Monday, April 28, 2008

“Completion and Acceptance” Doctrine Nullified

In common law, there is a principle known as “completion and acceptance” doctrine. Under this principle, a design professional or contractor will not be held liable for defective work or faulty design once the project is turned over to a third party.
This was the argument that governed the decision of the Washington State Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the King County Superior Court’s decision to dismiss the wrongful death and negligence claim of Alan Davis, a Du Pont worker who was buried in several layers of pipes after inspecting a leak. He was instantly killed in the incident.
The decision of the Washington State Supreme Court to overturn the previous ruling is commendable. First, good customer service requires responsibility. Turning over haphazard work or defective products is a sign of irresponsibility and should not be tolerated.
The argument of Baugh Industrial Contractors, Inc. that they are covered by the “completion and acceptance” rule is s simple scapegoat to their obvious negligence and irresponsibility. The situation is a clear indication of general negligence.
By favoring Restatement of Torts Sec. 385 and joining 37 other states in abandoning this “inhumane” principle, the family of Alan Davis would be entitled to receive damages from the accident.
Tolerating negligence is not good for the legal system. It will only teach our contractors and product manufacturers to be irresponsible and use the “completion and acceptance” doctrine to get away from any liability. Davis was wrongfully killed while performing his duty so it is just right to give his heir the compensation that they truly deserve.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wrongful Death Claims: Compensation For The Surviving Family

Can you imagine the anguish and the pain of the family of an individual who was wrongfully killed in a traffic altercation? The pain would be great especially if the victim is the breadwinner of the family.
Sadly, this is the harsh reality that wrongful death claimants would have to accept. This kind of claim is extraordinary in a sense that it is the surviving relatives of the victim In a normal lawsuit, the injured person is the one who files the claim with the help of their attorney. Of course, in a wrongful death, it is impossible for the victim to sue the defendant for damages. However, the family of the deceased is not entitled to receive damages instead what they are entitled to is some form of compensation.
A wrongful death claim has four aspects namely:
  1. the death was due to the action of the defendant,
  2. there was negligence on the part of the defendant, which led to the death of the victim,
  3. there is a surviving spouse, children, and other beneficiaries, and
  4. monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
The case of the young schoolboy who died because of a trash compactor system is just one of the many incidents of wrongful death. We are all responsible for our actions. If our behavior leads to the demise of another individual, then we could be held liable for whatever happens.
This is a valuable lesson in life that we must learn so that it would not happen to us.

Damages Irrecoverable in Brain Injury Claims

Brain injury, whether caused by the natural bodily functions or accidents, steals freedom from all it touches.
Incapacitating injury like this will cause you your life. In fact, it is better not to have lived at all than to be succumbed in this kind of injury. Do you know why? It is because after the pain has subsided your life will never be the same again. It is as if you are starting from scratch.
To give you a glimpse, and try to imagine, of what it likes and how it feels, here are some common effects of brain injury:
  1. Memory problems
  2. Poor concentration
  3. Slowed responses
  4. Lack of initiative or flexibility
  5. Poor planning and problem-solving

Hard to imagine but it can happen to you. Your once active and promising life may just be far from your grasp in a second. That is why those who have caused it must be held liable. They must pay!
I must stress that no amount of money can ever bring back your life in its proper perspective. What I am trying to say is that, at least, the monetary compensation due you may be used for your daily sustenance or for starting over your life.
The amount of damages from brain injury claims are the least of the victim’s concern. The feeling of continual struggle to try to cope with the day-to-day complexities of the world cannot be alleviated by it.
How frustrating can it get when you can do things physically but your mind tells you otherwise!