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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

7,469 total

  • I am from Italy and what I want to seek advise - its about an elicit affair of my husband onboard princess cruises.

    I want to sue both Princess Cruises and Steiner Leisure LLC for not monitoring properly they're hired crew members and particularly about their medical procedures before embarking a cruise staff as they (my husband and this spa crew from Steiner L...

    Stephen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Colorado is not the proper place for such a lawsuit. You will want to consult with an attorney in the place in the United States that the cruise ship docked or left from. If any U.S. law applies, that will be the place. There are no cruise ships docked in Colorado.

    In any event, Colorado law would not be helpful to you. Colorado does not favor joint and several liability. This means that a jury would need to separately assess the liability of the cruise line and the liability of your cheating husband. Since he bears the lions share of responsibility for cheating on your and then sleeping with you, your recovery against the cruise line (if any) would be greatly reduced.

    In any jurisdiction, you will have great difficulty winning a case against Princess Cruises. You would have to demonstrate first, that the cruise line had the legal right and ability to screen their crew members for STDs (not something that is even allowed in most of the United States) and that they actually had a duty to do so. I am not aware of any law that requires any employer to screen their employees for STDs apart from the legal brothels in Nevada. In most states and most occupations, such a requirement would be illegal.

    You would also have to show that sleeping with your husband was in the course and scope of the employee's employment. If your husband simply had a relationship with someone who happened to work for the cruise line then the employer is not responsible. Did he actually have sex with them at the spa? That would improve matters with respect to some sort of failure to supervise claim.

    Finally, you would have to show that your injury was proximately caused by the cruise line's negligence. Since you did not get a disease from an employee of the cruise line - you slept with an unfaithful husband who claims that he did - you may be too far removed from the alleged negligence to have a claim.

    You also have proof issues in that you likely have no right to obtain medical records of the cruise line employees. Because of this, it is hard to see how you could even prove that the person he slept with had an STD, much less that they gave it to him (rather than the other way round). This will make it very difficult to prove that your husband got a disease from an employee and not from someone else he may have slept with.

    Your best lawsuit would be against your husband. He is the person who owed you a duty not to cheat on your and to use protection if he did. Your best bet for justice will be in your divorce case. Good luck.

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  • Small personal damage caused in a bank - are they liable?

    Went into my bank vault and there was a ladder with a piece of plastic jutting out from it. The bank employee was with me and saw that it touched my new jacket but at the moment, we did not see any damage. When I was walking out however, I did see...

    Stephen’s Answer

    This probably isn't a winning case.

    In order to prevail against the bank, you would need to prove that they were negligent. You need to show that the bank knew or should have known that the plastic piece posed a danger to people and their possessions and they failed to correct it. In addition, you would have to overcome the defense of comparative negligence. You would have to show that you are not at fault for not seeing the same plastic piece and brushing up against it. It can be tricky to show that the bank should have known the piece of plastic posed a danger, but that you reasonably didn't know the same thing.

    A jury (or in small claims court - a judge) would compare your level of negligence with the bank's negligence and make the award accordingly. If the judge or jury believed that you were 20% at fault and the bank was 80% at fault then you would recover 80% of the cost of the coat. If, on the other hand, you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you recover nothing.

    You could always try to take the case to small claims court and see how it comes out. You might recover something, but most people wouldn't find the cost in time to be worth the cost of the coat.

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  • I was at-fault minor car accident my insurance had been cancel a few moths prior to this im been sue what can i do?

    I was at-fault minor car accident my insurance had been cancel a few moths prior to this because my husbands license had been suspended i wasn't aware(husband kept it from me) this till i had a call from the other party notifing me the couldnt so...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You can try to explain to the court that the damages are inflated or not related to the accident. However, if the plaintiff has estimates for the damage then you may not be successful in reducing the amount you are ordered to pay. You might try to negotiate and reach an agreement with the plaintiff for a payment plan and amount you can afford.

    You could also ask your husband to give you the money to pay the judgment since it was his fault that you were not covered by insurance.

    If you lose the case and cannot pay the judgment then you have the option to file for bankruptcy protection.

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  • I purchased a falsely advertised product.

    Bought a product that was NOT as advertised (specs grossly inflated). People have told me I have no money damages so cant make false advertising claim and recover anything.

    Stephen’s Answer

    You have some damages - you at least have the amount you paid for the product. However, you might not have damages that justify the expense of hiring an attorney to go to court for you.

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  • What if you think your attorney got paid off to not try and win recent question

    Stephen’s Answer

    This is both a very serious charge and a very crazy and extremely unlikely thing to have happened. If you don't actually have any substantial reason for your allegations then most people you talk to are likely to question your mental health. In extreme cases, you might also find yourself on the wrong end of a defamation lawsuit.

    However, if you actually have a reason to believe this actually happened, then you would take the evidence you have that your attorney took a bribe to throw the case (you do have evidence?) and bring it to the attention of the Office of Lawyer Regulation. A grievance can be initiated by telephone: (608)267-7274.

    If the Office of Lawyer Regulation finds the allegation to be substantiated, then the attorney will likely get suspended or disbarred. You will also be able to sue the attorney for malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty.

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  • What is the ramifications of a lien (I think this will be mechanic lien) when its placed on our property, in Thornton CO.

    We had a landscaper do work at our property. He began in Feb/15 and finished Oct/15. We did not sign a contract to outline time line of completion or payment due dates. Although he took along time to complete the project it was done to our sati...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The lien will do nothing unless you are trying to refinance or sell the property within 6 months or the landscaper goes to court to foreclose the lien within that time. If neither thing happens, the lien will expire.

    If he actually forecloses on the lien, then you will lose your house unless you take steps such as filing for bankruptcy protection. However, foreclosure of a lien by a landscaper is extremely rare. He would only make money in such a process if you have a lot of equity in your house.

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  • Do I need an attorney?

    I ended up taking my apartment complex to court for inhabit ability. I won the case, but when I went to apply for a new apartment, they said my complex had an eviction on my record. What kind if legal action should I consider to resolve this matter?

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is likely that the only thing the apartment complex is actually seeing is that you were a defendant in an eviction action. They probably are not seeing the resolution where the court ruled in your favor. You probably should start by showing the new apartment complex the orders which resolved your prior court action to see if you can clear t hat up for them.

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  • Can I sue my landlord for retroactive rent abatement?

    Despite informing my landlord, 6 months ago-in writing, of several conditions presenting immediate health and safety dangers to our family(hole in roof, vermin infestation, mold, leaking ceiling/walls), he has refused to make repairs. We have dec...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Generally, the purpose of rent abatement is to allow you to fix the problems that the landlord won't fix. Colorado does not recognize a right to simply live cheaper due to unfixed issues. Further, under the warranty of habitability, in order to use that as a defense to payment of rent, you usually have to turn over the money you owe under the lease to the court at the time you file your answer to the eviction complaint. If the court rules in your favor, the money can be given to you to use to fix the issues. If the judge rules against you on the habitability issue, the money will be give to the landlord to bring you current on rent.

    You are not entitled to a return of the security deposit until you surrender the property to the landlord so any suit for that is premature so long as you are still in the property.

    Finally, you cannot recover anything for mental anguish against a landlord under the circumstances you describe. Absent an actual injury to you or your family, your claim for emotional distress will fail. What you have described is, at best, is a breach of contract claim and that does not allow you to recover emotional distress damages.

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  • Is there a statute of limitations for delinquent property taxes in Denver Colorado?

    I thought I lost the property in a 1991 bankruptcy but the name on the title was never changed and was recently informed otherwise by the cities attorneys. No property tax has been paid for over 23 years.

    Stephen’s Answer

    No, there is no statute of limitations on property taxes. However, counties almost never pursue people for delinquent taxes since the taxes can be auctioned off. Anyone who has paid the taxes more than three years ago can apply for a deed to your property. If the property is worth anything it is surprising that hasn't yet happened.

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  • Do I have grounds to sue my agent for losses?

    My agent was provided with receipts for extensive flood mitigation/repairs that had been done on a house we bought but didn't share them with us. The receipts were mentioned in the seller's disclosure but we didn't not notice and our agent did not...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It may be a claim worth pursuing. The fact that the matter was mentioned in the seller's disclosures works against you (since the matter was disclosed) and a jury might or might not find that the failure to specifically provide you copies of the receipts was a breach of the broker's duty to disclosure material defects in the property. However, realtors must all carry E&O insurance so it may be worth pursuing a claim to see if you can at least reach a settlement to recoup some of your losses even if the case does not ultimately go to trial.

    You will need an attorney to represent you if you want the insurance company to take the matter seriously.

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