Like all Americans, West Virginia residents were likely horrified by the mass shooting that killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12. The tragedy has security experts offering advice to bar and club owners on how to prevent or contain similar incidents on their property.
Disney is a popular household name for West Virginia parents and their children, but tragedy struck in June when a child was killed after being dragged by an alligator into a lake surrounding a Walt Disney World resort. According to employees with Disney, the company knew about the risk that alligators in the park posed to guests for quite some time before the tragedy.
Every year in West Virginia, many people are bitten by dogs. These attacks can be very serious, resulting in permanent disfigurement, scarring, disability or death. Dog bite claims are quite expensive as well, with the national cost averaging around $37,000 per claim.
Property owners in West Virginia and around the country owe a duty of care to visitors, but that does not mean that they can be held legally responsible for every accident that occurs on the premises they own or occupy. Premises liability lawsuits, just like other negligence claims, often hinge on questions of foreseeability as building owners or tenants argue that they should not be held accountable for accidents that no amount of maintenance or planning could have prevented.
West Virginia residents may not be surprised to learn that changes in balance that occur naturally as people age cause one in three elderly Americans to fall each year, but they may not know that young people may fall at an even higher rate. A report published in the scientific journal Human Movement Science looked into the fall rate of older individuals with college students, and they found that college students average one slip or fall every week.
On Feb. 20, about two dozen skiers fell and 100 more were stranded when the ski lift they were riding on malfunctioned, according to reports. Of those that fell from the lift, two were slightly injured.
West Virginia residents may have heard about a fatal accident that took place last summer at a festival in a Chicago suburb. On Aug. 2, 2015, a tent collapsed during a storm at Prairie Fest in Wood Dale, killing one person and injuring several others.
A company event or community carnival represents the chance for a good time, but people in West Virginia should remain attentive for hazards at recreational events. The following example of an injury at a company picnic highlights the litigation that sometimes results when a good time ends in the hospital.
West Virginia residents may be familiar with a deadly incident that made national news in June 2015, the collapse of a California balcony during a birthday celebration. The incident resulted in the deaths of six college students as well as the injury of seven additional students when they fell 50 feet. Five of the decedents were from Ireland. Some of the families of those affected have now filed legal claims in connection with the incident. Information about the damages sought by the families has not been released.
Virginia residents may want to learn more about laws governing attractive nuisances. Generally speaking, attractive nuisances are defined as objects, conditions or structures that are hazardous and also enticing or inviting to children. The property owner may be liable for the ensuing damages if a child is hurt as a result ad certain criteria are met. The guidelines for assessing whether or not the property owner is liable for an attractive nuisance can vary from case to case.