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Personal Injury Newsletters

Defamatory Statements

A lawsuit for defamation has the following basic elements: (1) making a false statement; (2) about a person; (3) to others; and (4) actual damages (if the harm to the person is not apparent). There is a fifth element when the person is a public official or public figure. In such a case, the person who made the statement has to have made it with a known or reckless disregard of the truth. This article discusses the first element, making a false statement. A false statement of fact about a person that tends to harm the person’s reputation is known as a defamatory statement.

Federal Teacher Protection Act — Preemption of State Law

The federal Teacher Protection Act (TPA) preempts state laws to the extent that such laws are inconsistent with the provisions of the TPA. However, the TPA does not preempt state laws that provide additional protection from liability to school employees.

Professional Rescuers

A rescuer who comes to the aid of a victim of a peril may be either an amateur or a professional, such as a firefighter or a police officer. With respect to amateur rescuers, the “rescue doctrine” may apply to allow the rescuer to recover against the creator of the victim’s peril for injuries that he sustains during the rescue. However, professional rescuers are generally unable to rely on the rescue doctrine to recover for their injuries. Instead, the “fireman’s rule” ordinarily prevents professionals from recovering without regard to the negligence of the creator of the peril.

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act is a federal law designed to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations by limiting the legal liability of donors. The Act is named after its sponsor, Bill Emerson, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri. President Bill Clinton signed the Act into law in 1996.

The Tort Definition Debate

Apart from legislation granting a right to sue for a specific harm, personal injury law generally consists of tort law and the civil procedure for enforcing it. Although tort law is a major kind of law, among many legal scholars there is no generally agreed definition of the word “tort.” This article discusses the tort definition debate.