Q: This isn’t the first time the school bus dropped my 14-year-old daughter off at different locations and didn’t have my permission. Now they leave her off in a high-crime area full of no good people. They didn’t even try calling us to see if it was ok to drop her off. Something needs to be done about it. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I understand your frustration but fortunately she was not injured. Had she been injured, you may have a claim. You need to voice your concerns to the school board, so this sort of mayhem does not happen to another child.
Q: My girlfriend lived with her grandfather for a few years and when she moved out two months ago she left a few large items on the property with permission. Around one month ago however her mother died and an argument over the funeral plans caused the grandfather to bar her from the property and he is refusing to allow her to collect her things. He is asking for an absurd amount of money to collect the items, to the tune of $40 a day since she moved in or roughly $78,000 in back storage fees that were never agreed to. He also refuses to allow her to collect the items from her mother’s estate as she lived with him at the time of her passing. The items value at around $2,000 to $3,000 but some of them are extremely sentimental and there are also textbooks that she needs for college. I need to know my legal options to retrieve these items or to sue him for the value. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: He sounds like a real pill. Perhaps multiple trips up the Courthouse steps is what he needs. Seriously, regarding her property located in the old geezer’s house, have her file a civil suit with the local District Justice under a conversion or theft theory of law. Before she does, provide him a demand letter via certified mail to prove to the court that he was given notice of suit and did not respond. As far as her mother’s estate, she should review that with an estate attorney. More information would need to be known, such as was an estate opened? If not, why? If an estate was opened was this personal property you describe listed on the estate Inventory? If not, why? Etc. etc. Consult with a local estate lawyer.
Q: I was driving in the middle of the city before a concert and looking for a place to park, there was a woman flagging on the right side of the road, I went to pull into the lot behind her and she stepped out into the road pointing to a parking lot of the left side of the road, I in turned swerved back left to avoid hitting her and I hit another car. Both myself and the other car pulled into the lot, and exchanged info, she apologized and said she was sorry he even called her boss and said it was her fault and asked if we could park for free. He said no. My question is why was she flagging on the wrong side of the road and can I sue her or her company for causing this accident?
A: Yes, you can sue a pedestrian for causing a motor vehicle accident. Will it be worth it? A lot more facts would need to be known. First, there needs to be liability, fault on her part. Secondly, you need damages. I am hearing property damage here but not personal injury, lost work or other compensatory damages. If you suffered only property damage and you are insured, is your insurer not covering you? If your total damages are your deductible and say, rental car, while your car is being repaired, you may generate little interest in an attorney investing hundreds of dollars in costs and thousands of dollars of legal billable hours in this endeavor. You may want to file a civil action at the local District Justice. If you do sue, you may want to sue her employer as well. What is their liability? Would a judge find her to be exclusively liable for your property damage or would you be apportioned some fault (contributory or comparative negligence) for pulling into traffic without being clear to do so. I am just saying, I share your frustration but it may be a reach to hold her liable or not worth the investment. Why don’t you just submit the claim to your insurance company so they can assess potential liability.
Q: I went to Supercuts for a hair-cut. She was in a big hurry. She actually scalped me. The easiest way to describe it is if you have ever seen a comedy sketch where someone clips the back of the head and there is a bald spot there. That’s exactly what she did but mine is not growing back. I contacted them. They said I was just a trouble maker trying to get someone fired. I had to go through the holidays like that let alone being teased at work All I wanted is them to fix my hair. I can’t go through life like this
A: Our hair people have more power than we realize. It reminds me of the old Morrissey song titled, ‘Hair Dresser on Fire”. “…I sense the power, in the fingers, within an hour the power can totally destroy me, or it can save my life….” We are all sensitive about our hair. Most people can understand. The problem is that in law, this case does not have a high monetary value. If you were a public figure, actor, or politician, who appeared in front of thousands of people, the case would have more measurable damages. This is not meant to devalue your existence. It is just accepted, that people who rely on their appearance for a living will have higher damages when their appearance is somehow damaged. Talk to another more sensitive hair person or make up person. There are ways to conceal this. They sell like a paint in hair colors to conceal temporary bald spots. Do not despair, it will grow back.
Q: I took a taxi from the Pittsburgh airport to my house, which ended up being an hour long ride. As a frequent traveler for work, I knew that landing at 4:30 p.m. meant I’d be sitting in traffic. I ended up taking a Veterans Taxi. The driver recklessly weaved in and out of lanes – going into the emergency lane even to pass cars. When we got to my house, I went to pay with my credit card on the machine in the van. The driver took my card and I thought maybe the machine is broken and that he’d run the card in the front. He didn’t offer any explanation. I should have questioned it, but didn’t think much. I asked for a receipt, which was printed from the car. The driver wrote in the tip by hand on the receipt, which seemed sketchy. I found later that day that the receipt amount didn’t match what I was charged since I noticed the square receipt in my email. I also noticed a scribble in the signature line. I contacted the taxi company and the taxi upset that there not only was a discrepancy but the driver signed my signature. There is apparently video surveillance in the van but the manager/owner has now taken the driver’s side without even pulling this footage. What can I do? This is fraud.
A: The beauty of using credit cards is that most have a dispute resolution process whereby you just report to them in writing of a disputed charge and they hold payment and investigate it. So, report this either via phone or on your credit card company website and fill out and submit the necessary forms. If you want to go even further, you can contact the county police (I believe they have jurisdiction over the airport) or your local police in the town where the taxi ride ended (may have jurisdiction as well as that is where the transaction was signed) and see if they are interested in filing a theft, access device or forgery charges. My thought is that your credit card company will work it out with the cab company.