Skip to content

10 March, 2018 04:57

March 10, 2018

Michele Young


from: Michele Young

November 8, 2015

Michele Young
Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


August 10, 2015

From: myoung721
8/10/2015 12:22:13 PM

Life, law, blogs and books!

June 26, 2012

Loyal Reader,


I shall return!

Follow-up: What Happened to Two Cincinnati Familes After the Indiana Stage Collapse

December 25, 2011

 Earlier, I wrote how the Indiana cap on a single tort recovery meant seven bereaving families and more than forty injured , including a  young paraplegic, could not receive more than five million dollars in total.  With mounting medical expenses and deaths, the families   of a full recovery.  Today, The Cincinnati  Enquirer profiled  the tragic consequences on Cincinnatians. 

One was  24-year old Meagan Toothman, killed during the stage collapse.  A  beautiful young blond with an engaging smile, this graduate of   Turpin High school was beloved in Anderson.  An athlete  dedicated  to children, she already had a psychology degree from Wittenberg, a masters of education, and studying graduate school psychology.  Turpin’s cheerleading coach.  Meagan was about to intern in the West Clermont school district.   This young woman who touched so many lives already, who led  a life of valor and value, cannot be fully  recognized for who she was and what she meant to her loved ones and community for  the “tort caps” mean that the value of her  life  is  “capped.”   With seven dead , forty injured,  and a five million dollar cap on any single accident in Indiana, there is not enough money to go around even to pay for the mounting medical bills of the survivors.  How then will the law value the life of a valiant young woman who was cherished, nurtured, and now a leader ready to contribute so much to our community?  Tort caps prevent such a full legal reckoning of this loss.  

What will happen to Shannon and Jade Walcott?  Thirty-five year old Shannon was  without health insurance when the stage collapsed.  Her daughter, eleven-year old Jade, was  hospitalized until September 30th with a fractured skull, fractured neck vertebrae and other injuries.  Shannon suffered a broken pelvis and ribs, and complications from a collapsed lung.  She worked at three jobs before the stage collapse and has not returned.   While confidentiality does not allow for discussion of the settlement offers, articles indicate that Jade and Shannon  could not have been offered  more than a percentage of their mounting medical bills  with little to cover what might be the long recovery of the two in the future.    Jade and Shannon have reached out for charity donations to “Jade’s Journey” and the “Shannon and Jade Recovery Trust.”  Is charity a good substitute for a fair settlement of  these tort claims?  Does any reader truly  believe the long-term costs of a young girl with a fractured skull and battered spine would likely be covered by contributions by neighbors, however well-meaning  and generous these neighbors may be? 

 Stories like these show why the concept of “tort caps” prevents  justice for the victim.  Victims need to be compensated so they are made whole.  This is not a radical new  concept.  In contrast, long before there was even democracy in much of the world, there were torts.   From ancient times, societies have recognized the need  to compensate a man, a woman, a child.  injured as a consequence of negligence or wrongdoing.  It is the traditional and time-proven way of providing  civil justice.   The new-fangled concept of “tort caps”  fails to take in account the recognition that we cannot let the injured beg for charity when they are  crippled  by another. We cannot diminish the value of an exemplary life.  We cannot “cap” justice for when we do so we  fail to want to value each life as if our own, precious and unique.

For more on the Indiana stage collapse, please see today’s The Cincinnati Enquirer, Forum at p.1, “Mother of Stage Collapse Victim Carries On.”  and  my earlier blog entries.

The Daily Roundup: Christmas Eve Edition

December 25, 2011

Santa Claus. The mere mention of the legendary gift-giver’s name evokes an emotional response in children and adults the world over, somewhere in between awe and unadulterated glee. And how could you not like the guy? He delivers a mind-blowing number of gifts to children all around the world in a single night, and graciously accepts nothing more than a few cookies and some milk in return. Well, even the most charitable among us is no longer safe from the litigious society that America has become. Check out these Grinches who want to sue Santa Claus:

A UK woman is suing Santa for negligence after tripping on a stray icicle and breaking her hip. She argues that Santa or one of his elves should have spotted the icicle ornament, which had fallen off a nearby Christmas tree.

The FTC has Charged Santa Claus a Record Fine for Violating Children’s Privacy, according to  Jeff Jarvis of Thanks to the Law and Humanities Blog for the tip!

After several injustices over the years, including trespassing and breach of contract, Nick Farr of has reached the only logical conclusion: I Must Now Sue Santa.

And now, a few warnings about some of the more extravagant items you might have on your wish list this year:

You'll shoot your eye out!

 When it comes time to get your new Ferrari serviced, choose your mechanic wisely. One Ferrari enthusiast learned this the hard way when he took his prancing horse to the Ferrari Centre in Kent, England. After service and maintenance, a technician totalled the Italian exotic while testing it out on a nearby highway– at 80 mph. Bad enough for the owner, but the technician was paralyzed in the incident and is now suing the shop for requiring him to test the vehicle on a public road.

And finally, while you will be tempted, you must resist the temptation to ride your brand new Segway scooter blindfolded through an obstacle course without a helmet on. As one Connecticut man can attest, the resulting brain damage is not worth the $10 million he received in damages.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

By: Mike Hess, Legal Assistant, Greg S. Young Co. L.P.A.

What does a state cap on damages mean? The offers to the victims of the Indianapolis State Fair collapse show what happens when lives and injuries are devalued.

December 9, 2011
Lightning and high winds on Aug. 13, 2011, blew dust on the infield of the track of the Indiana State Fair grandstands prior to a Sugarland concert. Seven people died  and more than 40 were injured.
Earlier I wrote on the collapse of the stage of the State Fair stage when winds toppled the stage of fans awaiting to see the band Sugarland.  A total of one hundred and one have now filed for claims.  But the state of Indiana caps damages  for a single incident at $5 million and all damages, even for at the most crippling injuries,  $700,000  What did this mean in concrete terms? The state has now offered a settlement to the victims.
Here are the numbers:
Death, regardless of who was killed, is worth $300,000. Up to twenty thousand dollars more can be received by families of concert goers who lingered in hospitals before dying.
Permanent  body paralysis is valued at $503,052 for a 17-year old boy. Approximately $165,000 is set aside for the future expenses of a paraplegic from the waist down.
Surviving victims with physical injuries will receive compensation for 65  percent of the medical expenses through Nov. 15.
A total of 65  other survivors will receive compensation, at little as 101 dollars.
Do the victims receive full compensation for medical expenses?
No. They have been offered 65%.
Do the victims receive any money for future medical expenses?
Do the victims receive any money to cover the psychological costs of therapy of witnessing the deaths of their loved ones or suffering crippling injuries?

Fox News reports that  Lisa Hite, one of the survivors, who has already  incurred  more than $43,000 for her injuries and will have surgery on her foot on December 19th,  said “I’ve had better days,”when she had heard of Tuesday’s news.  She has been offered $7,000.

Under the law, could the offer be more generous?  Of course not.  Once there is a cap on a single incident, then the greater the wreckage of innocents’ lives, the less there is to make any of the victims whole.   The cap, by its very nature, devalues the worth of a human life and thrust the tried-and-true evaluation of a person’s worth by jury into an exercise by bean counters as to how to divide up limited funds.

The victims have until Monday to decide whether or not to accept the offer.  But each acceptance of an offer will deplete the funds.  So it is a dangerous gamble to wait. Is this the kind of justice we want for ourselves or our children?

For more, see:

Indiana offers $300K to stage collapse victims – 

Indiana sends offer to stage collapse victims –Tom LoBianco, The Chicago Tribune