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Sobriety Checkpoint Bad Luck

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+1 (1 vote)

We received an auto insurance claim for damage to our insured’s car and a damage to a police car. Of course, we also obtained the police report. Our insured was the driver of a car that slammed into a police car! To make matters even worse was the fact that our driver was arrested for a DUI after being found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.5 times the legal limit. Even better yet, was the fact that our insured was going through a DUI checkpoint at the time of the accident. Apparently he had been waived through by the police and had not been stopped to check his sobriety. He had gotten through without being investigated, but his run of “good luck” was ruined when he hit one of the police cars while he was leaving the checkpoint! Ouch!

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Cheap Hole In One Insurance Carrier

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+1 (1 vote)

A charity in West Virginia held a fundraiser golf tournament recently. The fans in the 18th hole grandstands were to receive $100.00 for the first hole-in-one during the tournament, $500.00 for a second hole-in-one and $1,000.00 for a third hole-in-one. Two golfers each made hole-in-ones from 137 yards which would yield the total payout to fans of $192,000.00! The insurance carrier has indicated that they are not responsible for any payouts as the shots were not long enough. The underwriters are stating that they had agreed to a minimum distance of 170 yards. No word yet if there was any notice to the fans that there was this alleged minimum distance stipulation!

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Police Mistook Man for Bank Robber

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+2 (2 votes)

Rodolfo Valladares wore the wrong hat to the wrong Miami bank while trying to cash a $100 check in a case of mistaken identity that’s led to a court battle over $3.3 million.

A bank teller mistook Valladares for a robber in 2008 after seeing a photo of that suspect in the morning. The robber wore a Miami Heat hat, like the one Valladares was wearing, so the teller panicked and hit the silent alarm.

Police rushed in within minutes and ordered everyone on the floor. An officer kicked Valladares in the head before handcuffing him, according to court records. His lawyers say he still suffers blurred vision, headaches and anxiety from the head injury. A jury awarded Valladares $3.3 million, but an appeals court agreed with Bank of America that citizens can’t be held responsible if they report a suspected crime, even if they’re wrong, as long as they do so in good faith.

Now the issue is before the Florida Supreme Court, which can restore the award, order a new trial, or agree with the appeals court and rule that Valladares should get nothing.

Justices repeatedly pointed out that there has to be “something more” to the case than just calling the police and being wrong.

Valladares’ attorney Joel Perwin said the bank was negligent by failing to properly train the teller. He also said the teller was negligent in not calling off police once she realized Valladares, then 46, wasn’t the robber.

The teller had been shown a picture in the morning of a man wearing a Heat hat, but tellers weren’t given the picture to keep by their stations to compare to a potential suspect. She later testified that she figured out her mistake as police arrived, Perwin said.

“They were coming in, she did see the license, she did see the check, she did know at that point that it wasn’t the guy and she didn’t do anything to call it off,” he said.

Randolph Liebler, the lawyer representing Bank of America, said Valladares’ lawyers only sought damages on claims of false imprisonment and battery. While the jury found the bank was negligent alerting police, it didn’t find it responsible for the police actions against Valladares, he said. He wouldn’t comment following the arguments.

Some of the justices seemed to agree the teller made mistakes that go beyond simply confusing Valladares for a bank robber.

“‘Oh, I saw a picture this morning and I’m going to call it in.’ OK, that’s good faith,” said Justice Fred Lewis. “But then you find out that that’s not a robber in your bank, it’s one of one of your customers and you know that before they kick him in the head, that to me cries out for some remedy.”

Justice Barbara Pariente also pointed out Valladares did nothing to raise suspicion, saying the teller acted “recklessly.”

“She relied on some picture she had seen some time back,” Pariente said.

And relying on the hat of a popular local basketball team to identify him was also questionable. Heat gear was a popular item just two years after the team won its first NBA championship.

“It’s kind of like saying that if you have a picture of someone in Tallahassee who’s suspicious wearing an FSU hat that we can call the law on everybody in Tallahassee because that’s all they wear up here,” Lewis said.

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Barbie Eye

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+4 (4 votes)

A woman claimed she injured her eye while swimming from a Barbie doll some girls were playing with in the swimming pool. She said the Barbie’s arm impacted with her eye. Our insured was a condo complex. The manager didn’t believe the woman and so reviewed the video of the pool area. Sure enough, the woman yelled at the noisy kids to move out of her way multiple times. There was a Barbie doll at the pool, but it was always in a girl’s hands while the woman was swimming. The woman didn’t appear to be injured at all when she left the pool area and called the manager. We denied the claim.

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Chicken Bone Law suit is a BIG PAY DAY

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+5 (5 votes)

The claimant is a 59 year old female.   She alleged that she swallowed a 1.2-inch chicken bone while eating a barbecue chicken pizza at a Round Table Pizza in early 2010.

The bone became lodged in her throat, and its sharp sides pierced her esophagus in two places. The injury nearly killed her and required more than a month in the hospital as well as 11 surgeries to repair. She spent months on feeding tubes and liquid diets.

She brought a lawsuit against Foster Poultry Farms, the company that supplies chicken to restaurants, and Pizza Bytes, the franchise that owns the Pizza Table in South San Francisco where she was injured.

In the course of an 11-day jury trial, evidence was presented showing there had been 206 customer complaints about bones in Foster Farms chicken strips between 2005 and 2010. Many of the complaints involved children choking and some involved Round Table pizzas. The jury concluded that Foster Farms was negligent for leaving bone splinters in its chicken tenders.

The jury found Foster Farms 60 percent to blame and Round Table’s franchisee, Pizza Bytes, 40 percent at fault. The claimant was awarded $500,000 to cover her medical bills and $2 MILLION DOLLARS for her pain and suffering. Apparently, Foster Farms, a large poultry producer, had never made an offer to even cover Felicity’s medical expenses!  Now they are hit with a HUGE verdict!

Maybe they can do a structured settlement!

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FOOD TRUCK EXPLOSION CAUSES MAJOR DAMAGE

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+5 (5 votes)

A Food truck exploded in the early evening and the force of the blast shot flames 200 feet into the air. Twelve people were injured. The police believe that explosion was caused by the food truck’s rear left propane tank igniting. Witnesses related that the explosion was so intense it “sent parts of the truck and a propane tank flying across there street, burning a passing car” and started another fire.

The 42-year old mother and 17-year old daughter who were working inside of the truck “were severely burned” and are currently in the hospital in critical condition. Two more victims are listed in stable condition and the eight others injured have been treated and released.

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Foul Ball

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+5 (7 votes)

Claimant contacted the manager of a baseball stadium the day after a game, claiming he was hit in the head by a foul ball. He claimed he had a head injury and couldn’t work. He even produced an emergency room report, substantiating his claim. The manager made an insurance claim. The adjuster asked to see the television footage, which showed Claimant catching a ball. There was no footage of Claimant being hit by the ball. The adjuster took a recorded statement of Claimant and asked what inning he was injured. He said he was injured in the 4th inning and left shortly thereafter to go to the hospital. However, the TV footage showed Claimant catching the ball during the 6th inning. The adjuster denied the claim.

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CALIFORNIA POLICE VIOLATED THE FOURTH AMMENDMENT

VN:R_U [1.9.1_1087]
+7 (7 votes)

A Huntington Beach resident sued the city, the Police Department and an officer, claiming that the officer entered his apartment without a warrant during the investigation of a noise complaint.

The lawsuit alleged that at 2:00 a.m. Aug. 24 two Huntington Beach police officer, while responding to a noise complaint, entered the claimant’s unlocked apartment and began to search the living room. The claimant was awakened by the officers in the home, and his dog began to growl. When the claimant opened his bedroom door, a police officer told him twice to control his dog or the officers would shoot it.

The police told the claimant they were searching his home to find the “source of unlawful music” and were able to enter the apartment to enforce the city’s municipal noise code. The noise ordinance states that police can arrest any person without a warrant when there is reasonable cause to believe a misdemeanor has been committed in their presence. A loud-noise violation is a misdemeanor.

The claimant asked if police had a warrant and the officers responded that they did not. The claimant then asked the officers to leave, which they did, and no arrests were made or citations given.

He filed a lawsuit and demanded $75.000.00 to settle his claim. The city of Huntington Beach declined the settlement offer and went to a full trial.  The jury ruled 11-1 the police officers violated the claimant’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, when they entered his home around 2:00 a.m. in August 2013 while investigating complaints of a loud radio. The jury awarded $28,000 in compensatory damages to the claimant.

However, jurors unanimously found that the officers did not act with malice, fraud or oppression, so the claimant was not awarded punitive damages, But th city of Huntington Beach is also responsible for upward of $350,000 in attorney’s fees.

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