Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Legal Blog

The symptoms of traumatic brain injury

Many Pittsburgh-area residents who are injured as a result of the negligence of another are fortunate enough to escape with relatively minor injuries. These injuries may include scrapes, bruises or cuts. More moderate accidents leave victims suffering from broken bones and gashes that may require stitches. Although these injuries can be painful and take some time to recover from, they are not as serious as some of the most severe injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury.

No matter the type, traumatic brain injuries are serious. However, they do fall on a spectrum of severity. Minor traumatic brain injuries, for example, may present themselves through headaches, vomiting, fatigue, sleep trouble and dizziness. These types of injuries will usually also leave a victim with difficulty speaking, sensitivity to sound and light and mental issues such as loss of memory and/or concentration problems.

Pastor's breach of contract case heads to court of appeals

Various documents are necessary in the workplace. Employment contracts can serve a very important purpose in the business world. On one hand, it can allow an employee to solidify his or her compensation and benefits, as well as the term during which he or she will be employed. On the other hand, a business can secure a strong candidate for a given period of time with protections in place to ensure that, even once the employment period runs its course, certain protections remain in place to protect the business's best interests.

Sometimes, though, contractual issues can become complicated, particularly when a breach is alleged. That is the situation for one Pittsburgh pastor and the church he was formerly employed at. There, the pastor was hired after signing a 20-year employment contract, but his effectiveness as a pastor was drawn into question after church membership dropped by more than 60 percent and donations fell by more than a third. As a result, the church essentially fired the pastor prior to his contractual term coming to an end.

Pennsylvania woman killed in pedestrian accident

Parking lots are the scene of many fender benders. Cars blindly pull out of parking spots only to be struck by oncoming vehicles. Others pull into parking lot lanes too quickly and too widely, causing them to strike vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Fortunately, given the relatively slow speeds vehicles generally travel through parking lots, many of these wrecks merely result in minor property damage. However, despite these slow speeds, when these accidents involve pedestrians, the results can be deadly.

This was the tragic case for one Pennsylvania woman who was killed in a local Walmart parking lot. According to reports, the woman was struck just outside of the store's main entrance in a zone that is clearly demarcated as a pedestrian crossing. As a result of this incident, a 49-year-old woman is accused of drunk driving and homicide by vehicle. Reports indicate that the accused individual ran over the woman twice before stopping. When questioned by police, the woman admitted to striking the victim and to taking pain medication. Police officers indicated that they could smell alcohol on her breath.

Business law: the basics of franchising

There are a number of ways to start a new business. Some people take a unique idea or an old idea with a fresh twist and start their enterprise by building it from the ground up. Others, though, would rather jump into a business that is already reputable and has supply chains intact. For those in this latter group, franchising can be a great option.

In basic terms, franchising is the process where the owner of a trademark or service mark contracts with another party to allow them to use it for identification purposes in their business. This is probably most often seen in the fast food industry, as McDonalds and Burger King restaurants are franchised from a parent company. As a part of franchising, the franchisee is usually given strict terms to follow so that the franchisor can protect its name and image.

Business formation types that limit personal liability

If you are a resident of Pennsylvania who is looking to establish your own business, you may be giving some close consideration to exactly what type of business structure you want to create. Different business structure types offer different benefits and drawbacks, but if minimizing the amount of personal liability you have in your business is a concern, you may find some structures more appealing than others.

For example, two particular business structures, the limited liability company and the S corporation, reduce the degree of personal liability you have in your business, but there are some important distinctions that exist between them.

Dealing with child custody issues? We may be able to help

Those facing family law issues can quickly find themselves upset and overwhelmed. This is understandable, as these matters are often charged with emotion. This can be especially true when children are involved. Marriage dissolution, or even the end of an unmarried relationship that had children, can lead to a fight over the establishment of custody. Even once custody is initially determined, certain issues can arise, justifying a child custody or visitation modification. One of these issues, as we have discussed previously on the blog, is substance abuse.

Yet, substance abuse is not the only issue that can affect child custody and visitation. Domestic violence, criminal history, allegations of abuse or neglect and even a showing that continued contact therapeutically damages the child in question may all be justification for seeking change. What it boils down to is finding an arrangement that furthers the child's best interests.

Can trespassers pursue a premises liability lawsuit?

We enter the property of others with little thought about what could happen while on that property. Premises liability is the legal theory where an individual who is injured by a dangerous property condition can recover compensation for his or her damages if certain legal elements are shown. For example, those who are invited onto the property of another must put forth evidence that they were in fact invited onto the property and that the property owner failed to identify and quickly remedy an existing hazard. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be necessary for an invitee to show that the property owner failed to warn of the hazardous condition.

But what about someone who trespasses onto the property of another? Can he or she recover damages if injured while on the property of another? Although property owners generally owe no duty of care to trespassers, there is an exception. When a property owner has reason to believe that trespassers will likely enter onto his or her premises, then he or she may owe those trespassers a duty of care that extends to providing reasonable warning.

What is a business plan?

The decision to start a business isn't one that should be taken lightly. Those who choose to engage in entrepreneurship often wind up putting their future and their finances on the line. When their businesses fail, their financial security and future can take a significant setback. This is why it is imperative for these individuals to engage in careful and thorough planning. By doing so, they may be able to create a sustainable and profitable business that can give them a sense of achievement of which they can be proud.

One step of this planning process is creating the business plan. This document is usually created before the business itself is brought into existence, and it can serve as a roadmap to the business's success. A business plan should describe the business and illustrate any marketing and advertising strategies. Management style should also be addressed, and the financial aspects related to the business should be clearly spelled out.

3 essential aspects of an employment contract

When you are looking to hire employees for your business, you should have an employment contract. A good contract will explain all the terms of employment clearly and protect you from liabilities. If you do not have a comprehensive contract, you may face lawsuits from your employees if something goes wrong. 

Every employment contract will be unique, but you should always cover certain general issues. Here are three your employment contract should address.

Pennsylvania couple hit with multiple theft charges

It's not uncommon for relationships to sour, even familial ones. Most of the time, these relationships can be repaired after harsh words are exchanged. In other instances, though, these spats turn into allegations of criminal wrongdoing. Physical violence, theft, sexual assault and even murder can all be alleged against an individual all out of bad blood. When a Pennsylvanian finds him or herself in this position, it's time to consider with criminal defense options they might have.

According to reports, two Pennsylvanians were taken into custody on multiple counts of theft and misappropriation of funds held in trust. Other counts against them include conspiracy and receiving stolen property. Police claim that the couple, who were in charge of managing the finances of the man's aging and Alzheimer's-riddled father, stole more than $600,000 from the man's estate.

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If you need to speak with an attorney about an important legal matter, contact my law office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, call 412-455-5388, or contact me by e-mail.

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Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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