Every year, thousands of people in Pennsylvania and around the country are injured while shopping in stores. Many of these injuries are the result of slip-and-fall accidents that could have been prevented by the storeowners. If a slip-and-fall accident was caused by a storeowner's negligence, the injured shopper may have a case for filing a premises liability claim.
Pennsylvania music fans may be interested to know that country music duo Sugarland and concert promoter Live Nation as well as 16 other defendants have reached a $39 million settlement with victims of a fatal stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which occurred in 2011. The agreement, announced on Dec. 19, is the second settlement stemming from the accident. The state of Indiana previously agreed to pay victims $11 million.
Fires or explosions around the holidays are common in Western Pennsylvania. Generally, however, the fires and explosions that occur around the holidays happen in peoples' homes when they are cooking or having a party; but fires or explosions can happen anytime, anywhere, including office buildings, construction sites, and other types of businesses.
Freezing rain and frigid temperatures around the region prompted school districts from throughout Western Pennsylvania to delay or close today. It also caused many car accidents along major corridors, such as Interstate 79, Interstate 76, Routes 65, 51, 19, and the major parkways.
The Consumer Federation of America is warning of a pricing strategy being used in approximately 12 states, including Pennsylvania, to increase auto insurance premiums illegally. The practice is known as price optimization, and the pricing models are reportedly designed to raise rates for those who are unlikely to search for better rates. The alleged goal of the scheme is to increase company profits.
Wage and hour lawsuits spread far beyond the oil fields. Wal-Mart, the country's largest employer of private employees (non-federal), was recently crushed with a $188 million order by the PA Supreme Court this week because it failed to give its workers the proper amount of time for meals and breaks. In the class action case titled Braun & Hummel v. Wal-Mart that was first filed in 2002, the lawsuit will encompass the eight years between 1998 and 2006.
Pennsylvania parents whose children suffered injuries on someone else's property may believe that the owner should have known that children would be curious about an unsecured swimming pool or a piece of machinery in their yards or on their commercial premises. Premises liability laws sometimes regard certain dangerous structures or other items on private or commercial property as attractive nuisances. These are hazards that endanger children at the same time that children are likely to be intensely interested in them.
Government employees who are acting within the scope of their employment generally enjoy something known as "sovereign immunity." This means that they are immune to lawsuits for their actions on behalf of the government. However, Pennsylvania law allows for some important exceptions to this general rule regarding premises liability.
Pennsylvania is one of the many states that have enacted dram shop liability laws. These laws establish bar liability, as well as liability for any business or individual that serves an intoxicated person. Businesses that sell alcohol are called licensees under the state laws. One of the reasons why these laws exist is to prevent injuries and deaths that result when a person driving under the influence causes an accident.
Research has shown that emergency departments treat 200,000 children aged 14 and under each year who were hurt on a playground. Of those injuries, 45 percent of them involve severe fractures, concussions or internal injuries. The vast majority of injuries that did not result in death occur on playgrounds located at schools or daycare centers. Out of 147 children who died as a result of playground injuries between 1990 and 2000, 20 percent died due to falls on the playground's surface.
Honda has recalled driver side airbags throughout the United States. Takata Corporation, manufacturers of the airbags, has made several statements about the defective products since the recall about the problem. According to officials, the airbags explode with so much force that they can shoot metal shrapnel are car pieces into the passenger's side compartment. The airbag maker insists that the recall, that now covers approximately 8 million vehicles in areas of the United States with high humidity, is sufficient enough; however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says otherwise. The NHTSA believes the recall should be nationwide because of accidents that have happened outside of areas with high humidity.