Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 10:23 AM

Yesterday's COA Decisions

For this blog's purposes, there isn't much noteworthy in yesterday's stack of cases. There are some zoning cases and some contributory negligence cases. There's a discovery case holding (consistent with the so-called "Sporck doctrine") that a lawyer's selection of information from documents (including verbatim notes) may be entitled to opinion work product protection even though the underlying documents themselves aren't protected work product. And there's a preliminary injunction case holding that an agreement's language that “[e]ach party hereto acknowledges that it has no adequate means to protect its rights . . . other than by securing an injunction” supports a showing of "irreparable harm" to get the PI. That type of language is boilerplate in many agreements such as employment agreements.

In the "unusual" category, there's an unpublished decision affirming the dismissal of a suit against the Cleveland Draft House (in Garner, NC) by a woman who became paralyzed after drinking there one night. The plaintiff showed up to the bar at 11:30 p.m., ordered mixed drinks, and got drunk. She left at 2:23 a.m., drove her car to the front of the bar, and got out; the car then moved and hit her, rendering her paralyzed. So she sued the bar, claiming negligence, product liability, and unfair and deceptive trade practices--for serving her drinks while she was drunk and for allegedly serving her mixed drinks that contained more than one serving of alcohol (the alleged "deception" was not disclosing to her that the drinks were stronger than usual). The tort claims were dismissed on the basis of contributory negligence: even if the drinks were stronger than she expected, she was fully aware she was drinking and could become drunk, the Court held. As for her deceptive trade practice claim, the Court held that her allegations (that "she was served drinks stronger than the recommended dosage") didn't support the claim.


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