How Business Litigation can quickly become personal

In modern business, litigation becomes an issue for the overwhelming majority of people. Whether the other party is an ex-employee or a supplier, you may have a longstanding relationship with them. You may try to keep your emotions out of the litigation, but that can be difficult when dealing with your livelihood. According to the litigation lawyers at Slater Pugh, enlisting the support of a qualified legal representative when facing these and other breaches of trust can give you the best chance at protecting your company.

One common type of business litigation is between a business and ex-employee. When an employee is trying to prove wrongful termination or discrimination, motive is everything. To establish motive, lawyers will review specific conversations and interactions that took place during the employee’s tenure. The nature of this reminiscing is frequently extremely emotional. Questions of context and meaning arise, and misunderstandings can be upsetting to all parties involved. A classic way of determining discrimination is by proving other employees engaged in the same behavior but were not fired. This situation brings more employees into the litigation and only serves to deepen the emotional toll.

Another common type of business litigation is between two business partners and involves intellectual property. Intellectual property is defined as “a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark”. This may seem straightforward, but what if the partners took a collaborative approach. Suddenly you are disputing the individual credit and fighting for your ideas. These situations can quickly become emotional, especially if money and friends are involved. In these situations specifically it is essential to have a litigation lawyer taking care of the details.

Dockworkers are Engaged in one of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States

On November 4, 2016, just before the end of his shift, which ran from 6 pm to 3 am, Bert Tufele, a Samoan longshore worker at the Stevedore Services of America (SSA) drove his utility tractor (UTR) close to the vessel, from which he was moving cargo containers, that was docked at Pier A of the Marine Terminal in Long Beach. His UTR, however, accidentally clipped the bombcart of another UTR that was in front of him. Upon impact, Tufele was thrown out from his UTR; the vehicle’s tires run over him, causing in him fatal injuries.

There had been other longshore worker deaths on this Long Beach dock in the past, most being workers who performed duties in other job classifications. The death of Tufele, however, is believed to be the first death that involved a UTR driver and the accident not linked to a faulty equipment or to another individual. This is why UTR drivers, prior to the start of their shift, are required to inspect their vehicles; during operation, they should maintain safe speed and always wear a seatbelt. Most UTRs, however, have no speedometers and have mechanical defects, such as missing or malfunctioning seatbelt.

In its website, the law firm Ritter & Associates talks about the importance of dockworkers in the shipping industry. Their task of loading and unloading cargo ships promptly and efficiently necessitates two things: the need to be physically fit and the need to go through extensive training so they can learn to load and unload properly.

Their job, however, is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States and, like any labor-intensive job, they are at risk of work-related injury, especially when machinery malfunctions or when other people act negligently.

Filing a maritime lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product or against the party whose negligent actions contributed to the accident may be necessary for the injured to claim additional financial compensation that will help pay for his/her medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Types of Escalator Accidents Revealed

Escalators provide individuals with a quicker way to move up floors. But despite the convenience they offer, there has been a spate of escalator accidents reported over the years. Since it was patented in 1892, the design of escalators has not seen much change. As the website of Ali Mokaram reveals, escalators require proper inspections and repairs to ensure their safety. Its dangerous nature has caused people to be alarmed when riding them.

Around 12,500 to 15,000 escalator accidents happen in the United States on a yearly basis. The accidents may include clothing or body parts getting stuck. Due to the growing safety concern of escalators, may manufacturers have now added safety features to their escalators. Let us take a look at some of the common escalator accidents:

Falling Accidents

Falls associated with stopped handrails can be difficult to defend because components that power these rails require regular maintenance. Aside from that, there are many available devices that can help provide warning to the public of a stalled handrail.

Side of Step Entrapments

This happens when clothing or body parts gets stuck between the moving step and stationary adjacent skirt panel. Defending these accidents can also be equally challenging due to the problem of maintaining the allowable gap between moving stair and skirt panel.

Comb Plate Entrapments

This accident involves a body part getting entrapped between the moving stair and the stationary comb plate located at the egress point of all escalators. This is equally challenging to defend as well since the plaintiff would have to prove that the combs were set too high and does not penetrate the grooves in the steps or if the step is too slow.

Handrail Entrapments

This accident happens when clothes or body parts get stuck between the moving handrail and its guide or at the handrail brush on the newel.
Broken or Missing Steps

Accidents due to broken or missing steps usually result to serious injuries when both step yokes, the main support on each side of a step to which the rollers are attached give way.

Distribution Systems Applied Courts When Dividing Properties, Assets and Debts

There are times when the only remaining way to get out of a trouble-filled marriage is through divorce. Divorce, no doubt, is a painful process, especially if the process through which all issues related to it are settled in the courtroom (this refers to contested divorce, which is also known as traditional courtroom divorce), where spouses, through their respective attorneys, discredit one another, bring to the open each other’s weaknesses and wrongdoings, and recite before an audience made up of strangers, all their assets, properties and debts. The final decision regarding the issues that need to be settled, however, will not be made by them, but by a judge presiding over their case. The issues that may need settlement are child custody, child support, visitation rights, spousal support or alimony, and division of properties, assets and debts. The more issues there are that need to be settled, the longer the divorce case goes and, the longer the divorce case drags, the more expensive things become due to court fees, attorneys’ fees, and fees paid to experts, like accountants and property evaluators.

Besides child custody and alimony, another issue that is often hotly argued about in a divorce case is division of properties,assets and debts.

Dividing properties, assets and debts can be a source of too much stress for divorcing couples. But while some individuals think that everything can be divided, the law says otherwise, meaning, not everything may be up for division. This is because only marital assets and properties can be divided; thus, before a judge can decide “who gets what,” he or she will first need to identify which assets and properties are considered marital and which are not.

Personal or non-marital assets and properties include: all properties mentioned in a pre-marital or prenuptial agreement; inheritance or gift to a spouse at the time of marriage; profits earned by a spouse from properties which he or she already owned before the marriage; and, properties bought by a spouse using the money that he or she earned before marriage.

In dividing properties and assets, the courts may apply equitable distribution or community property. Community property distribution is based on equality. Under this system, all the properties and assets earned and acquired during marriage, even if only one of the spouses worked, will be distributed equally since the spouses are considered equal owners of. This is also applied to debts, thus, rendering both spouses equally liable for unpaid balances on all debts, such as car loan, home mortgage, credit cards, and so forth.

Equitable distribution, on the other hand, divides all marital properties and assets between spouses in a fair and reasonable manner. It is the court which determines what will constitute fair and reasonable distribution: it can be a 50/50 division or one spouse may be awarded a greater percentage of the marital properties and assets. To determine what is fair and reasonable, the court considers the following factors:

  • The age and health condition of each spouse
  • The earning potential and financial condition of each spouse
  • The properties and assets mentioned in a premarital or prenuptial agreement
  • The amount of the properties if liquidated
  • Future liabilities and financial needs of each spouse
  • The degree of contribution made by each spouse in the acquisition of all marital properties
  • The value of of each spouse’s personal property, like business, retirement plans, stocks, bonds, 401(k) plans, financial incentives
  • Amount of child support paid and alimony obligations.

It is legally allowed for divorcing couples to negotiate a property settlement by themselves; however, as mentioned in the website of The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, failure to reach an agreement will require a court to make the decisions for them. Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California and Arizona are the states where the community property distribution system is observed; all other states observe the equitable distribution system. In whatever state a couple may be living in, when it comes to division of property, assets and debts, it is always advisable to settle or go to court assisted by a skilled attorney.

Understanding No-fault Car Liability Insurance

On account of the more than five million vehicle accidents that occur in the United States every year, all states, with the exception only of New Hampshire, has mandated that all drivers carry insurance liability coverage. This liability coverage is intended to protect health-related cost for bodily harm or repair of damage to home (such as another car of a fixture on the highway) where the insured motorist is held to be the trigger; it can also be required to ensure safety additional people as well as their properties.

With DWI, dangerous driving and over-speeding as among the very best causes of car accidents on U.S. roadways and routes, ensuring the protection of conceivable harmless accident victims, whose security on the road is undermined, is merely just and proper.

It’s also true, nevertheless, that many times even the driver that is careless or negligent endures serious injuries and his/her automobile, incurring wreck that is leading. Because of this, the no-fault auto liability insurance was released, a type of protection where the wounded driver’s insurance provider will cover all his/her injury-related losses, also if the injury was absolutely the problem of a motorist that is stated.

Insured under the no-fault insurance are lost wages because of the cost of health treatment, missed business days and expense of harm to the house; payment to these is called PIP or personal injury protection. This will need to be done by way of a court case, although the casualty has the possibility to still pursue further payment to home for damages.

One other amazing factor about no-problem auto liability insurance is its rates prices lower compared to at-fault insurance rates because there’s really no longer any need for the court proceeding, which is merely meant to ascertain who the responsible party is in the injury.
Drivers with numerous traffic infractions in just one year, who’ve been charged with DUI/DUI or who don’t have any insurance liability coverage (in states where this really is needed), apart from getting their state-mandated insurance, will also need to get and fill out an SR-22, a document that demonstrates the control of an automobile liability insurance.

Based on an article posted on the website of Madison, Wisconsin car accident attorneys, an SR-22 is really a type submitted by underwriters to some state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, for the purpose of having the suspension to the driver license lifted; it is just through the raising of the suspension can the motorist love his/her driving privileges again.

Best Natural Dog Food for Big Dogs

It seems that even the best reviewed natural dog food for big dogs can get yanked because of production malfunctions. This is what happened to Natura Pet Foods, whose Innova EVO dry dog food for large dogs was recalled in 2013 together with a whole lot of other products because of possible salmonella contamination. This is a shame because the product had hitherto enjoyed encomiums for quality. This illustrates the desirability of homemade dog food, but that is the subject for another article.

The dog food product in question is Natura Pet Innova EVO (Large bites), which is not currently being sold on Amazon or anywhere else. It was specifically lauded by dog care experts as one of the best brands of natural dog food for large breeds because it has a sufficiently high level of protein from turkey, turkey meal, chicken, and chicken meal. It also has a good mix of all natural ingredients including potatoes, apples, chicken fat, herring meal, egg, tomatoes, carrots, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, and dried chicory root. The product also contained probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and direct-fed microbials.

Moreover, the product was grain-free, which is considered a big plus in natural dog food because dogs cannot digest grains, which precludes any health benefits it may have had. These include corn, wheat and soy. All in all, the product had been the ideal natural dog food for big dogs.

Nevertheless, the characteristics of the product which made it a hit with dog health professionals are a good guide in choosing the best natural dog food for big dogs which are currently available in the market. The best natural dog food for big dogs should be high in human-grade, animal-source protein (at least 18%) and healthy fats, with a good mix of vegetables and fruits, and grain-free. So when choosing from available brands, make sure that your big dog is chowing down the right mix of natural ingredients to keep it healthy, happy, and fit.

Original story from www.theruggedpup.com

Anniston, Alabama and Monsanto

Monsanto was one of the main manufacturers of PCBs for commercial use after World War II. Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were produced for electrical equipment, insulation, and a number of other uses due to its durability, resistance to conducting electricity, and capabilities of withstanding high temperatures. In the late 1970’s it was found that PCBs were a possible cause of human carcinogens and was made illegal to produce in the United States in 1979. By the time this occurred, millions of toxic PCBs and waste had been released into the environment through illegal methods.

One town that was a victim of the illegal and irresponsible dumping of thousands of pounds of toxic waste was Anniston, Alabama. Aware of the dangers facing the small town that previously housed a plant manufacturing PCBs, Monsanto kept the important health and safety information from Anniston’s citizens. This resulted in serious long-term health effects to many of Anniston’s residents. The most notable concerns are the higher than average prevalence of diabetes and cancer.

A trial in 2003 against Monsanto from Anniston plaintiffs resulted in a $700 million settlement. This included money that would directly benefit plaintiffs and plans to create an environmental-health clinic that offers free prescription medication for Anniston residents suffering health problems due to Monsanto PCBs. The lawsuit included Monsanto’s related businesses of Pfizer Corporation, Solutia, and Pharmacia.

The pollution of Anniston is extensive. The residents are forced to wear face masks before mowing their lawns in order to protect themselves against the toxic soil. The water sources around the town were often colored red or purple while manufacturing plants were operational. Now these water sources are banned to residents for fishing and other recreational activities. Furthermore, the town is now struggling to survive as residents continue to abandon the polluted area.

To learn more about Anniston, Alabama and the pollution Monsanto caused, read more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/toxic-secret-07-11-2002/.

Auto Accidents Due to Highway Defects: Arguing Against Government Immunity Challenges

When an auto accident occurs fault is often immediately attributed to the driver, who is usually deemed as careless, distracted, reckless, speeding, or drunk. After all, much more than half of the millions of car accidents recorded annually by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are caused by the factors mentioned.

There are times, however, when all the factors that contributed to an accident have been thoroughly investigated do traffic authorities find out that some accidents are actually due to elements that are beyond a driver’s control. Traffic enforcers work so hard to ensure and maintain safety on all US roads and highways; but what if the actual cause s of dangers are the very roads and highways where millions of motor vehicles are driven every day?

Road defects include simple cracks, improperly designed and constructed curvatures, deep pot holes, and uneven pavements. These defects, as well as the many more others, are usually due to the use of sub-standard materials, and very poor road design, construction, maintenance and repair.

The real major impact of road defects can be seen on the consequences of the accidents that occur due to these. Most Tennessee personal injury lawyers are aware that no matter how careful a driver may be, or how much he/she obeys traffics rules, or regularly inspects and maintains his/her vehicle, an unnoticed defect on the road can cause him/her to lose control of the vehicle and end up suffering from a serious injury, such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain damage, severe orthopedic injuries, or even wrongful death. And each day a defect remains unrepaired, it will continue to pose risk of an accident to thousands of motorists.

Accidents resulting in injuries, however, even if due to a road defect, but so long as the driver can be proven as also having been negligent, can render federal, state, or local government agencies immune from liability: this is based on Federal and State Government Codes. Thus, it is important that where road defect is the major reason why an accident occurred and an injury sustained, a victim should be represented by a lawyer who is knowledgeable and well experienced about lawsuits based on road and highway defects or personal injury.

Resident Managers

Resident managers at storage facilities ensure security and fluid function. Providing a facility with protection comes with benefits and drawbacks, and not all places chose to have a resident manager. Assessment of the pros and cons enables an owner to decide if they want to implement a manager, or rely on other sources to monitor the area.

Pros for resident managers include living on-site, no appliance bills, no commute to work, and overall a low cost of living. While the owner determines the compensation package, these factors are commonalities offered to the resident managers. Owners can also determine the number of hours they will work. Often, the owners will arrange an inclusive package where the manager’s bills are covered. Living quarters are determined by what the facility can offer, and typically makes for ample living space.

On the other hand, cons of being a resident manager are evident as well. Living on site night and day can blur the lines between personal and work time. It can be difficult to “not work” when still at the workplace. It can also be tempting to “not work” when still at the workplace. What happens on a resident manager’s watch is their responsibility, however when not working, it is hard to shed the veil of responsibility.

The job of the resident manager is becoming threatened. Due to developing technology, resident managers are becoming less necessary. Security systems can now perform the same function of the on-site manager. Secondly, some owners are finding it more cost efficient to hire a manager at a daily rate. This saves them from paying resident manager’s bills.

Finding more information about My Austin Storage will lead to the discovery that storage facilities near you have resident managers. If you feel more comfortable having someone present around the clock, choosing a site with a resident manager is a good option.

Robin Williams’ Family Feud Over Estate

“Genie, you’re free”, is the lachrymose tweet from the Academy on the event of Robin Williams’ passing on the 11th of August 2014. The world continues to mourn him and his memory while still holding fond memories of the famed actor – but those closest to Williams, those indubitably most affected by the loss, must now deal with a new kind of complication.

Susan Schneider Williams, the third wife and now widow of the Oscar award winner, has made claims against her co-trustees for unjustly moving personal effects found in Tiburon, California (also the home where the body of the famed actor was found after he hanged himself). She has defended this claim as one born out of fear as this estate, by rights, is one she is entitled to, following the trust that Williams himself set up. This was met with disagreement with the Williams children (Zachary, 33; Zelda, 25; Cody, 22).

The three have responded with a claim of their own, stating that the widow is willfully attempting to “obscure the language” so that more of the estate will go to her and going against the wishes of their recently departed father. Many have claimed that it is preposterous that this grieving family must be subjected to complex legal procedures while barely being able to grieve in privacy and peace – unfortunately, they are not exempt from the law; this includes probate law.

Peck Ritchey, LLC states on its website that cases such as this are complex and are hardly ever straightforward due to the fact that no will and testament is ever the same and there will be differences between the beneficiaries of the will. Legal experts must then be called upon the scene in order to investigate the manner while respectably and responsibly carrying out the just last wishes of the recently departed. It is undoubtedly difficult to deal with for any grieving family but it is an unfortunate truth that people must face – for there is hardly any freedom in death.

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