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1. Dave Matthews's "Gross Negligence"
Highest Court N.D. Illinois
Year Ended 2005
Plaintiffs Chartered Boat(s)
Defendants Bus Driver(s)
Matthews, Dave (Band)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description (Note: read this entry to the end or you'll miss the whole point.) While driving over the river running through downtown Chicago, Dave Matthews' tour bus dumped gallons of human waste, knowing it would fall through the grates in the bridge underneath, which it did. Of course, underneath the bus was a cruise ship, and the waste landed on passengers enjoying their sunny summer afternoon on the water. According to the court "a foul-smelling, brownish-yellow liquid [] drenched the vessel and dozens of its passengers, getting into passengers' eyes, mouths, and hair and soaking their clothing and personal belongings." Unsurprisingly, the chartered boat company sued, alleging trespass, nusiance, intereference with business, negligence, and, of course, "gross negligence." Defendants moved to dismiss, saying Plaintiffs had not stated and could not state lost profits, as required by the "economic loss rule." The court disagreed, since the facts fit an exception for "sudden, dangerous or calamitous events," and refused Defendant's motion to dismiss trespass, nuisance, and negligence actions, all of which were sufficiently stated, but dismissed Plaintiffs action for "intentional interference with business realtions" for lack of intentionality. Regarding Plaintiff's action for "gross negligence," the court found no such tort existed in Illinois; dumping shit and piss on crusing yuppies might be negligence, but it's NOT "gross." Given the facts of the case, that seems comedically improper. Thus, not only is this a great case discussing the parameters of tort law, it's an interesting exercise into the difference between "coincidence" and "irony." Which is it? You decide.- LSW


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2. Jurassic Tour Bus Accident
Highest Court California Court of Appeal
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Business Entity of Artist(s)
Jurassic 5
Defendants Bus Driver(s)
Private Transporter(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Jurassic 5 leased a private bus for their upcoming tour, and the driver was hired by the band. When the bus had an accident that resulted in injuries to band, this lawsuit ensued, with the band arguing Defendant transportation company and bus driver were responsible. The Defendants argued that Plaintiffs, through their corporation, had employed the bus driver, and thus were his statutory "employer" at the time of the accident, according to the contract between them. If this were true, Plaintiffs would have no cause of action, as they would be responsible for his actions. While the court held the contract between the parties clearly made the driver the band's employee, it did not necessarily find the contract binding on the individual members themselves. Thus, the band members may have causes of action against the Defendants individually. The court reversed the lower court's judgment for Defendant on all counts. - LSW


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3. B.B. King's Bus Disaster
Highest Court Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 1964
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Bus Driver(s)
King, B.B.
Talent Agent(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description B.B. King's bus was involved in 3-vehicle accident that resulted in one death. In the lawsuit, there was an issue as to whose negligence caused the accident, depending on who was passing whom at the time of the crash. Jury instructions provided by the trial court were also insufficient. . - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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