It is no longer illegal to briefly handle or touch your cellphone while driving your car in Ontario. A provincial court justice has ruled that holding a cellphone requires more than just touching or briefly picking up the device while behind the wheel of your car. This finding overturned a ruling by a Justice of the Peace who had ruled that a Toronto woman was guilty of merely holding her cellular phone while waiting at a red light. The woman had picked the phone up from the floor of the car.
To learn more about this story, click here.
Volvo Cars North America has been fined $1.5 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reported that Volvo failed to make safety recalls in the allotted timeframe of five days six times in 2010. The recalls were due to a number of issues ranging from faulty airbags to potentially defective batteries. The fine will go straight to the U.S. Treasury General Fund.
Find out more about this ruling by clicking here.
Some judges from across the country have received a bit of notoriety for the odd punishments they’ve dished out for individuals receiving a sentence. But as this next story demonstrates, there are certain people out there that think some of these unorthodox methods go a little too far.
In Utah, the mother of a 13 year old girl has filed a complaint with the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission. The mother alleges that she was intimidated by a judge who offered to reduce her daughter’s sentence if the mother elected to cut off her daughter’s ponytail with a pair of scissors. The mother obliged at the time, but is now saying you shouldn’t teach kids that getting even is the right thing course of action and that she only agreed because the judge intimidated her.
The unusual option was offered by the judge given the circumstances of the case that brought the 13 year old girl before the court in the first place. The girl was in court following an incident in which police claimed she and her friend cut the hair of a three year old at a local McDonald’s.
The judge ordered the girl to 276 hours of community service and to spend a month in detention. However, if the mother agreed to cut the accused’s hair as mentioned, then the judge vowed to reduce the number of community service hours by 150. The victim’s mother reportedly supported the alternative punishment.
In its April 30, 2012 edition, The Recorder highlights the top verdicts in California in 2011 and five of those verdicts were obtained by the Los Angeles personal injury law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP – more than any other law firm. Four of the verdicts are included among the top 30 highest California verdicts in 2011.
The five verdicts, totaling $65,396,107 in damages awards, demonstrate Panish Shea & Boyle LLP’s ability to consistently win significant verdicts at trial. The 2011 verdicts include a $17 million jury verdict against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the wrongful death of a visually impaired passenger, a $17.845 million award in a wrongful death case involving four family members killed when a Marine jet crashed into their home, a $14.46 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case involving a couple killed when the tire tread on their van separated resulting in the vehicle rolling over, a $13.96 million jury verdict for a truck driver who was catastrophically injured when a reckless crane operator knocked a 25,000 pound container directly onto the cab of his truck, and a $2.12 million jury verdict in the death of a man who was run over by a Bakersfield City truck while resting in a park.
The 2011 verdicts were in the following cases:
- Yoon v. USA: $17, 845,000 on December 28, 2011 in San Diego, California. The highest wrongful death award against the United States (20th highest verdict).
- Cuthbertson v. LACMTA $17,000,000 on July 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The highest amount ever awarded by a California jury in the death of an adult child. (24th highest verdict)
- Barber v. Mossy Ford $14,465, 864 on January 11, 2011 in San Diego, California. One of the largest wrongful death verdicts in San Diego history. (25th highest verdict)
- Curiel v. SSA Marine $13, 961,981 on May 6, 2011 in Long Beach, California. The highest jury verdict in a Long Beach, California personal injury case. (26th highest verdict)
- Morataya v. City of Bakersfeld $2,123,262 on May 20, 2011 in Bakersfield, California. The highest personal injury jury verdict against the City of Bakersfield. (84th highest verdict)
The Recorder’s is a legal publication that provides attorneys and law firms with news, substantive law, profiles and practical content about the business of law both online and in a weekly publication.
You can view the verdicts here: The Recorder: California’s Million Dollar Verdicts