NEWS: Legal News You Can Use – May 25, 2015

State senator acquitted of DUI; More on the bourbon theft; Heleringer's Top Ten Best SCOTUS decisions; $12.8 million Walmart Verdict; $5 million TARC verdict


Kentucky Senator Smith acquitted of DUI charge, convicted of speeding

Smith was ordered to pay a $40 fine and court costs because of the speeding charge. Smith’s license, which had been taken away because he did not take a breathalyzer test, will be returned with the not guilty verdict on the DUI charge. It took the jury about 10 minutes to acquit Smith, who was arrested on the very first day of the 2015 legislative session.

Several defendants in Central Ky. bourbon-theft, steroid-trafficking ring plead not guilty, Ky. – The attorney for the alleged ringleader of a bourbon theft and steroid trafficking ring questioned Friday whether her client Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger can get a fair trial with the attention the case is getting.

Curtsinger pleaded not guilty Friday to Kentucky’s equivalent of racketeering — engaging in organized crime — during a Franklin Circuit Court hearing where his attorney Whitney Lawson said she has “grave concerns” whether impartial jurors can be found. The case has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.  Curtsinger was one of five defendants in the bourbon theft ring case in court Friday for arraignment.

Heleringer | Another Supreme Court top 10 list Heleringer Columnist(Photo: Beth Smith)

While awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s momentous decision in Kentucky’s same-sex marriage case (Bourke v. Beshear) — some with trepidation, others with guarded optimism – I profiled in my last column the high court’s top ten worst decisions, as determined by a semi-distinguished panel of legal scholars: me, myself, and I. As promised, here are the consensus top ten best Supreme Court decisions of all time according to the same panel.

10. Helvering v. Davis (1937): the older I get, the better this case looks. The court upheld, 7-2, the constitutionality of the Social Security Act as not violative of the Tenth Amendment, the catch-all amendment in our Bill of Rights that reserves to the states any authority not delegated to the federal government by our Constitution. In layman’s terms, at the height of the Great Depression, at least seven justices said they weren’t going to find a reason in the Constitution to strike down legislation that promised America’s older citizens their government wasn’t going to allow them to starve to death in their last years.   Read more…..


Some older posts I missed:

Man who lost leg wins lawsuit against Walmart

A Kentucky jury has returned a $12.8 million verdict against Walmart for installing a mismatched tire on a truck that ran over a construction worker, rendering him a quadriplegic and forcing the amputation of one of his legs. The verdict of $12,797,990 for Shaun Joseph included $7.5 million for pain and suffering. Joseph, then 29, was standing on the side of the road in Paintsville on Dec. 1, 2010, when he was struck by a truck driven by Nicola Liebsch, who was taking her daughter to the library, according to the report.


Man hit by TARC bus awarded nearly $5 million by jury

A jury has awarded nearly $5 million to a courier for a Louisville law firm who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit by a TARC bus.
After a nine-day trial and nearly four hours of deliberations, the Jefferson Circuit Court jury awarded $4,951,073 to Adam Bibelhauser, who alleged he was in a crosswalk at Fourth and Market streets on Sept. 8, 2008, when he was struck.
Bibelhauser, then 27, worked full time for Stites & Harbison and was pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Louisville. His attorneys, Doug Farnsley and Julie McDonnell, who practice at Stites, said he was unable to complete his degree.