnt find gainful employment associated with their degree. Or the people who sacrificed four years of college and three years of working their way up the ladder in corporate America just to have their jobs outsourced overseas?

Boo hoo hoo...The poor lawyers.
 

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The Berryman said:
What about the people who sacrificed four years of college and spent the next several years working meaningless low paying jobs because they couldnt find gainful employment associated with their degree. Or the people who sacrificed four years of college and three years of working their way up the ladder in corporate America just to have their jobs outsourced overseas?

Boo hoo hoo...The poor lawyers.
Thats a load of crap. You obviously have no idea what so ever what your talking about - Probably live in dream land or something.

You folk think Lawyers get it handed to them on a silver platter? Utterly pathetic misconception.

Was the topic not about a person suing a state park in negligence?

Lets move on...

:rolleyes:
 
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