Tuesday, December 31, 2013



Is someone borrowing your car?

At some point, everyone has let another person drive his car.

However, did you know that you could be liable for injuries caused by the person driving the car. It is important to understand when you are liable for injuries that are caused by someone else driving your car.

In Tennessee, a car owner can be liable for letting another person driving his car if he is doing so with his permission.

In other words, you cannot normally be held liable if your car is stolen and it causes a wreck.

In negligent entrustment, the car owner knows that the person borrowing the car is an unfit or reckless driver. In this case, the car owner can again be liable for injuries and damage to another person and his car. However, in order for the car owner to be liable, it must be shown that the car owner either knew or should have known that the driver was not competent or was reckless at the time he gave the borrower permission to take the car.

A car owner can also be liable for letting an intoxicated driver borrow the car. And, a car owner can be liable for letting someone with a medical condition, which affects the person’s ability to drive, borrow the car.

Ultimately, you are responsible, (with your assets) to pay for accidents caused by a permissive driver of your car. If you lent it to a reckless or intoxicated person, you might be liable for punitive damages as well.

Be careful about lending.

You might be getting trouble back in return.



It was bound to happen. Chimps are similar enough to people that many so-called “scientists” actually think that humans evolved from common ape-like ancestors.

So, maybe it should not shock us that entire groups are now suing on their behalf, to cause them to recognized as “persons” under the law.

“Personhood” is a term also extended in the law to corporations (Wal-Mart, Exxon, etc.) even though they are not human beings.  Wal-Mart is not the late Sam Walton, nor is Apple the late Steve Jobs. Corporations can own property, sue, be sued and issue stock, for example.

As persons under the law, the chimps would be eligible for some legal protection, such as not being used in medical experiments or kept in cages. The medical experiments often benefit human beings, ironically, because of their physical similarities to humans.

Steven Wise, an author and animal rights activist has filed several lawsuits on behalf of chimpanzees. He runs a group called the “Nonhuman Rights Project,” advocating legal personhood for chimps and other animals. In one case, he calls chimpanzees autonomous, self-determined, self-aware, intelligent, and emotionally complex beings, that cognitively resemble human beings.

As such, this movement tries to ban their use in circuses, their captivity in zoos, and also their use in medical testing for diseases.  In what might be a sign of things to come, New Zealand and Spain extended personhood protections to the great apes. Other countries have banned research on great apes.

Wise argues, "The act of denying equality in order to enslave, based on a single trait, jeopardizes the equality of everyone."

What about fetuses? Why can’t we protect humans? The one trait that differs is simply viability outside the womb.

Those of us who know that chimps and humans were both specially created by God on day 6 can both acknowledge that humans have dominion over all the animals, but we can also be compassionate in our care of chimps and others.

I, personally, would like to see at least the same compassion extended to the unborn by the abolition of abortion.



If you drive a recent model Hyundai or Kia, you might be getting some money back as result of a $400 million class action settlement that is pending. 

The consolidated Hyundai/Kia Mileage Class Action Lawsuit case is “In Re: Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation,” MDL 2424.

Both Kia and Hyundai admitted some of the fuel economy numbers on their stickers were inaccurate. Not surprisingly, they were higher on the sticker than in the real world. 

Each Kia owner in the class action settlement may get about $667, while Hyundai owners are expected to get an average of about $353. There had been some debit cards issued by the attempting to reimburse for the difference in mileage. There is also an incentive to buy another car. 

The Kia vehicles include the Rio, Sportage, Sorento, Soul and Optima hybrid.

The Hyundai vehicles included in the class action settlement are the Azera, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Veloster Turbo, Sonata Hybrid, Genesis, Tucson and Santa Fe Sport.

In the case of the 2013 Kia Soul its sticker is now lowered a whopping 6 mpg from the fictional 34 mpg down to the actual 28 mpg. The Hyundai Santa Fe plunged from 33 mpg to an actual 29 mpg.

Making some assumptions, let’s say 6 mpg per a tank of 15 gallons equals 90 mpg that does not exist but was supposed to. Per fill up, that’s 3.2 gallons at 3.50 a gallon or $11.25 per tank extra that would not have been burnt.  That’s $585 a year with merely a once-a-week fill up.

That’s a lot of money to a working mom, but not enough to hire a lawyer and tackle a large Korean car manufacturer. That’s what class actions do.  They pool losses like that and spread the costs and risks over the class. The money each receives may not be much, but it stops the system form encouraging this behavior.  It helps everyone.

Other class actions currently pending include items as wide and varied as DePuy hip implants, Trex decking, Ebay charges and Alexia potato products.

Class actions keep us all safer and help keep companies treating us fairly.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Here are five (5) LEGAL resolutions can help yourself and your family.

1.    Shoot a video. Make a videotape of all of your household goods, just by walking through the house and opening closets and attics. If you suffer loss due to tornado, fire, theft or earthquake (optional coverage) you can easily fill out claim forms. You will be housed in an apartment or hotel your insurance company places you in, and you can just play and pause the video. See Proverbs 27:23. Be sure to store the video with family or friends and not in your home!

2.    Buy more UM coverage. UM stands for Uninsured/Under-insured Motorists coverage. On your car, you should carry at least $100,000.00 of this coverage. It is very cheap, compared to what you may receive. It only pays you, your family or those in your car if they are injured or killed by an unknown, under-insured or uninsured motorist. See 1 Timothy 5:8. It is vital. If you do nothing else, do this.

3.    Check your credit. You can do this for free, courtesy of our government, once per year per agency at www.annualcreditreport.com.  And never co-sign!  See Proverbs 17:18. This credit check will help you spot identity theft and open cards you may have forgotten about.

4.    Check your house and land for hazards. Are there rotten trees overhanging your driveway? Do you have a good fence around your pool? Is your dog properly secured?  Are your steps solid, and your stair railings tight? Are there holes in your yard? Is there plenty of lighting available at night? If you have cattle, are your fences in good shape without overhanging limbs or unlocked gates? See Exodus 21:33. Even though you are not automatically liable for injuries on your property, an ounce of prevention stops most injuries.

5.     Do you have life insurance? Many do not. It is common for grief-stricken widows to have to work two jobs to pay the funeral off. Is that your plan for your loved ones? See Proverbs 13:22. Buy insurance, and term is usually cheapest.

These few pointers may make a real difference for you this year. And, they are not nearly as hard as a resolution to lose some weight!