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Brighton Family Law Blog

$1M personal injury settlement reached in hunting accident death

A 13-year-old boy was killed in the state while hunting squirrels back in February. The accident took place during an event that was sponsored by a church group in Oceana County, Michigan. Soon after the death, a wrongful death, personal injury lawsuit was filed on behalf of the young boy.

The man who allegedly fired the fatal shot has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. He could face as many as 15 years in prison for the death if he is found guilty. The 62-year-old claimed that the bullet ricocheted before striking the boy, but an expert hired by the plaintiff's lawyer disputed that claim. The accused is listed as a hunter safety instructor in the state.

Debate heats up in Michigan over 50/50 parenting family law bill

A new bill is promising to bring heated debates and much controversy to the state if it hits the floor of the House next fall. Lawmakers are hoping to add new legislature to the state's family law books. The Michigan Shared Parenting Act would make 50/50 parenting an automatic ruling in most divorce cases.

Some of those who stand in support of the bill passed out flyers in Grand Rapids in an effort to educate the public about an event knows as Putting Kids First. The claim of those in favor of the act is that children need both parents throughout a divorce. They don't feel that a court is choosing in the best interest of a child by giving full custody to one parent.

Personal injury lawsuit over baby's death at daycare to proceed

A default judgment was recently dropped, and a case will continue against a woman who ran a day care. The personal injury case began when a six-month-old baby girl died of suffocation after being left in a portable crib while in the woman's care. According to the claim, the woman is liable for the baby's death because she allowed the baby to nap in the crib even though it was not set up properly. This day care located in Palmyra Township, Michigan.

According to the suit, the mother claims that the baby suffocated because her face ended up lying against the playpen's nylon bottom. Because the baby was too young to position herself so that she could breathe, the woman says that the day care owner was negligent in leaving her alone in the portable crib. The accident occurred on the baby's very first day in the care of the woman.

Is that inheritance really 100 percent yours?

When you are married, it is easy for your assets and property to gradually become shared. For example, the car you owned and used alone for five years before marriage may be considered marital property if your spouse used it and especially if his or her name was added to the title.

Inheritances, too, might be considered marital property by a judge.

What to do if a dog bites your child

You may not be worried about dog bites, because all the canines in your neighborhood are friendly. You may know the owners and be familiar with some of the dogs. Despite these circumstances, the risk of a bite is still very real, especially for small children.

Small children have a harder time reading cues from animals in order to know when a situation has become unsafe. They are also at the level of dogs’ mouths, making them more susceptible to bites, and more severe ones. While there are steps you can take to prevent an attack, it may still happen, and you must be prepared for what to do afterward.

Criminal defense: getting a DUI in the driveway

One man recently found out the hard way that being behind the wheel while intoxicated is not a good idea, even if the driver in his or her own yard. According to a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court, a man who was discovered driving drunk in his own driveway could need a criminal defense lawyer. This decision reverses an earlier ruling.

The man was arrested in 2014 after a police officer claimed to have watched him drive out of his garage and back into it without ever leaving the yard. The man was found to have a blood alcohol content that was three times the state's legal limits. The case was originally dismissed by a county circuit judge, and a state court of appeals upheld that decision.

Domestic abuse and gun violence introduced to family law

A representative in the state has introduced gun violence and domestic abuse legislation. The bill, known as the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, was created in Michigan to protect those who are victims of abuse, stalking or violence. Those who have been convicted of stalking or abuse would be prevented from owning a firearm. It is a bill with which those involved in family law may want to keep up.

The bill is said to bring the federal law into compliance with some of the state laws. It was made bipartisan in order to give it a better chance of passing. Both Democrats and Republicans support the bill, which is said to close loopholes that still exist in the current laws. Supporters feel that a conviction for stalking is enough to determine that a person should not own a gun because he or she will likely commit some form of violence in the future.

Railraod conductor's personal injury suit back on after mistrial

After a previous judge ordered a mistrial on a lawsuit filed by a railroad conductor, the case is back in court. The personal injury lawsuit was filed against Union Pacific, alleging that the man suffered an injury while setting railcars. Even after a mistrial is ordered in Michigan, a case can still go back to court.

According to the claim, the conductor was knocked unconscious while working for the rail car company. The initial lawsuit resulted in a mistrial after Union Pacific admitted to presenting false evidence. The download data that had been given to the court by the company had proved to be false.

Millions of additional defective airbags identified

Could it be that millions of cars on the road still could be potential deathtraps because of the very things that are supposed to save lives, their airbags? Indeed, this may be very disappointing and scary, but it appears that Japanese airbag manufacturer remains under fire for providing potentially defective airbags to multiple automakers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 2.7 million additional vehicles should be recalled because of the potential for defective airbags. The automakers covered under this proposed recall include Ford Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Corp., and Mazda Motor Corp. and the vehicles involved include models manufactured between 2005 and 2012. 

Victim's family sues bar, drunk driver in personal injury case

One man is dead and another could spend 20 years behind bars after an accident on a country road, but that is not where the story ends for the family of the deceased. A drunk driver ran a stop sign in rural Michigan and killed a 58-year-old man who had five kids of his own, 17 grandkids and was raising 2 boys whom he had adopted. Now the family has decided to file a personal injury case not only against the driver, but against the bar that served him as well.

The deceased was traveling early in the morning on his way to work when he was struck by another vehicle. The 32-year-old driver of that vehicle had a blood alcohol content of .23, which is almost three times the legal limit in the state. It was not the first time that he had been convicted of DUI. He pleaded no contest to causing death by drunk driving and was sentenced to six to 20 years in prison.

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