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Author Archives: Mark Mcgrath

Effective date of tort reform a headache for lawyers and plaintiffs

On July 25, the General Assembly voted to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of Senate Bill 33, a tort reform measure that places draconian limitations on the ability of medical malpractice victims to seek redress in court. The bill reads like a Christmas wish list for malpractice insurers, the state Chamber and the medical lobby: noneconomic damages capped at $500,000, virtual immunity for providers who perform vaguely defined “emergency” treatment, heightened requirements for expert witnesses and abbreviated periods of limitation.

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Practical Litigator: Holding Bates Motel and its sort liable for on-site crimes

Showering in a strange motel room hasn't been the same since Norman Bates called on Janet Leigh one evening in 1960. Nothing makes a weary traveler think nice hot shower like the thought of a knife-wielding mollycoddle prowling the premises. Wearing a wig no less! Sweet dreams? Down the drain, like so much spiraling gore. While no comprehensive studies have quantified the recent data, anecdotal evidence suggests that the frequency and magnitude of hotel crimes are exploding. "We're absolutely seeing an increase in crime at hotels," says Philip Farina, a security consultant in San Antonio.

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Practical Litigator: Who’s responsible for an injury at an unsafe workplace? Could be anyone

Construction accidents frequently give rise to third-party tort claims. Given the number of entities involved on major construction projects, the chances of identifying a culpable party that is not protected by the exclusive remedy provisions of the workers' compensation act are rather good.

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Practical Litigator: Third-party cases in hiding – The corporate relative case

Several years ago a prominent and weather-tested workers' compensation lawyer from down east approached me at a CLE where I had just finished a presentation on inadequate-security cases. He represented the estate of a young woman who had been murdered while working at a check-cashing store, leaving behind two young children. The facts of the case were horrific. The woman was working alone on a Saturday morning and was found by a customer. Her head had been all but severed from her body. Her fingertips had been removed with surgical precision at the first finger joint. Although more than two years had passed since the crime, the police had no suspects.

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