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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What should I do if I have been injured by another party but I can’t afford a lawyer?”

 

A group of some 40 students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington claim that a professor’s posts on his blog and personal web pages constitute harassment.

Freedom of speech Charlotte Civil Lawyer North Carolina Injury AttorneyThe students claim the professor—criminology and sociology professor Mike Adams—has crossed the line and want something done about it.

According to Slate.com, Adams is a regular contributor to the conservative web site TownHall and has published books including Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts “Womyn” on Campus and Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel.

Adams made headlines in 2010 when he sued UNCW, alleging that his application for promotion to full professor was denied because of outspokenness on conservative causes.

In his lawsuit, Adams alleged that his engagement with the community—his speech—was “a substantial or motivating factor” in the University’s decision not to promote him. That, Adams alleged, violated his right to free speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The courts agreed. In 2011, the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals ruled that Adams’ blogs and statements on web pages and elsewhere were protected by the First Amendment. Punishing him for exercising his right to free speech, the court ruled, violated the First Amendment. “No individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment.”

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, hailed the Adams decision as a bulwark against recent efforts by colleges and universities in the United States to censor and limit the speech of students and faculty alike.

Adams was awarded $50,000 in back pay by the university in 2014; the university paid his lawyers $615,000.

The trouble did not end for Adams, however. On his web pages, the professor characterized pro-abortion protestors on UNC-Wilmington’s campus as “animals” who should be caged, according to the Daily Caller.

That offended Hannah Gilles, a member of the Feminist Student Alliance and one of the 40-or-so students who spoke out against Adams. “We were really insulted by being called animals,” Gilles told WWAY.

A spokeswoman for the university said that Adams’s speech was protected by the First Amendment, but student Mikaela Flemming wondered where free speech ends and harassment begins. “Does that mean we have to wait until there is a direct threat?” she asked WWAY.

Quoting Lukianoff, Rebecca Schuman wrote nearly a year ago in Slate that “We must learn to take a deep breath when we hear speech that deeply offends us and remember the principles at stake.” Schuman wrote that she disagreed with Adams’ stances on issues but was glad he won his free-speech case.

Writing for the Daily Caller, Eric Owens found it ironic that UNC-Wilmington students protested against Adams but appeared to be okay with the poetry of English professor Allesandro Porco, who wrote an entire book of poems devoted to “the anal queen” of pornography.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/22/feminists-go-after-conservative-professor-ignore-professor-who-writes-gang-bang-poetry/

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2014/05/mike_adams_unc_wilmington_conservative_professor_wins_academic_freedom_lawsuit.html

http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/News/PRDetail/3901

https://www.thefire.org/author/greglukianoff/

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_Washington_freedom_of_speech_quote.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Many people who are injured as a result of the negligent or intentional conduct of a third party wonder if the law provides any remedy for their loss or injury.

Dont be a bully Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Wrongful death attorneyIn general, if the question is, Can I sue? The answer is Yes. On the flipside, can a person or business sue you? Again, the answer is Yes.

A person or business can sue for just about anything. Whether a lawsuit sets forth a cognizable cause of action is another matter. If a lawsuit fails to set forth a cognizable cause of action, it is subject to being dismissed by a court long before a jury can ever delve into the issues in a case.

So what is a cognizable cause of action? Cognizable means “recognized.” Do the courts recognize the cause of action you are bringing or which has been brought against you? Answering that requires an understanding of what, exactly, a “cause of action” is.

A cause of action is, generally, the facts and law that underlie a person’s or business’s claims in a court of law. If the person making the claims—the claimant—lacks the requisite facts or law to support a claim, the claim is subject to dismissal by the court.

Of course, most claimants are familiar with the facts of a case; even if a claimant was rendered unconscious, in most cases a witness or witnesses can testify to what occurred.

In addition to the requisite facts, however, it is necessary in most personal injury cases to have an understanding of the types of causes of action available to claimants. The most common type of personal injury claim is a “negligence” claim. A common fact pattern is as follows: Driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care; Driver breached that duty by running a red light; Driver struck pedestrian, who was walking in the crosswalk; pedestrian was injured as a result of Driver’s negligence.

In order to survive dismissal, the pedestrian must demonstrate that the Driver had a duty, breached the duty, and as a result of the breach caused injury to the pedestrian. Failure to allege these facts can result in dismissal of the pedestrian’s case.

Negligence actions arise out of the common law—a set of legal traditions dating back to British Common Law. Most lawyers learn the basics of common-law causes of action in law school and hone their pleading and litigation skills in practice and by learning from their peers and elders.

Sometimes states create new causes of action by passing a statute—or law—that gives people the right to sue for an injury. Other times—as in the case of a new anti-bullying statute passed in California—written laws contain language that does not make it clear as to whether a person affected by the law can bring a cause of action in a court of law.

California has acted to end bullying in the workplace by mandating anti-bullying training and education of employers and supervisors. The law is ambiguous as to whether a failure to provide such training and education would give rise to a lawsuit brought by an employee who alleges workplace bullying.

This is where lawyers move the law forward. A lawsuit will likely be brought on behalf of a bullied employee. A court will decide whether the new law provides a cause of action, an appeal will be made, and then an appellate court will decide whether the new law provides a cause of action.

If the legislature does not like the result, it will change the law to either eliminate the cause of action or to explicitly provide it.

The bottom line is, Can you sue? Yes. Will your lawsuit survive? Give me a call, and we will figure that our together.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/californias-anti-bullying-statute-wha-13293/

 

 

Image Credit

“Dont Bullying” by Alejandrasotomange – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dont_Bullying.jpg#/media/File:Dont_Bullying.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Allison Kinsman was an 18-year-old freshman at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on the night in December 2012 on which she says she ran into a man at a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

Football team Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyIn a documentary film titled The Hunting Ground, Klinsman alleged that the man “creepily” followed her around throughout the night after meeting her, and only stopped when another man—a friend of Klinsman’s—pretended to be her boyfriend.

Klinsman alleges that the man bought her a shot. After consuming the shot, Klinsman says she began to feel dizzy and vaguely recalls riding in a taxi to an apartment. When she awoke again, she claims, a man was raping her. She asked the man to stop, but he ignored her. She claims that the man’s roommate also implored him to stop, but the man ignored him and instead moved Klinsman to a bathroom, where he raped her again. Afterwards, Klinsman says, the man drove her on his scooter to a location she recognized and let her go.

Klinsman reported the incident to police the following day, according to the New York Times, but could not identify her attacker nor identify where he lived. A month later, however, Klinsman recognized the man in a class and heard a professor call his name.

The man, she said, was Jameis Winston—Florida State’s all-star quarterback who led the Seminoles to a National Championship in 2014 and who is expected to be the first pick in this year’s National Football League draft.

After Winston was identified, police investigated the incident further. Prosecutors interviewed Klinsman, and ESPN reported that DNA in her underwear matched Winston’s. Winston’s attorney said that the two had consensual sex. Ultimately the State of Florida declined to charge Winston with a crime, and Klinsman withdrew from the university. Winston was cleared of violating any university policies after a two-day student-conduct hearing in 2014.

Now Klinsman has brought a civil lawsuit against Winston, alleging that he raped, assaulted and falsely imprisoned her and inflicted emotional distress upon her.

Legal experts told the Daily Mail that Klinsman’s civil action against Winston was subject to a lower burden of proof than the State of Florida’s countenanced criminal action. Former federal prosecutor David S. Weinstein said Klinsman merely has to tip the scales in her favor on her claims, instead of proving Winston’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—the standard in criminal cases.

Klinsman has said she hopes the lawsuit will encourage other victims of rape and sexual assault to come forward.

Winston has denied any wrongdoing.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3042800/Woman-accused-Winston-rape-files-lawsuit-against-him.html

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10082441/jameis-winston-not-charged-sexual-assault-investigation

 

 

Image Credit

“FSU offense 2014 ACC Championship Game” by Thomson200 – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FSU_offense_2014_ACC_Championship_Game.jpg#/media/File:FSU_offense_2014_ACC_Championship_Game.jpg

 

 

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What should I do if I have been injured by another party but I can’t afford a lawyer?”

 

Humayun Akhtar purchased a parcel of real property in Florham Park, New Jersey where he planned to build a dream home for him and his wife. The dream home turned into a nightmare for Akhtar after a plumber discovered cracks in the structure’s foundation. Eight years after the home’s construction, Akhtar and his wife have yet to live a single night in it.

Structure Damage Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Construction AttorneyAkhtar purchased the parcel and planned a 4,400-square-foot home at a cost of $1.6 million. The former scientist contracted with a builder and construction agent to erect the dwelling.

After defects were discovered in the home’s construction, Akhtar sued the developer, the construction agent and the engineer who signed off on retaining walls erected by the developer that were supposed to support the home on its steeply sloping eastern side.

According to an opinion in Akhtar’s case against the engineer who drafted the grading plan for the lot, the grading plan called for two retaining walls on the home’s eastern side, but JDN Properties—the home’s builder—deviated from the plan by constructing “a much longer, higher wall along the property’s eastern side.” JDN had to secure a letter from the engineer that the wall had been built according to manufacturer specifications, since the deviation was made without municipal approval.

The engineer provided the letter. That, Akhtar alleged, breached the applicable standard of care because the engineer “issued the letter without investigating how the wall was built.” Akhtar’s malpractice case against the engineer is still pending.

In his lawsuit against JDN Properties and its construction agent, Akhtar alleged that the builder defrauded him “by cutting corners on soil beneath the foundation that wasn’t strong enough to bear the house.” In 2011, Akhtar secured a judgment against JDN and its construction agent, Randy DeLuca. At the time, Superior Court Judge W. Hunt Dumont wrote that the developer and construction agent had engaged in “unconscionable commercial practices” that damaged Akhtar.

After a hearing in the case, Judge Dumont concluded that the Akhtars had carried their burden of proof by demonstrating that concrete footings that were supposed to be spaced by three feet were instead spaced at eighteen inches. In addition, the judge found, soil conditions were insufficient to support the weight of the home, causing it to—in effect—begin to slowly slide down a hill on its eastern flank.

Judge Dumont awarded the Akhtars for $7.4 million, but JDN appealed, arguing that Akhtar had refused to allow the company to repair the problems before they worsened.

Akhtar responded to the appeal, arguing that he did not trust the builder to competently repair the foundation damage that had resulted from its shoddy work.

Akhtar contends that he spent his life savings on the house. His attorney, David Stanziale, told ABC News that the property is now going through foreclosure.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3014043/Man-sues-builder-1-6million-dream-home-begins-crumble-sink-foundations-immediately-s-built.html

http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202718968984/Akhtar-v-JDN-Properties-at-Florham-Park-LLC?slreturn=20150227143000

http://njrereport.com/index.php/2011/01/16/builder-screws-buyer-buyer-gets-7m-in-court/

 

 

Image Credit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Willowbank_crack_2.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What if a loved one dies from the injuries sustained in a serious accident while the case is pending?”

 

A family whose eleven-year-old son passed away last year after eating a chocolate-chip cookie from a Publix Super Market in Clarksville, Tennessee is suing the grocery chain seeking unspecified damages, according to the Daily Mail.

Cookie on table Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyThe boy—Derek Landon Wood—was allergic to tree nuts. His mother only bought the cookie after a Publix bakery worker assured her that it was safe to eat, according to the lawsuit. Wood’s family argues in legal pleadings that the bakery should have posted “warnings about ingredients or possible cross-contamination,” the Daily Mail reports.

After Wood ate the cookie, he went into anaphylactic shock and later died.

In the lawsuit, the Wood family alleges that Publix violated the Food Allergen Labelling and Consumer Protection Act by failing to identify potential allergens in baked goods. A spokeswoman for Publix could not comment on the lawsuit but said the grocery chain was “very sorry about the loss of this young man,” according to the Birmingham News.

While rare, the numbers of food-allergy deaths and food-allergy-related lawsuits have spiked in recent years. In a 2013 study, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that food allergies in children increased by fifty-percent between 1997 and 2011. “Hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade,” according to Food Allergy Research & Education, citing a study conducted by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers have been unable to explain why the increase in food allergens is occurring.

In 2011, the family of a thirteen-year-old Chicago girl sued a Chinese Inn restaurant that provided food for a class party at the girl’s school. The girl’s teacher told an employee at the restaurant that students in the class had peanut allergies, “and the restaurant agreed to provide food that was free of peanut oils, peanut derivatives and peanut flavorings,” according to CBS Chicago. Officials later determined, however, that despite the teacher’s warnings, the food may have been cooked in peanut oil anyway.

The girl—Katelyn Carlson—died after eating some of the food.

Carlson’s family also named the Board of Education of the City of Chicago as a defendant in the lawsuit. In 2012, the school board’s general counsel recommended settling with the Carlsons for $3,000,000. Chicago Public Schools have since declared public schools in the city to be “peanut free zones.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that most schools—about 88-percent—have at least one student with a food allergy. The agency has promulgated voluntary guidelines for managing food allergies in schools.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011482/Boy-11-died-suffering-allergic-reaction-Publix-chocolate-chew-cookie.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10092

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/03/shelby_county_family_sues_publ.html

http://www.foodallergy.org/facts-and-stats

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/17/suit-student-died-from-peanuts-in-chinese-take-out/

http://www.cpsboe.org/content/actions/2012_06/12-0627-AR14.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/

 

 

Image Credit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melodramatic_chocolate_chip_cookie.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Many well-known courtroom battles involving the interplay between the rights of individuals and the government boil down to what a government can legally require a citizen to do and how far it can go in enforcing its power.

Flag_of_Texas Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Civil Rights AttorneyIn the debate over the Affordable Care Act, for instance, many citizens and groups who objected to the passage of the law did so on the principle that the Federal Government should not—and does not, consistent with the Constitution—have the power to require citizens to purchase health insurance.

The United States Supreme Court actually rejected the notion that the Federal Government can require an individual to purchase health insurance in a now-famous 2012 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius. The high court held, however, that the federal government can use its power to tax citizens to enforce the so-called individual mandate.

That decision was hailed by some as marking the most significant rearrangement of the relationship between the American citizen and one’s government since the passage in the early 1970s of the Controlled Substances Act. Only time—and the regulatory choices of agencies within the Federal Government—will tell if that becomes the case or not.

The case that is before the Supreme Court this week turns the individual-mandate question on its head. The question boils down to what, exactly, a citizen can require a state government to do, and which citizen requests a state can lawfully refuse.

The state in question is Texas. Like many states, Texas offers drivers who register their vehicles in the Lone Star State the option of purchasing specialty license plates, for a price. Texas drivers spent $17.6 million last year alone on specialty plates, which can come with one of 350 specialty designs or messages.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans—a group dedicated to preserving the memory and history of veterans of the Civil War who fought for the American south, known as the Confederacy—asked the Texas Motor Vehicle Board to approve a logo bearing the Confederate battle flag, according to the Daily Mail.

The Board would not approve the logo for use on Texas license plates, arguing that many Texas drivers who saw the logo would consider it to be “a racially charged symbol of repression.”

The group brought suit against the State of Texas, arguing that the state infringed upon its free-speech rights, found in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The group is, in effect, asking the Federal Government to order Texas to perform an act the state has refused, drawing some unlikely allies to its cause—including the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-abortion groups, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. They argue that speech, while offensive, must be tolerated and even “celebrated as a symbol of democratic health,” according to the Daily Mail.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3007280/Supreme-Court-justices-hear-free-speech-dispute-Texas-license-plates-bearing-confederate-battle-flag.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/supreme-court-health-care-decision-text.html

http://www.scv.org/

 

 

Image Credit

“Flag of Texas”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Texas.svg#/media/File:Flag_of_Texas.svg 

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “The insurance adjuster is saying I am partially negligent what does that mean?”

 

The failure by the mother of a little-league softball player to allege that an area recreation district owed her a duty has led to the dismissal of her lawsuit. The judge that dismissed the lawsuit—Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder—left the door open, however, for the woman to bring the suit again.

Flooded field Charlotte injury lawyer North Carolina Wrongful death attorneyTerry L. Meyers sued the Collinsville Area Recreation District and Collinsville Extreme Club last year after she was injured on her way to the restroom at one of her daughter’s fast-pitch softball games.

The day before her injury, Meyers alleged, tournament softball games had been postponed “due to torrential downpours,” according to the Madison Record. The downpours had caused accumulations of mud and water on and around playing fields.

Meyers alleged that the area recreation district took actions to correct “defective” conditions on the playing fields and knew conditions were affected in areas where parents and spectators were expected.

Collinsville Area Recreation District moved to dismiss Meyers’ lawsuit, however, arguing that she failed to allege that the district owed her a duty. In general, in a personal injury lawsuit alleging negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed him or her a duty, then breached that duty, causing damage or injury.

In Meyers’ case, the recreation district acknowledged that it placed materials to remove accumulated water from the playing fields, in recognition of its duty to create a safe playing environment for players. The recreation district argued, however, that Meyers failed to allege “that the defendant undertook any duty to remove naturally accumulated water or mud from the area where the plaintiff fell.”

Meyers replied that since the recreation district took actions to fix the water and mud accumulations on the playing fields, it knew about the dangerous conditions that were likely to surround the playing field and failed to take corrective actions to ameliorate them. The recreation district, “armed with such knowledge,” Meyers wrote in a pleading, “failed to recognize the exact same potential and dangerous conditions for the players, patrons or any others that would be on the other direct portions of the premises and took no action at all.”

Judge Crowder disagreed, siding with the recreation district and writing that Meyers had failed to allege that the district owed her a duty and had breached it. The general rule, Judge Crowder noted, “is that a landowner does not have a duty to remove accumulations of elements like water (or snow or ice) where it is accumulated naturally.”

Judge Crowder dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice, meaning Meyers can simply fix the earlier complaint to make the proper allegations regarding duty and refile it.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://madisonrecord.com/issues/366-personal-injury/269538-personal-injury-suit-involving-muddy-park-after-torrential-downpours-dismissed-in-madison-county

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_37274_-_Flooded_baseball_field_in_Texas.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Neighbors of a North Charlotte man who has a penchant for standing naked at his front door say they want to change North Carolina’s indecent exposure law “to protect their children.”

Huge binoculars Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car accident attorneyPecolia Threatt told WBTV she was rolling her trash can out to the curb last Friday when she looked up and saw the man standing “buck naked” at his door, according to the Daily Mail.

Other neighbors of the man—who lives in Charlotte’s Cardinal Glen neighborhood—say he has been appearing at the front door of his home, in the nude, several times a week for the past ten years.

On Friday, neighbors phoned the police to report the incident, but a spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said that since the man was on his own property, the matter was “not a criminal incident.”

N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 14-190.9 makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to “willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons[.]”

Although the nude man of Cardinal Glen appears to be willfully exposing his private parts (North Carolina, incidentally, has some pretty hilarious legal precedent defining what the term “private parts” means), since he is not “in any public place,” he is not violating the law.

So the neighbors want to change the law, to what? To provide that a person may not willfully expose one’s private parts in any private place—in one’s own home? Surely not.

The proposed law, I’m guessing, would provide that persons shall not willfully expose their private parts to the public. In other words, if the public can see one’s private parts, even if one is exposing the same on one’s own property, one is in violation of the law.

This too would be fraught with problems. What if a person could only be sighted, in the nude on one’s own property, using a pair of binoculars? The person using the binoculars is in public, and sees a person’s “willfully exposed” private parts. Has the nude committed a misdemeanor?

An erstwhile concealed nude might also be sighted by revelers on a hot-air balloon trip, on a neighborhood helicopter tour, or on a plane. Assuming one is willfully exposing one’s private parts (in private, one believes, but is mistaken), is one in violation of the proposed law?

So often, it seems, we propose a law to fix a problem that involves using the machinery of the state to solve the problem for us, through law enforcement and the criminal courts.

Neighbors of the nude of Cardinal Glen already have and have had—springing from the very roots of our Common Law legal system—a potential civil cause of action and the remedies that are available in such actions.

The action is called nuisance. A private nuisance is defined as “the unlawful and unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of the property of another.”

Property owners are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their property. If property owners in the Cardinal Glen neighborhood can demonstrate that the quiet enjoyment of their properties have been significantly diminished by the actions of the nude, then they may be entitled to damages and injunctive relief in a court of law.

Injunctive relief usually involves a court entering an order directing a person to stop doing something, i.e. to stop standing in the nude in one’s doorway!

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2997888/Charlotte-man-stood-naked-door-ten-years-police-t-it.html

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_14/GS_14-190.9.html

http://www.ncsu.edu/project/are306/lecturenotes/Unit7NNuisance.pdf

 

 

Image Credit

“Binoculars 25×100″ by Ante Perkovic – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Binoculars_25x100.jpg#/media/File:Binoculars_25x100.jpg

 

 

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When the online world learned that 56-year-old Detroit man James Robertson was spending eight hours per day walking to work and back, so-called crowd funders raised some $360,000 in donations for the man.

Man on bridge Charlotte Mecklenburg Personal Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyBut just as the online community stepped up for Robertson, an ex-girlfriend and old landlord have stepped in demanding a cut of his newfound wealth.

Robertson said he had been born and raised in Detroit’s New Center area, but as soon as he had an opportunity to move out of it, he said he took it, cutting all ties to the area—including ties with 60-year-old Tanya Fox.

Fox claims that Robertson damaged the house he rented from her for fifteen years and had promised to give her $50,000 to make repairs. The only damage she cited publically was grease that she said Robertson spilled on apartment walls.

When Robertson went to Fox’s house to collect his belongings, “Fox, her adult son and her ex-husband became so aggressive toward Robertson about money that police had to stand guard,” according to The Root. Ultimately Robertson had to obtain a restraining order against Fox in an effort to stop her harassment. Fox told the Daily Mail that she will challenge the restraining order in court.

Robertson said he fled the New Center area after learning of the murder of an 86-year-old Detroit man who had been killed three days after news broke that he won $20,000 in a lottery game.

Detroit Police Captain Aric Tosqui said that Robertson was aware of that killing and had become fearful for his safety. Tosqui said that his department was also concerned and that crime-prevention specialists had offered Robertson temporary living quarters until he could find a new apartment.

A friend of Robertson’s interviewed by the Detroit Free Press said that other residents at the boardinghouse where Robertson had been living heard about the donated money and “wanted a share of his windfall and threatened Robertson with violence.” Detroit police confirmed that people had been asking Robertson for money, even before he actually received any of the funds donated to him online.

Ultimately Robertson was able to land a new, suburban apartment. He is still working at the same Rochester Hills factory where he earns $10.55 per hour.

After he was donated a Ford Taurus by a local dealership and secured the funds donated by strangers in the online community, a team of financial experts offered to donate their services to help Robertson manage his money.

Rebecca Sorensen, senior vice president for wealth management at UBS Financial Services, said most of the donated funds have been placed in a trust “that will someday provide an income stream when he retires.”

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2996080/Man-walked-miles-work-gets-new-suburban-apartment.html

http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2015/03/detroit_man_who_walked_miles_to_work_takes_out_restraining_order_against.html

http://newsone.com/3092204/detroit-walking-man-moves-after-donations/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/18/man-who-walked-21-miles-to-work-safety_n_6706008.html

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Man_walking_across_como_bridge.jpg

 

 

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Politicians, celebrities and school districts around the United States have joined forces in a campaign to end bullying. That campaign, however, has been geared at ending bullying of students in American schools.

Classroom Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyNow one New Mexico teacher claims bullying from students has forced her into early retirement, and she says no one is willing to do anything about it.

Sharon Moran retired last week from Albuquerque, New Mexico’s McKinley Middle School after she said one student threatened to kill her. The 47-year-old told the Daily Mail that she had been working as a teacher for twelve years.

The death threat, Moran told Albuquerque’s KOAT, was the final straw, adding that several of her students had turned her classroom into a “hostile environment… that made her fear for her safety.”

Earlier this year, 71-year-old special education teacher Vincent Criscuola was punched several times and thrown against a wall after he intervened in a fight between two students at McKinley. Criscuola had to miss time from work after the incident to recover from spinal strain, a neck strain and a hip injury. He told the Daily Mail that he returned to work at McKinley even though he did not feel safe there.

Moran said neither administrators at McKinley nor in the Albuquerque Public Schools administration had done enough to address threats to teachers at the school. “I do feel like I’m being intimidated and I feel like I’m bullied,” Moran told the Daily Mail.

The National Education Association estimates that as many as one in four teachers are bullied, but much of the bullying the N.E.A. has chronicled has involved bullying of teachers by fellow adults—administrators, coworkers and parents. Lawsuits like the one filed in Auburn, Washington last year by six former teachers against their old principal—who they alleged engaged in a campaign of “intimidation, harassment and bullying”—are somewhat common.

Reports of students bullying teachers are less common. A writer at The Educators Room wonders whether incidents involving student-bullies “go unreported because the teacher feels powerless and victimized to the point that they wonder if there is any purpose to even saying anything about the behavior within the classroom.”

Bullying of teachers can extend beyond classroom walls, according to NoBullying.com. That site reported last year on a “new epidemic” of teachers being “cyberbullied” online by disgruntled students. Bullies can use “countless social media pages… to embarrass and harass teachers and other faculty members in schools,” and can in some cases “take control of the teacher, not only in the classroom, but in their everyday lives, causing them to fear their jobs, and fear going out in public.”

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2996196/Sharon-Moran-quits-McKinley-Middle-School-New-Mexico-death-threat.html

http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do/educators/index.html

http://www.koat.com/news/aps-teacher-quits-after-death-threat-from-student/31772130

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/10/31/auburn-teachers-sue-principal-sexual-discrimination-bullying-olympic-middle/18224805/

http://neatoday.org/2012/05/16/bullying-of-teachers-pervasive-in-many-schools-2/

http://theeducatorsroom.com/2013/05/the-bullied-teacher/

http://nobullying.com/students-bullying-teachers-a-new-epidemic/

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Physical_Sciences_Classroom.jpg

 

 

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