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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Some injuries have a delayed reaction. Watch for these signs

Out of nowhere, your vehicle violently jolts. You hear the crunch of metal, and even with your seat belt on, you feel as though the impact threw you around your vehicle. When you and your vehicle finally come to rest, it may take you a few seconds, or even a few minutes, to realize what just happened.

As soon as you realize you were in an accident, your brain begins to assess the condition of the rest of your body. When you figure out you can move and don't show any outward signs of injury, you breathe a sigh of relief and get out of your vehicle. After you can leave the scene, you count yourself lucky and go home.

How charity scammers can take your money

It seems like we're always being asked to donate to one good cause or another. We see TV ads featuring sad animals and sick children. Donation requests are everywhere on social media. When a natural disaster or some other calamity hits, these calls for assistance increase.

Most of us want to help worthy causes, even if we can only spare a little money. However, we also want to make sure that we're giving to an organization that will use the money appropriately and not spend a large percentage of it on "overhead costs" and executive salaries. We certainly don't want to fall victim to a scam.

Deaths involving recalled children's products jumped last year

There's considerably more attention paid to the safety of children's products today than when most of us were kids. However, the number of fatalities is still alarmingly high.

According to a study by a Chicago-based nonprofit advocacy group, Kids in Danger (KID), 38 children died in 2019 due to injuries suffered from recalled products. The previous year, no deaths were reported. Meanwhile, the number of recalls of children's products rose by more than 11% in 2019 over 2018.

Katy Perry wins latest round of copyright infringement battle

Six years after a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against her, Katy Perry has won a victory thanks to a federal appeals court. However, this likely isn't the end of the saga.

Back in 2014, Christian rapper Marcus Gray, perhaps better known by his stage name Flame, alleged that Perry and her co-songwriters plagiarized a portion of his 2009 song "Joyful Noise" when they wrote her 2013 hit, Grammy-nominated song, "Dark Horse."

Bank accused of fraudulently opening customer accounts

Many of our readers remember the scandal involving Wells Fargo back in 2016. Employees were opening millions of fake accounts for real customers in an effort to meet sales goals, which are typically tied to compensation. That was just one of the allegations of fraud against the bank.

At the end of 2018, Wells agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement to resolve claims that it had violated consumer protection laws in every state and Washington, D.C. The Federal Reserve ordered it to make a number of reforms.

The consequences of terminating a franchise agreement

The benefits of buying into a franchise are numerous. You are a small business owner in Illinois with the support of a corporation behind you. Your chances of success are higher because you are working with a proven brand with well-established practices for success. The franchise you choose may offer you all the training you need, and you will likely have support and marketing help along the way.

Of course, even something as tried and true as a franchise can have its disadvantages, and one of them is the rigid contract you may have to sign. The agreement you make with the franchisor often leaves little room for your own creativity and places strict quotas on your production. Once you sign the franchise agreement, you may also have a difficult time getting out of it. It is important that you understand the ramifications of breaking your agreement and where you can turn for legal assistance.

Former tech exec files for bankruptcy after $179 million judgment

A former executive with Google who went on to work for Uber has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after he was ordered to pay Google $179 million for sharing trade secrets and other contract violations. An arbitration panel hearing the case had recommended an award of $127 million to Google. However, a court added legal fees and interest payments to that amount, increasing it by more than $50 million.

The executive was a leading developer of the technology behind Google's self-driving vehicles. That division of the company was known as Waymo. According to Google, before he left Waymo to start his own company that made self-driving trucks, he downloaded thousands of files in violation of his employment agreement. His company, named Otto, was purchased by Uber in 2016.

Illinois college student sues for excessive force, false arrest

It was just over a year ago when the swim team from East Illinois University (EIU) was returning to the Charleston campus after a championship tournament in South Dakota. The bus the team was riding on pulled off Interstate 80 near an East Moline rest stop.

When one swimmer got off the bus to take a selfie and stretch his legs, the 19-year-old freshman found himself surrounded by law enforcement officers, guns drawn. That's just the beginning of what happened, according to a federal lawsuit that has been filed by the young man, who was the only black team member on the bus.

Walking and cycling become increasingly dangerous activities

What's the best way to help control traffic congestion, pollution and weight gain? Get out there and use your own two feet or a bicycle to get around. These low-cost exercises have numerous health benefits, and many people, perhaps you included, are already taking advantage of them.

The problem is that walking and cycling continue to become more and more dangerous across the country, including here in Missouri. According to the federal government, over 6,200 pedestrians and approximately 857 bicyclists lost their lives in 2018, and the final numbers for 2019 could end up even higher. To put this in perspective, this is an approximately 53% increase for pedestrians and around a 36% increase for cyclists since 2009.

Not all crash injuries are immediately apparent

You were in a car crash a few days ago or maybe even a week or more ago. You thought you escaped uninjured -- aside from feeling shaken. Maybe you broke a bone or two, and you thought that was the extent of your injuries.

Now you're starting to experience some troubling symptoms. You wonder if they're related to the crash, but you figure they would have appeared immediately or at least within hours if they were.

David M. Duree and Associates, P.C.
312 South Lincoln Avenue
O'Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: 618-589-0956
Fax: 618-628-0259
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