Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In the "best defense is a good offense" department: A man who had pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter stemming from a crash near Tampa, Fla., on Christmas Day 2007 now denies causing the crash that killed three of the four people in the vehicle he hit, and has sued the estate of the person whose death he admitted causing.

Now, when you talk about frivolous lawsuits, here's an example. By pleading guilty to a criminal offense, he essentially is admitting civil liability for the same incident. It's a bit difficult (uh, impossible) to overcome his own admission in the criminal case.

His lawyer, who is also his sister, filed the lawsuit. I wonder if she has any experience in personal injury claims or litigation, because it sounds like a real boneheaded move to me.
Man with a death wish? "A man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Thursday over allegations he shut down San Francisco's subway system for more than two hours after driving his SUV onto the underground tracks...."

Even more seriously, he was charged with failure to obey a traffic sign. Oooh.
Some of the ways our federal government has supported the middle class.
After 16 -- yes, 16 -- years, IRS issues final regs on exclusion of damages for personal physical injury. This is not very world-shaking, but it is noteworthy that monetary recovery only relative to physical injury or physical sickness is excluded from income. In other words, if you have a recovery based on emotional distress, then the IRS regs require you to report that as income. On the other hand, "The regulations also permit the exclusion of damages for emotional distress, to the extent the emotional distress is attributable to a physical injury or physical sickness, and also permit the exclusion of damages that do not exceed the amount paid for medical care for emotional distress."

It's unfortunate that in our supposedly enlightened world, there is still a distinction drawn between bodily injury and the just as legitimate emotional or psychological injury.