The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has more than doubled since 2013, federal and state data show. These trends coincide with the legalization of recreational marijuana in that state that began with adult use in late 2012, followed by sales in 2014. Coroners in the Denver area have been finding increasingly potent levels of marijuana in positive-testing drivers who die in crashes. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law and one that was at 22 times the limit. These levels were not as elevated in the years prior to Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. In response, police, victims’ families, and safety advocates say the numbers of drivers testing positive for marijuana use are rising too quickly to ignore and highlight the potential dangers of mixing marijuana with driving. “We went from zero to 100, and we’ve been chasing it ever since,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said of the state’s implementation of legalized marijuana. “Nobody understands it and people are dying. That’s a huge public safety problem.”

The 2013-2016 period saw a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado, from 627 to 880, according to the NHTSA data. Those who tested positive for alcohol in fatal crashes from 2013 to 2015 – figures for 2016 were not available – grew 17 percent, from 129 to 151.The 2013-16 period saw a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado, from 627 to 880, according to the NHTSA data. Those who tested positive for alcohol in fatal crashes from 2013 to 2015 – figures for 2016 were not available – grew 17 percent, from 129 to 151.

While recreational marijuana is not legal in Georgia, medical marijuana is, and there is evidence that the state is not immune from the negative effects of the drug that Colorado has faced. In fact, police estimate that the number of people being arrested for driving while high on drugs is up 20 percent in Georgia in the past five years. Despite this, Governor Nathan Deal signed a measure into law earlier this year that expands the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana to include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome. Although marijuana provides numerous medical benefits to patients suffering from a variety of conditions, it is still a mind-altering substance, and eligible patients should not drive while using it. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is treated as a DUI, and anyone doing so will face the normal consequences that DUIs entail, including criminal prosecution and civil personal injury and wrongful death suits.

A Texas woman has sued Victoria’s Secret in federal court, alleging that she suffered third-degree burns after one of its hoodies touched a stovetop burner and burst into flames. Samantha Burke says in her lawsuit that, on November 21, 2016, she was heating up some soup on her gas stove while wearing a hoodie from the company’s PINK apparel line. While moving the soup from the burner to the countertop, she states that she smelled something burning and realized that the drawstring on her Victoria’s Secret PINK hoodie had caught fire. As she set the soup on her kitchen counter, she saw flames on the right side of her body. Hearing her scream, Burke’s husband yelled at her to drop to the floor and roll. She did so, but the flames did not go out immediately. Instead, she and her husband put the fire out with their bare hands.

Doctors who treated Burke after the accident diagnosed her with third-degree burns and put skin grafts on them before placing her in an airplane splint, a device that fixes the patient’s arm at shoulder level to aid in the healing process. Burke states that she spent several weeks in the splint, which forced her into a posture that made her body ache, and pain medication provided her little relief. Even sleep provided no relief, she claims, as she had recurring nightmares of being trapped in a fire in her home. The problems persisted even after she thought she had improved enough to return to work. Burke claims that, while she was giving a presentation in a light sweater at work one day, the seater irritated her skin so badly that her skin began to bleed. Alarmed by this development, she returned to her doctor, who informed her that her burns had reached “maximum improvement,” meaning that she will be stuck with scarred skin that cannot be exposed to heat or sunlight for the rest of her life.

In her complaint, Burke is claiming damages based on theories of products liability, gross negligence, negligent design, and failure to warn. She also wants Victoria’s Secret to pay her hospital bills. This is not the first time that Victoria’s Secret has found itself in legal trouble over flaming garments. The company has been sued 19 times since 2004, including four class actions, by women alleging products liability and claiming they were either burned when a candle caught their lingerie on fire, they suffered allergic reactions to lingerie, or bras injured them and left scars.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia are pressuring the Trump administration to protect nursing home residents’ right to take nursing facilities to court over alleged abuse, neglect, and sexual assault. Attorneys general for the District of Columbia, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington have sent comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opposing its proposal to reverse an Obama-era rule that banned nursing homes from putting language in resident contracts that require disputes to be settled by a third-party arbiter rather than a court. The attorneys argue that these types of clauses, known as pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements, can be procedurally unfair to consumers and can jeopardize the fundamental right of Americans to be heard and seek judicial redress for their climax.

When the rule giving residents the right to sue was first promulgated under the Obama administration, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and a group of nursing homes sued CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that the rule violated the Federal Arbitration Act and that the agencies had overstepped their statutory authority in issuing the law. The AHCA said Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation to invalidate arbitration agreements. Under its proposed revisions, CMS said nursing homes would be required to write the arbitration agreements in plain language and explain the agreement to the prospective resident or his or her representative. Residents would also be required to acknowledge they understand the agreement. In November of 2016, a federal judge in Mississippi issued an order temporarily blocking the new rule from taking effect, handing a victory to its opponents. After this ruling, CMS said that it would reconsider the rule.

However, consumer groups and state attorneys general are fighting on. In their comment, the attorneys general stated that they do not oppose mutually agreed upon arbitration agreements that are reached to resolve a dispute at the time the dispute arises. Rather, they oppose the imposition of such requirements on families who, under pressure, seek to admit a loved one into a long-term care facility and may not be in a position to object to the inclusion of such clauses in admission papers. “These kinds of clauses are unfair to seniors and their families and limit…residents’ basic right of access to justice,” the attorney general for the District of Columbia said in a statement. “We are urging the Trump administration not to force vulnerable residents to sign away their own rights to gain the care they need.”

Over the past month, the topic of sexual assault has received heavy media attention after it was revealed that a major Hollywood producer had allegedly been sexually assaulting actresses for many years. After this initial revelation, the floodgates of sexual assault allegations seemed to have been opened, with accusations being leveled against other Hollywood celebrities, business executives, and even a former president. These types of incidents are normally handled through the criminal law system, but there are several avenues in which the victims of sexual assault can also recover through civil actions.

Below, we’ll take a look at the differences between criminal and civil actions for sexual assault and then examine a few types of civil actions that are available to victims.

Difference Between Criminal and Civil Actions for Sexual Assault

Paige Gasper, a 21-year-old student at Sonoma State University in California, has filed the first of what is likely to be many lawsuits relating to the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1. The shooting, carried out by Stephen Paddock, left 58 people dead and 500 more wounded in the worst mass shooting event in United States History. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Clark County District Court, named several defendants, including Mandalay Bay and its owner, MGM Resorts; Live Nation, the concert promoter; and the maker of “bump stocks,” the device Paddock used to make his guns mimic automatic weapons. Since Gasper’s lawsuit, there have been at least two more filings in the same court over the shooting: a class-action claim by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence against the manufacturer and sellers of bump stocks in Nevada, and a petition asking the court to take control of Paddock’s estate.

Gasper was with a group of friends the night of the shooting when she was shot in her right underarm. After she was trampled by others trying to escape, another concert attendee took her to a truck that raced her and a group of other people who had been shot to a hospital. She was the only passenger who survived. After being treated for fractured ribs and a lacerated liver in an intensive care unit, Gasper returned to her family in California, where she is still recovering. Her lawsuit claims that MGM Resorts “breached their duty of reasonable care” and failed to keep the hotel “in a reasonably safe condition” because it did not monitor people coming into the hotel and did not respond quickly enough to Jesus Campos, a security officer whom Paddock shot and wounded about six minutes before he began firing on the concert crowd. It also claims that MGM, which also owns the concert venue, and Live Nation did not design, build, or mark adequate emergency exits and failed to “properly train and supervise employees in an appropriate plan of action in case of an emergency.”

Although the victims’ need and the public’s demand for justice, in this case, are high, the plaintiffs in these types of cases face an unfortunately high bar to recovery. Lawsuits after mass shootings have largely struggled, due to a federal law that shields gun manufacturers and sellers from civil claims brought by victims of gun violence. Congress passed the law, known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, after significant lobbying from the National Rifle Association in 2005. While liability against MGM and Live Nation will be fairly easy to establish, a decision placing liability on gun manufacturers would be “unprecedented,” according to Timothy D. Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University. “No plaintiff has ever obtained an unreversed jury verdict in a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer for an injury arising out of the criminal use of a weapon,” Lytton said. “The argument,” he added, referring to the justification of the 2005 law, “is that the industry’s not responsible for gun violence — criminals are responsible.”

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson has told a congressional panel that before parents sign their children up to play football, they should be informed that the sport can cause long-term neurological damage, even to players who do not have obvious concussion symptoms. Carson, other former NFL players, and brain injury researchers spoke at an October 13th forum organized by House Democrats to explore what, if anything, Congress can do to make the nation’s most popular spectator sport safer for its players.

The congressional forum is the latest in a string of high-profile inquiries into the physical effects that football can have on its players. The largest study of this kind was published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers from Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System. Researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players at all levels and found that nearly 88 percent of the brains, 177, showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The study’s most concerning finding was that three of 14 who had played only high school football had CTE, as did 48 of 53 college players. This study indicates that the effects of CTE on football players are being felt far beyond the professional realm, and at all levels of play.

Carson, who is a former linebacker who made nine Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl in his 13-year career with the New York Giants, now devotes much of his time to raising awareness of head trauma and said that he will not allow his eight-year-old grandson to play football. “Every parent should be informed. They should be informed as to what risks they are subjecting their kids to,” said Carson, who was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome in 1990. “Understand that your child could be subject to a neurological injury that could affect them for the rest of their lives.”

When a person is injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the injured person has an obligation to take reasonable steps to minimize the effects of their injuries. This is known as the “plaintiff’s duty to mitigate damages.” This rule denies a personal injury plaintiff the right to recover any part of his or her damages which the court or a jury finds could reasonably have been avoided. A personal injury plaintiff’s obligation is to act in a way that an ordinary, reasonable person would have in a similar situation. Further, an injured person must act in good faith and with due diligence in the exercise of ordinary care and reasonable judgment when selecting a doctor or treatment for his or her injuries and in seeking alternative employment. A defendant in a personal injury suit will often attempt to reduce the number of damages that the plaintiff can recover by showing that the plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to reduce his or her loss following the injury.

Below are four of the most common ways that personal injury plaintiffs can inadvertently sabotage their damages awards.

  1. Choosing Not to Have Surgery

Before we get into the specifics of how to give a deposition, it might be helpful to explain what a deposition is. During the pre-trial stage of the litigation, each side must go through a process called “discovery” to learn facts and gather evidence that will deter define their strategies and avoid delays once the trial begins. Depositions are a part of the discovery process. At a deposition, the opposing side’s attorneys will ask the witness, or deponent, a series of questions about facts and events related to the lawsuit, and the entire deposition will be recorded word-for-word by a court reporter. The reporter is present throughout the session and will produce a transcript at a later time. All parties to a case may attend a deposition, including the deponent’s attorneys. The attorneys for the deponent may make objections to some of the questions being asked by the opposing counsel, but, generally, the deponent is obligated to answer all questions.

A deposition could be as short as an hour or as long as a week or more and, depending on the facts of the case, can be quite stressful for the deponent. As such, it is important that the deponent and his or her lawyer prepare adequately before a deposition. Below, we’ll share a few tips that will help your deposition go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Always tell the truth: This is the most important element to any deposition. Lying in a deposition constitutes perjury, which is a felony. It can also damage your case if the truth comes out later at trial.

Millions of people go out for dinner or a beer every day without incurring an injury from the food they are consuming. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you put your trust in the hands of the bartender or chef on duty. One thing that you would not expect is to leave with an injury derived from ingesting a dangerous chemical. A man whose esophagus and stomach were severely burned when he drank a beer tainted by a caustic chemical at an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino restaurant has been awarded $750,000 by a jury. The jury awarded the man, Richard Washart, $650,000 for pain and suffering and $100,000 for emotional distress caused by the accident, according to his attorney Paul D’Amato. The incident occurred at McCormick & Schmick’s, a popular chain of seafood restaurants, inside Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City.The chemical in question was a caustic agent that the restaurant used to clean its beer tap lines.

Washart, who is a former Ocean City, New Jersey police lieutenant, said he took a sip of the beer he had been served and noted that he immediately felt a burning pain in his mouth, throat, and stomach. After this, he went to the bathroom, where he experienced the first of six rounds of projectile vomiting. He tried to drink water from a faucet but was unable to do so because of the pain in his mouth and throat. A short time later, he began vomiting blood and was taken to a hospital. A doctor informed him that he had never seen a patient survive with such severe burns to their esophagus and stomach.

McCormick & Schmick’s shifted the blame for the incident to the company it uses to clean its beer lines, Kramer Beverage Co., which denied being at the restaurant when Washart drank the beer. Washart’s attorney also faulted Kramer Beverage, noting that the company doesn’t follow industry recommendations to use pH testing strips that cost 15 cents each to check beer after lines have been cleaned. But he also said the restaurant violated New Jersey’s Adulterated Food Act by serving a tainted brew.

A startling number of people are affected by drunk drivers, and in some cases, are able to collect significant damages for their injuries. A West Virginia jury has awarded more than $1.5 million to a woman who suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of a drunk driving accident that occurred in December of 2014. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a young woman against the drunk driver and the Beallsville, West Virginia American Legion. The young woman, who was 21 at the time of the accident, alleged the drunk driver was a patron of the bar and that the bar continued to serve her alcohol after she became visibly intoxicated. The victim was traveling home after dropping off a friend from a day of Christmas shopping when she was involved in a head-on collision with the drunk driver.

The black box recovered from the drunk driver’s vehicle showed that she was traveling 70 miles per hour when her vehicle went over the center line of the highway and hit the victim head-on. The drunk driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level was found to be more than two times the legal limit at the time of the crash. The victim was life-flighted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, with bleeding on the brain, a ruptured spleen, lacerated liver, broken arm, dislocated elbow, fractured femur, and other serious injuries. She still suffers from long-term physical and non-physical health problems and significant scarring as a result of the crash. She will require medical treatment for the rest of her life.

The victim’s attorney stated that “the people of Monroe County delivered a strong message to drunk drivers and the business who [sic] serve visibly intoxicated patron; it’s not okay, and you will be held accountable.” Similar to many states, including Georgia, West Virginia has a dram shop law that holds businesses accountable for serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron. These types of laws also hold businesses responsible for serving anyone under the age of 21 who is involved in a drunk driving crash. Georgia’s dram shop law imposes liability on any person who:

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