The first lawsuits by customers of the adultery social networking website, Ashley Madison, have been filed based on the hack of all of the website's customer data more than a month ago. The suits allege negligent security allowed the theft of the website's customer data, which has been publicly released by the hackers who stole the data. Fortune magazine has an article about a class action filed as a result of this hack.
The Oregon Court of Appeals issued its decision in Moorehead v. TriMet on Wednesday. In this premises liability case, the plaintiff, a passenger on the MAX train in Portland, injured her ankle as she was exiting the train, when she slipped in water that had been tracked into the train. The plaintiff alleged defendant, TriMet, had been negligent in leaving the water on the floor and not preventing passengers from walking in it. TriMet defended on the basis that it had previously installed slip-resistant flooring called "Tungsten," which made its trains reasonably safe, and that was all it was required to do. The jury was instructed by the judge, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Litzenberger, and it found defendant had not been negligent. On appeal, plaintiff argued the trial court erred when it instructed the jury that defendant was negligent only if it failed to use reasonable care to eliminate any unreasonable risk of harm associated with the conditions presented or to warn passengers of the risk so they could avoid the harm. Further, according to plaintiff, the water on the floor, by itself, created an unreasonably dangerous condition, such that the defendant was negligent if it did not eliminate the condition or warn passengers about it. The Court of appeals disagreed with plaintiff, and affirmed the case.
This case illustrates the technical rules that come into play in a slip and fall, or premises liability, case. Whether any particular defendant can be held liable for the plaintiff's injuries in such a case depends on, among many other things, the legal relationship between the plaintiff and defendant, and the applicable standard of care. The fact that a plaintiff slips and falls does not mean that possessor of the premises is automatically liable for any of the plaintiff's injuries resulting from that fall.
Louisiana sued State Farm Insurance in state court, alleging deceptive auto repair practices in steering its customers to repairs shops that used aftermarket and used parts, without the knowledge or consent of the customers, to make their repairs. The case was moved to federal court to be consolidated with similar cases in other states. Yesterday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the case will be returned to Louisiana courts.
In Oregon, under ORS 646A.490, vehicle repair shops are prohibited from installing used parts without the vehicle owner's consent. Violation of this statute is a violation of Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. See ORS 646.608(1)(mmm). A private party--as well as the State of Oregon--can sue for the violation. See ORS 646.638.
On Wednesday, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued it's decision in Weems v. Winn, 272 Or App 758. This was an appeal of a child custody case involving the application of the statutory factors under ORS 107.137 that a court must consider when determining which parent should be awarded custody in the child's best interest. The trial court below awarded custody to the father, without considering that mother was the child's primary caregiver, as the statute requires. In addition, the trial court considered the fact that mother held a medical marijuana card and worked at a dispensary in making its custody determination, without specifically finding that mother's marijuana use would likely endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the child, as the statute requires before a court can consider such "lifestyle" factors. Because the trial court failed to consider what it should have and considered what it shouldn't have, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and remanded the case back so the trial court could properly apply the child custody factors.