January 2011 Archives

Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Problems

January 31, 2011

Kentucky inspectors recently released their findings from its third quarter inspections from last year. Out of the 109 nursing homes in Kentucky, 18 percent of the nursing homes were found to have 10 or more deficiencies. Deficiencies are a warning sign that neglect may be an issue for some nursing homes. The theory being if they are severely deficient in multiple areas, could neglect be taking place?

The 20 nursing homes found to have 10 or more deficiencies are:

Facility's Name & Location (alphabetically) & # of Deficiencies
• Jackson Manor, Annville (10 deficiencies)
• Rockcastle Health & Rehabilitation Center, Brodhead (15 deficiencies)
• Green Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center, Carrollton (14 deficiencies)
• Corbin Nursing Home, Corbin (11 deficiencies)
• Woodcrest Manor Care Center, Elsmere (10 deficiencies)
• Florence Park Care Center, Florence (13 deficiencies)
• Glasgow Health & Rehabilitation Center, Glasgow (12 deficiencies)
• Breckinridge Memorial Nursing Facility, Hardinsburg (11 deficiencies)
• Hazard Nursing Home, Hazard (10 deficiencies)
• Hart County Health Care Center, Horse Cave (11 deficiencies)
• Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation Center, Lexington (20 deficiencies)
• Lexington Country Place, Lexington (16 deficiencies)
• Northpoint/Lexington Healthcare Center, Lexington (10 deficiencies)
• Hurstbourne Care Centre at Stony Brook, Louisville (10 deficiencies)
• Christopher East Health Care Center, Louisville (10 deficiencies)
• Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Pikeville (20 deficiencies)
• Pineville Community Hospital, Pineville (17 deficiencies)
• Salyersville Health Care Center, Salyersville (10 deficiencies)
• Sunrise Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Somerset (20 deficiencies)
• Gallatin Health Care, Warsaw (11 deficiencies)

Nursing home neglect and abuse can have serious and even deadly costs. Usually the persons who are residents and victims are not in a position to protect themselves, and the abuse or neglect can continue over long periods of time. If someone is suspected of being neglected or abused, at a nursing home1303348_krankenhaus.jpg, the immediate thing to do is to report the suspicions to the authorities, the nursing home, and seek legal advice from your attorney.

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U.S. Supreme Court Says Kentucky Man Can Sue For Alleged Retaliation: Chalk One Up For Kentucky Employees

January 29, 2011

A Kentucky man was fired in 2003 from a steel plant a month after his bosses learned that his fiancée had filed a discrimination complaint against the company. He sued claiming that they fired him to retaliate against his fiancée. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that he can sue his employer for retaliation related to his fiancée's complaint. Justice Scalia wrote: "We think it obvious that a reasonable worker might be dissuaded' from filing a complaint "if she knew that her fiancée would be fired." The 8-0 ruling provides important protect for Kentucky workers whose spouses or relatives work at the same company and who might otherwise be afraid to file discrimination or sexual harassment complaints against their employers out of fear that relatives might suffer retaliation from such complaints.

For more information on the rights of Kentucky Workers in the workplace who have suffered from retaliation, sexual harassment, or discrimination, see one of our previous blog posts on these type of claims. (Click here for the link).570502_myself.jpg

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Kentucky Youth Minister Guilty Of Child Sex Abuse

January 28, 2011

1191196_students__3.jpgIn Owensboro, Kentucky, a former youth minister has pled guilty to four counts of sex abuse and will receive three years in prison. The charges stemmed from a sleepover at a church which the man was accused of inappropriately touching a 15 year old girl. Those allegations lead to two other girls coming forward with similar charges.

It is always a tragedy when an adult in a position of authority and influence over a child takes advantage of the situation and make the child a victim. Sexual abuse is something that injures a child for the rest of their lives. It affects them socially, their ability to complete tasks and hold down stead employment, and hinders their ability to maintain trusting relationships. Person who sexual assault children deserve to be locked up and have the keys thrown away. They prey upon the most innocent, who look to them for guidance and protection.

Parents of child abuse victims can seek recourse not only through the criminal justice system, but also through the civil justice system. In cases which involve churches, schools, daycares, or other businesses which have a responsibility to protect kids at their business or under their care, parents can sue the businesses or institutions under a legal theory of negligent hiring retention, and supervision. These type of lawsuits against the businesses force the businesses to take responsibility for their employees, their actions and/or failure to take actions to protect children. Such lawsuits allow for the business to be punished, force the business to take proper steps to ensure such does not happen again under their watch, and obtains money for the victims to compensate them for what happened to them and affords money for their future care and therapy.

The Ackerson Law Offices have handles suits involving schools, daycares, and private swim clubs, where children have been sexually assaulted by adults, including persons in authority position.

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Kentucky Pedestrian Killed While On Expressway After Car Breaks Down

January 27, 2011

1308588_motorway_at_twilight.jpgThe Victim, age 56, of Louisville, Kentucky died Monday night due to injuries he sustained after his car broke down on the expressway, and he was attempting to flag down help. The Victim was stuck by another vehicle on the ramp from Phillips Lane and Louisville Airport. While no charges have been pressed against the other driver, fault in this case is still undetermined. The Victim leaves behind a wife and children. Vandeveer's family has suffered a huge lose, for which the Kentucky Courts will allow an avenue for recovery.

The Victim's family will need to setup an Estate through Probate, which will empower them to handle wrapping up his affairs and transferring his assets to his wife and children. Additionally, the Estate will be in a position to seek recovery of medical bills, funeral bills, loss of consortium claims, and a claim for a lifetime of lost wages/earning potential from both the other driver & the other driver's insurance company and from the Victim's own insurance company. This type of action is known as a wrongful death claim. While the legal system cannot bring the Victim back or lessen the pain his family is experiencing, it can provide a recovery financially for the family so they can be assisted in moving their lives forward and provide the money that they have lost as a result of this tragedy and the money that the Victim would have earned for the family over his lifetime.

Fault isn't an issue at this time, and unless a person is 100% at fault, Kentucky law allows for a recovery of damages on a percentage basis. This is known as comparative fault under Kentucky Law. For example, under comparative fault and Kentucky law, a person injured or killed could bear 80% fault for an accident and the other party only bear 20%, and the party injured or killed who bore 80% fault could seek recovery of the 20% from the other party and their insurance company. Under such a theory, if the damages were calculated at $500,000.00 from an accident where a person was injured or killed, the recovery allowed under such an 80/20 split of fault would allow the injured or killed party to recovery $100,000.00.

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Jefferson County Kentucky Prosecutors Appealing Ruling In DUI Case: DUIs Cause Serious Injures & Deaths Everyday Across Our Country.

January 23, 2011

1038828_u_s__supreme_court_2.jpgAt 5:00 a.m. in January 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky, police were called to the scene of a parking lot where a man was passed out asleep in his truck. The keys were in the ignition, the truck was running, the man's foot was on the accelerator, one hand was on the steering wheel, the other hand was on the gear shift, and the man was unconscious. The police officers reported hearing the engine running loudly from more than a block away, due to the truck being in park but having the gas pedal stepped on by the unconscious man. At the scene, the police had to break out the window because the man would not wake up and respond to the officers, and officers were afraid the vehicle would either caught on fire or jump into gear and propel itself through the parking lot.

The man admitted to police that he had been drinking at 4th Street Live and the breathalyzer given at the scene showed the man was nearly 3 times the legal limit of impairment. He was dangerous and could have injured or killed someone in the state he was in and driving a car.

However, in October 2010, the Jefferson District Court Judge ruled that the man should not have been charged with DUI, because he was asleep and did not have physical control of the vehicle.

Judges in Kentucky have relied upon a 1986 Kentucky Court of Appeals Case when dealing with DUIs and facts similar to this case. In that Court ruling, the Appeals Court stated that there are four factors to consider when the intoxicated person is asleep in the vehicle, as to where a DUI has been committed. The factors to consider if the person should be charged with DUI are:
(1) Whether the suspect in the vehicle was awake or asleep;
(2) Whether the engine of the suspects vehicle was running;
(3) The vehicle's location and all circumstances explaining how the vehicle got there; and
(4) The intent of the person behind the wheel.

Continue reading "Jefferson County Kentucky Prosecutors Appealing Ruling In DUI Case: DUIs Cause Serious Injures & Deaths Everyday Across Our Country." »

Kentucky Cell Phone Texting Laws Meant To Prevent Accidents

January 21, 2011

Kentucky has passed a law and now is enforcing it that prohibits cell phone texting while driving. The law is designed to make it illegal for drivers to text while driving, which takes drivers' hands off the steering wheel of the car and takes drivers' attentions off of the road. Cell phone usage, including texting, causes many accidents in Kentucky. The use of these devises while driving distracts drivers and seriously diminishes the driver's control over their vehicle. It may seem like a small thing to use a cell phone or text while driving, but the reality is it causes major accidents which injury and kill people. Drivers who text or take their attentions off of the road can injure or kill pedestrians, including people at crosswalks, motorcyclists, bike riders, and drivers of other vehicles.

Kentucky's law 1307593_mobile_phone_in_hand.jpgprohibiting texting while driving is limited in its effects due to the problems in enforcing it, which include only a small fine for getting caught. Because the consequences of having an accident and seriously injuring or killing others are so substantial, the law and its enforcement needs to be strengthened.

The State of Tennessee, which also has laws outlawing texting while driving, has begun to have special patrols designed as "text patrols" which use unmarked vehicles to specifically watch for and issue tickets to those drivers texting while driving.

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Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuit Money: Who Does the Money Go To?

January 20, 2011

294459_graves.jpgIn Kentucky, wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the Estate of the deceased person. Therefore to even have the authority to bring a wrongful death claim, an Estate must be setup through the Probate Court to empower a legally authorized representative for the Estate to handle the matters. Even though the wrongful death suit is started through the establishment of an Estate in Probate Court, the actual monetary settlement or award does not fall under the probated Estate. Even if the decedent had a will, the monetary funds from the wrongful death case are controlled by Kentucky Statute (KRS 411.130) which directs who is to receive the settlement and awarded funds.

KRS 411.130 directs that the funds from a wrongful death claim go to:
(1) If there is a living spouse, but no children, then 100% to the surviving spouse;
(2) If there is a surviving spouse and surviving child/children, then 50% to the surviving spouse and 50% is given equally to any surviving child/children;
(3) If there is no surviving spouse but there are surviving children, then the surviving children split the money equally;
(4) if there are no surviving spouse nor surviving children, then the money is split between the living parents of the decedent; and
(5) if the decedent died without a wife or kids, and his/her parents are all deceased also, then the money would go to the Estate and be distributed through such to the right remaining heirs.

Additionally, there are a couple of Kentucky Statutes that deal with parents which have abandoned their children, as related to KRS 411.130. These statues are referred to as Mandy Jo laws, and deal with cases where KRS 411.130 would instruct money to go to the surviving parents, but not if the parent had abandoned the child and not had a role in the child's life. Under the Many Jo laws, the courts treat the parent who was not involved in their child's life as having not survived the child and therefore the wrongful death monies would pass to the next legal heir.

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Kentucky Swimming Pool Injuries & Deaths

January 20, 2011

In Kentucky swimming pool accidents can be the responsibility of the owners of the property. The area of Kentucky law that deals with these types of injuries related to swimming pools are premise liability laws. Whether the pool is part of an individual homeowner's property or at a setting such as a school, park, neighborhood pool area, hotel, or resort, the property owner has a legal duty to maintain safety and health standards at the pool. Premises liability laws, including those pertaining to injuries involving swimming pools, considers who is at fault and why.

Liability examinations boil down to looking at what caused the accident, what did the owner do or should have done related to preventing the accident, and what was the status the person injured. The status of the person injured will affect what duty the owner has towards that injured party. In Kentucky a person's status upon a property is broken down into three categories:
• Invitee: Someone who the property owner allowed onto the premises for social reasons, such as a guest invited to a pool party at a private residence, or the guests of a hotel using the pool there;
• Licensee: A person who was allowed on the property for reasons of business; for example, a swimming pool serviceman or a utility company technician;
• Trespasser: A person who was not given permission to enter the property where the swimming pool is located. For instance, if the injured person jumped over two high fences and broke a gate's lock to get into the pool and was then injured, he or she will be found to have some or all of the liability for the accident.

The degree of the duty owed by the property owner to the person injured upon the property varies based upon the status. A trespasser status, for adults, will require the lowest form of duty owed by the property owner.

In Kentucky, young children, even if determined to be a trespasser, will likely not be liable for their own injuries in a swimming pool. This is because Kentucky law will consider the swimming pool an attractive nuisance to the young child, and thus considered to have lured the child to it, even if wrongfully entering the property to get to the pool.

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Kentucky Landlords Can Be Liable To Their Tenants For Certain Types Of Injuries

January 19, 2011

Kentucky Landlord Tenants laws limit personal injury lawsuits1328867_for_rent_sign_2.jpg against landlords. In Kentucky, a landlord is "not a guarantor of the tenants' safety." See Davis v. Coleman Management Co., Ky.App., 765 S.W.2d 37 (1989). However, a landlord owes a duty to his tenants to exercise reasonable diligence to keep common areas retained under the landlords control in a safe condition for the tenants. See Davis v. Coleman Management Co., Ky. App., 765 S.W.2d 37, 38 (1989).

"A possessor of land who leases a part thereof and retains in his control any other part which the lessee is entitled to use as appurtenant to the part leased to him, is subject to liability to his lessee and others lawfully upon the land with the consent of the lessee or a sublease for physical harm caused by a dangerous condition upon that part of the land retained in the lessor's control, if the lessor by the exercise of reasonable care could have discovered the condition and the unreasonable risk involved therein and could have made the condition safe." See Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 360 (1965).

Only when the tenant is put in complete and unrestricted possession and control of the premises, will the landlord not be liable for known defects which existed at the time the tenant leased the premises. See May v. Moore, 2008 WL 2152274 (Ky. App.), citing Carver v. Howard, Ky., 280 S.W.2d 708, 711 (1955).

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Kentucky Religious Discrimination Case Settles for $125,000.00

January 19, 2011

1302191_cross_of_carhuaz_beach.jpgA Kentucky federal lawsuit claiming religious discrimination against the University of Kentucky by a former professor has been settled prior to reaching a jury trial. The case was in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and the judge had ruled there was enough evidence for the case to go to a jury trial.

The allegations of the case were that Professor Martin Gaskell was considered to be the top candidate for UK's director of it new observatory, until the University became concerned about Gaskell's religious beliefs and how he coupled such with scientific beliefs.

UK has agreed to pay Gaskell $125,000.00 to settle the case. This is the equivalent of nearly two years salary for Gaskell, who has since found other employment.

In Kentucky, people who believe that they have been discriminated against in the workplace can file suit under federal anti-discrimination laws or under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KRS 344.010 et seq.) There claims are viewed under a multi-prong test which establishes the evidence and shifts burdens of proof. Discrimination cases can be very difficult and hard fought because in most cases they boil down to conflicting testimonies of what really happened and why it happened. Many times, employers will try to mask their discriminatory conduct by coming up with other reasons why they did what they did with regards to the employee. Because of such, these type of cases require a tremendous amount of time combing through documents, emails, and deposing witnesses.

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Fort Knox Man Charged With Murder & DUI After Fatal Car Crash

January 17, 2011

A tragic Kentucky car crash has killed a woman in Louisville. Martha Diaz, age 40, of the 5000 block of Quail Court in Louisville, Kentucky has died from injuries she sustained in an automobile accident on Sunday. The fatal crash was caused by Francisco Balderez, age 26, after the BMW he was driving went off the road and hit a sign and a utility pole early Sunday morning on the Greenbelt Highway near Lower River Road. At the time of the crash, Balderez's blood alcohol level was reported to have been .211, which is nearly 3 times the legal limit. Balderez has been charged with one count of murder, one count of first degree criminal mischief, one count of possession of a controlled substance, and DUI. Balderez was taken to UL hospital with non-life-threatening injures.

Further details of the accident are pending.

This is clearly a case where Balderez should not have been driving and is responsible for the death of Diaz. Diaz's Estate will have a wrongful death claim against Balderez for the role he played in Diaz's death. Kentucky wrongful death laws will allow Diaz's Estate to seek damages from Balderez, including his automobile insurance carriers. Additional investigation into where Balderez was coming from may shed light on other persons who may share some fault in this tragic accident. In cases where alcohol was supplied to the drunken driver when it should not have been, due to their already known intoxicated state, either at a party or a bar, those persons or businesses can become liable to the Estate of the decedent for the drunken condition which caused the accident.

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$2 Million Dollar Settlement Reached In Police Shooting

January 17, 2011

Fairfax County, Maryland has agreed to a $2 million dollar settlement from an unarmed man being shot and killed by police. In 2006, a Fairfax County police officer shot an unarmed man in front of his townhouse. The man was being arrested by a SWAT team for betting on football games when the officer claimed his gun accidently discharged and killed the man. The police officer was never charged with a crime, and the prosecutor's office deemed it an accidental shooting.

This type of case here in Kentucky would be a civil right violation and negligence action. Such a case in Kentucky where a person was wrongfully shot and killed by a police officer would be a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the Estate of the deceased, where the Estate would be able to claim damages from the medical bills related to the shooting and the lost lifetime earning capacity of the deceased. Additionally, if the decedent had a wife or children, then there would be a claim for loss of consortium by such family members.

In Kentucky, in wrongful death suits, the damages that can be sought will likely reach over a million dollars due to the claim for a lifetime of lost wages.

Kentucky Dog Bite Laws & The Rights Of People Bitten By Dogs In Kentucky

January 15, 2011

841339_dog_pitbull.jpgIn Kentucky, owners are responsible for injuries caused when their dog injuries a person. Kentucky Revised Statute ("KRS") 258.235(4), states: "Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property shall be responsible for that damage." This means that Kentucky is a "strict liability" state when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks.

Who better should take responsibility for a Kentucky dog attack injury than the owner who could have prevented it by taking proper precautions in controlling their animal? However, people and children who are bitten by dogs or attacked by animals may face legal hurdles to seeking to be compensated for their injures.

Even though KRS 258.235 created a strict liability action, negligence principles are still applicable, as the dog owner's liability may be subject to the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that dog owners may seek to have a certain amount or percentage of the fault from a dog attack assigned to the victim of the dog bite or dog attack. That percentage of fault sought to be assigned by the dog owner to the victim may be attributed to the victim's status as a trespasser upon the property and/or the victim's behavior causing the bite or attack. Under a strict liability theory, the owners of an animal may still try to exculpate themselves from liability by showing that the harm was caused by the victim's fault, or by the fault of a third person for whom the owner was not responsible, or by a fortuitous circumstance.

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Kentucky Teenager Killed January 8th In Auto Accident

January 14, 2011

It has been reported that Trista Shoemaker was killed in an car crash in Franklin County, Kentucky on Saturday January 8, 2011 at an intersection on U.S. 127. Witnesses report that 31 year old Kevin Butler, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, ran a red light and struck the passenger side of Shoemaker's 1999 Toyota. Trista was 17, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 15 year old passenger in her car was taken to Franklin County Regional Medical Center.

Butler, who was driving a 2002 Chevy truck, was airlifted to UK Hospital.

The accident is under investigation, and anyone with information about it should call the Frankfort State Police Post at (502) 227-2221.

If the initial reports are correct, there should be a personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of the injured 15 year old and a wrongful death suit brought by the Estate of Ms. Shoemaker. In both suits, recovery of medical bills, pain & suffering, and lost wages should be sought. In the case of the death of Ms. Shoemaker, the Estate's claim will be substantial because of the claim for a lifetime of lost wages and loss of consortium claim of her parents. An accident re-constructionist may be immediately needed to start gathering proof of what happened here.

Kentucky personal injury attorney Brent T. Ackerson stated: "This is a tragedy when one young life is taken and another is forever changed. We have two families that will never be the same. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families."

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Kentucky Slip & Fall Injuries And Injuries To People In Stores

January 14, 2011

1006453_caution_wet_floor-sign_1.jpgIn Kentucky, people have slip & fall and trip & fall accidents in store everyday due to the negligence of store owners and store employees. These type of accidents and injuries are often avoidable if only the stores took proper precautions. These types of cases fall under Kentucky premises liability laws.

In Kentucky, store owners owe as duty to protect the public from dangers or hazards the store knows about or should know about. The main Kentucky court case on this issue of people slipping or falling in a business and injuring themselves is Lanier v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In this case, the Court said that to maintain a lawsuit against a business for an injury involving a customer or person slipping or falling, while at the business, the injured party must prove:
(i) he or she slipped or fell on a substance or object while at the store, which was dangerous,
(ii) the substance or object was a substantial factor in causing the person to slip or fall, and
(iii) because of the substance or object, the business was not in a reasonably safe condition for the person or customer who slipped or fell.

Kentucky businesses have a duty to check the store premises for hazardous conditions, including spilled liquids and other slipper substances and clean such up or correct such before it causes a person to be injured.

A substance that could create an unsafe condition could be food, water, or some other fluid on the floor, including substances that have leaked out of products on the shelves. An object that could create an unsafe condition could be a product or part thereof on the floor, a problem or defect with the floor itself, a loose or broken step, a hole, or a loose or broken handrail. These examples are not all encompassing, as many other substances or hazardous conditions may qualify. When a person slips and/or falls due to an unsafe condition in a store, they have a right to be compensated for the injuries, the pain & suffering, lost wages, and medical bills, that result from such.

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Doctor Gets Caught Lying Under Oath

January 14, 2011

The Courier Journal has reported that a Jefferson County Kentucky Circuit Court Judge has found a Louisville, Kentucky doctor in contempt of court for lying under oath in a deposition. The ruling was issued last week by Judge Frederic Cowan against Dr. Kenneth Smith. Smith has been fined $7,500.00 by the court and the doctor's false testimony will be allowed to be brought out at the trial.

The doctor's false statements are reportedly involving whether or not he anonymously sent two newspaper articles about the dangers of frivolous lawsuits to a man who was in the preliminary stages of suing the doctor. The presumption being that he was trying to discourage the man from filing the lawsuit against him. The CJ reports that it has been alleged that the doctor lied over 20 times about having any knowledge of the anonymous letters.

Too often attorneys in lawsuit experience witnesses who lie under oath. It is a flaw within our system, as justice should be about judgment based upon true facts and not skewed by lies. The problem really is that the punishments for lying under oath are not stiff enough. The above case is one of the few where the courts really cracked down on the lies.

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Kentucky Auto Accidents: What To Consider At The Time Of Minor Collisions?

January 6, 2011

If involved in an automobile accident in Kentucky, here are a few things to consider in minor collisions. These suggestions and issues are not applicable in all situations, including major collisions involving serious injury or death.

Moving your vehicle once the accident has occurred, prior to the police arriving, is not recommended, even if you are impeding the flow of traffic. The reason for such is if you desire to have a police report taken related to the accident, the road and weather conditions, and assessment of fault, the police will likely not take one if the vehicles have been moved. If the vehicles have been moved prior to the police arriving, the police will likely only issue you and the other driver a civil report to fill out. Stories may differ after an accident, and it may be beneficial later to have a police report to substantiate your version of the events. Usually, if traffic is impeded, the police will arrive, take a look at the position of the vehicles, and then instruct the drivers to move the vehicles to allow for traffic to continue as normal. This will allow the police to be in a position to thoroughly complete a report.

If involved in an auto accident in Kentucky, one thing to consider is whether or not to have a police report taken. Many times when people are involved in minor auto accidents, one party will suggest that the parties just exchange information (including insurance information) and go on their ways. Either suggesting that they will work with their insurance companies to resolve the damages, or suggesting that they skip reporting the matters to their insurance companies and just pay for the damages out of their own pockets. This may not be a safe way to handle the situation and protect your interests. The reason being is that the other party:
(i) may not have current and up to date coverage, and thus be uncollectable from. If the police take a report, and the other driver fails to have insurance or gives the police false information, such will be documents and be beneficial to you later when trying to resolve the matter with that driver or your own insurance company.


(ii) may change their story about what really occurred, the extent of the injuries involved, or the extent of the damage involved. If the other party is going to lie, its better that they are forced to attempt to do it immediately and to the police (lying to a police office, who is taking an official report, can be a crime). Additionally if stories are going to vary about what occurred, its better to have a police office take a report and potentially be a witness later to substantiate what he or she witnessed at the time of arriving upon the scene of the accident.

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Kentucky Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, & Job Firing

January 4, 2011

931543_-team_iii-.jpg Kentucky is an "employee at will" doctrine state. In Kentucky your employer can terminate you at any time, with or without reason, and you can quit at any time, with or without reason (provided there is not a written contract to the contrary). The Kentucky Supreme Court has interpreted the "employee at will" doctrine as meaning: "An employer can fire an employee for cause, without cause, or even for cause that may seem to be morally indefensible. It is only illegal if the employer violates a contract, retaliates against an employee for exercising certain legal rights or if the employer takes action in violation of a protected status (discriminates)."Kentucky employee's have very limited protections against bad employers. If a Kentucky employee is fired or suffers negative consequences in the workplace, they must examine the below to consider if they have legal action against their employer.

It is illegal to:
(i) discriminate based upon race, gender, religion, national origin, age, pregnancy, or disability;
(ii) require an employee to lie to a government authority or in an investigation, or take action against an employee who refuses to do such;
(iii) require an employee to violate the law, or take action against an employee who refuses to do such;
(iv) prevent an employee from reporting violation of the law, including civil statutes such as discrimination laws and/or suspected healthcare violations or dangers related to a medical patient's care;
(v) take action against or fire an employee in violation of the terms of a specific written contract of employment between the employer and the employee.

Workplace Sexual Harassments & Harassments In order for work place harassment or discrimination to be actionable, it must be more than personality conflicts and a general dislike of a person, and it must be "severe and so pervasive" so that it "unreasonably interferes with a person's ability to do his/her job." Isolated acts or isolated comments are NOT sufficient under the law to rise to the level to be actionable in court.

Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination has to be based upon one of the following: race, gender, religion, national origin, age, pregnancy, or disability. These are referred to as protected statuses.
Under a discrimination legal action, the discrimination has to be evidenced by either:
(1) direct evidence, which would be the effect of verbally or in writing stating negative expressions or actions towards a person based one of the protected statuses above, or
(2) indirect evidence, which would be a comparison between how protected status persons are treated versus how those who do not fall in the protected status are treated.
As with workplace harassments, the workplace discrimination will not be legally actionable if it is an isolated incident.

Government Employee Whistleblower Protections
It is illegal for a government agency to take action against an employee who in good faith reports a suspected violation of law, fraud, or abuse of authority, to the proper authorities or another government agency.
These persons are referred to as "Whistleblowers."

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Kentucky Apartment & Renter's Insurance Coverage Is Important Fire Protection

January 3, 2011

895905_building_on_fire.jpgMost apartment fires in Kentucky can be devastating on all the residents of the building affected. Legal questions that arise when bad things happen to renters include: (i) whose fault is it that a person was injured or killed, (ii) who caused the fire, or (iii) whose going to pay for the items damaged by the fire. Renter's insurance acts the same way as homeowners insurance, except that you are not insuring the building, only its contents and your liability. Apartment fires not only destroy the contents of the apartments where the fire spreads, but also the contents of the apartments around the fire are damaged by smoke and water, due to the fire and the extinguishing of such. Apartment fires cause serious injuries and even deaths frequently in Kentucky.

Renters insurance is extremely affordable for residents of apartments, and can run as little as $15.00 per month for insurance protection for liability, contents, and medical bills. That's less than what the average person spends monthly on their newspaper subscription. The coverage afforded for this reasonable monthly cost usually includes: (i) 100,000.00 in liability insurance protection, (ii) $25,000.00 in content protection, and even a medical pay provision for guests who are injured and need medical attention.

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