Monthly Archives: January 2014

Little League Baseball Coach Sues 14 Year Old Player on his Own Team For Throwing Helmet

A California Little League baseball coach Alan Beck has sued a 14-year-old he was coaching as well as the child’s parents, alleging that after getting the game-winning hit the boy tossed off his helmet as he was running toward home plate which allegedly struck Beck’s Achilles tendon and tore it.

The complaint asks for $500,000 in pain and suffering and $100,000 in lost wages and medical bills and also named the boy’s parents who have reportedly already spent $4,000 defending the action.  The case has no merit and is frankly, suspicious.

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Civil Liability for Allowing a Friend to Drive Drunk?

Two 17-year-old boys were arrested in Glastonbury, CT last month and charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree on the ground that they knew their friend Jane Modlesky, also 17, was too drunk to drive when she got behind the wheel of an SUV in July before crashing into a tree and dying.

Modlesky had left a party where alcohol was being served to over 100 minors with four 17 year old boys. Although the SUV belonged to the parents of one of Modlesky’s friends, the car was initially not being driven by Modlesky.  One of the boys dropped himself and a passenger off before handing the keys to the third boy who drove to his own house, where the two accused boys got out and handed the keys to Modlesky.  They apparently did so without having the opportunity to see her drive.  One wonders if there had been a prior consensus that she was not capable of driving the vehicle despite it having been entrusted to her by the parents of one of her friends.  She was killed only a half-a-mile away.  Her blood alcohol level was more than 13 times the legal limit.

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Court Of Appeals Changes Standard For Collateral Estoppel

On December 10, 2013 the Court of Appeals, in a stunning unanimous decision, reversed its own ten-month old determination, that an individual found able to return to work by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB), was precluded from re-litigating the issue in a subsequent civil suit.

The plaintiff in Auqui, Jose Verdugo, was injured on December 24, 2003 when a sheet of plywood fell from a building and struck him, causing head, neck, and back injuries. At a full WCB hearing, in which both sides were permitted to introduce expert medical testimony subject to cross examination, the administrative law judge found that Verdugo wasno longer disabled as of January 24, 2006.  On review, the Worker’s Compensation Board panel affirmed the finding.  Meanwhile, Verdugo’s wife, acting as her husband’s guardian, brought a lawsuit against the owner of the premises[1]. The owner moved to preclude the plaintiff from “re-litigating” the date his disability ended based on the WCB determination, which the Supreme Court granted and which the Appellate Division reversed but granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which initially reversed, finding preclusion in favor of the owner.

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