Archives for November 2017
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) have been named as defendants in a lawsuit brought by the estate of Ryan Hoffman, who played college football for the North Carolina Tarheels in the 1990s. Hoffman, aged 41, was killed in November, 2016, when he was hit by a car while riding a bike on an unlit section of Highway 17-92 in Haines City, Florida.
An autopsy performed after his death determined that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition found in many former football players. Experts say it’s typically associated with repetitive brain trauma, including concussions. The lawsuit, filed by the personal representatives of Hoffman’s estate, alleges negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The complaint alleges that the NCAA and the ACC both knew of the risk of concussion, as well as the potential health risks associated with the impact on a college football line. The lawsuit also charges the groups with knowingly profiting from Hoffman’s services, and seeks reimbursement of medical expenses, lost earnings and out-of-pocket expenses.
Hoffman, a native of Jacksonville, starred on the offensive line, playing almost every play in his final season in 1997. During his playing days, he came in at 6’5″ and 287 pounds. Hospital officials said he had dropped more than 100 pounds by the time of his death.
According to family members, Hoffman married and had a family after leaving college, but started experiencing mental and physical health problems almost immediately. He apparently had severe headaches, sensitivity to light and became depressed. At the time of his death, he had been mostly homeless for nearly a year, living on the streets in Lakeland, Florida.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have been injured because of the negligence or carelessness of another person, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
Two Ridgewood, New Jersey students have filed a lawsuit alleging bullying at Ridgewood High School during the past year. According to the complaint, one of the victims, identified in the lawsuit only as Bob Boe, had been subjected to bullying for some period of time. He alleged that he complained to school officials on numerous occasions, but was ignored.
The other plaintiff, known as Patty Poe, alleged that the defendants “bullied, harassed, intimidated, enticed or coerced” her to have her photo taken, without her face showing, and sent the photo to others. The complaint also alleges that the defendants urged her to commit suicide. When Bob Boe asked one of the defendants to stop harassing Patty Poe, the defendants told Boe he would have to fight them. When he declined, they attacked him, knocking him out. The complaint says that there were witnesses to the fight, some of whom took pictures and posted them on Snapchat.
The complaint alleges that the bullying continued, and when Boe asked the defendants to stop it, they beat him up again, fracturing his skull. Boe said that he did not report the incident to school officials because he did not believe, based on their prior conduct, that they would take any corrective action.
The civil suit seeks compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and physical pain and suffering. The named defendants include two students, their parents and Snapchat’s parent company.
Legal counsel for the plaintiffs say they also intend to join the Ridgewood Board of Education and at least two school administrators as defendants.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.
As a general rule, a slip and fall—or premises liability—claim is based on negligence. As the injured party, you must show that the owner or manager of the property breached a duty to use a reasonable amount of care to monitor the property and find/fix any dangerous conditions. There are, however, circumstances where the burden of proof shifts from the injured party to the defendant. Here’s how it works.
Under a legal principle known as the “mode of operation” doctrine, if the type of business is one that, by its nature, creates a hazardous or dangerous condition, the owner/manager of the building may be considered to expect potential safety problems. In such situations, there’s a rebuttable presumption of negligence. Essentially, that means that the defendant is presumed to have been negligent and must produce evidence to refute that presumption.
Some common examples of where the “mode of operation” doctrine applies are grocery stores and restaurants, where it’s common to have food or liquids spill on a floor.
In a ruling handed down by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2015, the mode of operation doctrine was held to be applicable only in “limited circumstances.” That ruling found that the doctrine only applies:
- To businesses that offer self-service options
- In those areas of a business where customers have a self-service option
The court did find that the mode of operation doctrine can apply whether the negligence was associated with the plaintiff or the defendant.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.
We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.