Category: Litigation

The Social Network All Over Again

Pinterest, the social media platform which allows users to create boards on which they can “pin” their favorite online media, has become the subject of a lawsuit leveled against the company and one of its first investors, Brian Cohen. The lawsuit alleges that the concept and technology for Pinterest were not original creations, but rather that Cohen and his business partners stole the idea from another site, RendezVoo, with which Cohen was also connected.

The suit has six total causes of action that it alleges harmed RendezVoo’s founder, Theodore Schroeder, who filed the suit. Overall, Schroeder is seeking an award of more than $75,000 in damages which, in consideration of the considerable success Pinterest has found, seems fairly insignificant in the long run. However, Pinterest’s business attorneys are still planning a defense against the suit, though it’s quite likely that the suit will eventually be settled out of court, much as the strikingly-similar Facebook case eventually was.

Holiday Season Dangers: Dog Bites

Dog BiteDuring the holiday season, visits from friends and family members are a common occurrence. Unfortunately, reports of injuries caused by family pets tend to increase during this time, and in most cases, the injuries could have been avoided.

If a dog owner doesn’t exercise the right safety precautions, they may be unable to stop their dog from attacking another person in the event of an unexpected trigger or uncontrollable provocation. Dogs are supposed to be kept on a leash when in public and, if potentially a danger to others, should be restrained behind a fence. Especially in the case of potentially dangerous breeds, dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pet and may be held legally liable if that pet injuries someone.

A dog bite or attack may leave a person with considerable injuries that may require immediate medical care. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a person may need to go through a significant treatment and recovery process that can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. However, compensation may be available for these injured individuals through a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

Legal Recourse for Dog Bites

Bites and attacks may leave a person with a sizable medical bill to address, as well as other expenses and a lack of income due to time spent away from work recovering. Compensation may be able to address the following financial concerns after a dog bite or attack:

  • Medical treatment expenses, including skin grafts and antibiotics
  • The cost of staying in the hospital while recovering from an attack
  • Long-term care in the event of particularly vicious attacks or falling injuries
  • Emotional damages and psychological therapy
  • Lost wages due to time spend off of work for medical operations and recovery

If an attack is particularly serious and causes life-long disability or disfigurement, a person may be entitled to pursue compensation that will support them for years into the future. While it may be difficult to consider legal recourse following a tragedy like a dog attack, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer. This way, you will not be forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills, lost wages, and other unforeseen expenses following an avoidable accident like a dog bite.

When Dogs Attack!

If you are attacked and hurt by a dog, you have the right to take legal action against the dog’s owner and obtain financial compensation from them for your injuries. If you are attacked, the following are some steps you can take to prepare for legal action per the “one bite rule“.

  • Obtain contact information from the dog owner – Whether or not you are thinking about filing suit, it is a good idea to get the name and phone number of the dog in question’s owner. If you discover that you are suffering from anxiety later on, or have an injury you weren’t initially aware of, you may decide to go ahead and pursue compensation.
  • Obtain contact information from witnesses – If you decide to pursue legal action, it will be necessary for you to call on the testimony of any witnesses that saw the attack. A witness may be able to back you up if the dog’s owner tries to claim you provoked their pet. If you don’t know who the owner is, the witnesses may be able to help you or animal control find out who the owner is.
  • Keep documentation of any related medical attention – If you visit a hospital to treat your injuries, make sure to keep a record of your visits, hospital bills, etc. You’ll need to have that information in order to be compensated if you win your case.
  • Report the attack to animal control – If the dog poses a danger to others, it is important to have animal control identify who the owner is and possibly quarantine the dog temporarily. A lot of cities have laws for dog attacks which require owners to have their dog observed by animal control for seven to twenty days to determine if it is rabid.

If you have been attacked by a dog, in addition to these steps, you should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer and begin discussing which course of action is best for you.

Mobile Technology and Client Portals

For attorneys, communication is a crucial part of success.  Computer services targeting lawyers are not a new concept, but there have been many recent changes to the way that attorneys can use applications, such as cloud storage systems, to better their client relationships.  Advances in mobile technology have allowed people to make the most of these services via mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads, allowing both attorneys and clients to access critical information from anywhere with the simple touch of a screen.

Client portals are unique online storage spaces that give attorneys and their clients access to case-relevant documents from any device with an internet connection.  These secure portals can be used to:

  • Share documents
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Answer questions
  • Pay bills
  • Set reminders
  • Request client feedback

By utilizing client portals, law firms have been able to keep clients up-to-date in real time and include them in important discussions.  While this can make cases easier, it also may help to increase client loyalty by helping them feel connected to what’s happening in their case.  Hopefully , this will allow smaller firms that make the most of client portals to better compete with larger firms and improve their ratings in order to grow their business.

Many personal injury law firms have been able to make the most of technological advances in their practice without encountering problems pertaining to security. However, it is important to ensure that the portal service selected has proper security protections in place to safeguard the sensitive information stored in the cloud system.

Farmville Isn’t Hacking

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently released a decision announcing that employees cannot be subject to criminal sanctions under a federal anti-hacking law simply for violating a website’s terms of use or an organization’s computer use policies. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 was ideally passed to help employers and government agencies prosecute those who steal data from their networks, but lawyers for the Department of Justice argued that the Act could also be used to prosecute those who engage in less clearly criminal conduct, such as abusing computer use policies.

In a blow to the government’s case, the Circuit Court ruled that this use of the law was far too broad. Noting that it could encompass employees who engage in activities such as playing the Facebook game Farmville at work or posting incorrect information about themselves on dating websites, the Court determined that too many unsuspecting individuals may be subjected to legal proceedings for their activities.

Apple vs. Samsung Decision

Nerd Law recently discussed the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit that was ongoing for several weeks.  Now, we have the results.  Late last Friday night, a jury voted in favor of Apple and awarded the company $1,049,343,540 in damages.  Samsung was not awarded any financial compensation by the jury at this time.

The complex case centered mostly around whether or not Samsung products infringed on Apple patents and vice versa.  The lawsuit included the consideration of over 30 different devices, 12 patents, and the jury was asked to make over 700 decisions about the case in order to come to a decision about the infringement issues.

Samsung is expected to appeal this decision, so the case is far from over.  Apple is now engaging in a legal battle with HTC over similar concerns, and it will be interesting to see how this verdict will affect future patent infringement cases.

Apple vs. Samsung

Tech powerhouses Apple and Samsung are facing off in court in order to determine possible patent breaches between their phone and tablet products.  Apple began the legal battle in 2011 when they filed a lawsuit against Samsung for copying the iPhone and iPad models.  Samsung retaliated with a counter-suit and in turn, Apple pushed for similar patent cases in other countries.

But fortunately, a verdict has been reached!  United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh determined that sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be postponed until Samsung can prove innocent in the lawsuit.  Should the infringement claims be found invalid, Apple has agreed to compensate Samsung’s potential losses up to $2.6 million.

The decision will undoubtedly be appealed by Samsung, so possible changes to the ruling could go into effect in upcoming weeks.  Cases like this can be complicated and often requires the on-going dedication of legal teams, so it may be a while before we hear a final decision regarding the appeals process.

Dangerous Nerd Toys!!?

Millions of wonderfully nerdy products reach consumer shelves annually in the United States.  With so many products available for purchase, it’s critical that electronics manufacturers ensure that these products are safe to buy and use.  Unfortunately, sometimes the importance of safe product release escapes manufacturers, and consumers are injured or become ill from dangerous products.  When this happens, a manufacturer may be held legally responsible for any injuries or illnesses that their products lead to, and may have to pay out compensation to victims.

Any products have the potential to be dangerous, if they are not handled, packaged, or distributed correctly, but some products are implicated in product liability cases more often than others.  Some of the industries that tend to be involved in more product liability lawsuits include:

  • Child care and toy industries
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Packaging industries
  • Tool and machinery industries

These industries are used by millions of Americans, and it’s critical that their products are not dangerous for consumer purchase and use.  Unfortunately, sometimes their products are released with some kind of defect or flaw, which increase the chances of an unsuspecting consumer to be injured.  Fortunately, a victim of an unsafe product may have the legal ability to hold a manufacturer financially responsible for an unsafe product. If you’re interested, this Urbana personal injury lawyer recently made some good recommendations about the defective products.  In case you’re wondering, Urbana is somewhere in Illinois.

A Quick Recap On New Jersey Personal Injury Law

Motorcycle Accident LawThroughout the course of any person’s daily routine, they are likely to engage in at least a few activities which have the potential to place their health and personal well-being at considerable risk. One of the most basic activities that many of us engage in on a daily basis, motor vehicle transportation, is also easily one of the riskiest. Because of the considerable force that a moving car, motorcycle, or other type of motor vehicle carries, a crash involving an automobile is often an extremely dangerous situation.

In 2010, the latest year for which data are available, 556 fatalities occurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents in the state of New Jersey. Of these, 71 occurred as a result of an accident involving a motorcycle. Motorcycle accidents may be particularly dangerous, as riders have significantly fewer safety features available to help protect them from injury.

There are many reasons why motorcycle accidents occur in New Jersey, but one problem which has begun to pose an increasingly significant threat is the rise of distracted driving caused by cell phone use. In 2011, 3244 accidents were caused by drivers who were distracted because of calling or texting on their phones. However, law enforcement agencies have increasingly begun to target drivers who use their cell phones, which is a crime in the state of New Jersey. Recently, in fact, a teenaged driver was convicted of motor vehicle homicide for the death of the driver of a vehicle which he crashed into because he had been texting on his phone, the first case of its kind in the nation.

Most car accidents involving cell phone use don’t result in fatalities, but they can still leave those involved in the accident badly hurt, sometimes requiring medical intervention for their injuries. This can be quite costly, particularly if the individual has insufficient or no insurance. Fortunately, personal injury law allows individuals who have been hurt by the reckless or negligent actions of others (a category under which driving while using a cell phone falls under) to pursue compensation for their damages.

Leading Causes of Death in New Jersey

As much as automobile accidents can pose a threat to the health and safety of New Jersey citizens, it remains a minor cause of mortality in the state. The leading causes of death in the state of New Jersey, in fact, are mostly medical in nature, and include the following:

  • Ÿ  Heart Disease
  • Ÿ  Cancer
  • Ÿ  Stroke
  • Ÿ  Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
  • Ÿ  Unintentional Injury

With many of these medical issues, particularly heart disease and cancer, early detection of possible warning signs is critical to improving a patient’s prognosis. Unfortunately, in some cases, a doctor may fail to register appropriate concern about certain risk factors, which can make a patient more likely to suffer the adverse effects of an illness later on.

As is the case with negligent drivers who cause injuries to others, doctors who fail to exercise the caution and professionalism expected of their position may be held liable for the damages they case to their patients through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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Cure or Killer?

The most potent threat that many of us face on a daily basis is nothing more than a scrape or an illness that we pick up from someone around us.  Although, there are an array of vaccines and medicines available to help those who do get sick or injured, one of the most popular drugs on the market has, frighteningly, recently been linked to serious heart conditions.

Zithromax, commonly called Z-Pak, is an antibiotic used to help fight a variety of bacterial infections, but a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine has linked this drug to cardiac complications.

It’s almost certain that a great number of current and former users will need the services of a Z-Pak lawyer soon, as it seems class action litigation is all but guaranteed.  The complications listed at this point include cardiac death and irregular heartbeats that require emergency treatment.  At this point, Z-Pak is still available with a prescription to those who need it, but you might think twice about taking this medicine if you have a history of heart problems.