Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

State Supreme Courty finds estranged spouse liable in car death

TALLAHASSEE — A man whose ex-wife had a car in both their names is still liable after she struck and killed a man with the vehicle in 2005, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Robert Christensen and his ex-wife Mary Taylor-Christensen were no longer living together, he didn't have a set of keys to the PT Cruiser and he didn't have access to the garage where she kept it. He never even saw a copy of the title because it was mailed to Taylor-Christensen's home. He did drive it once — from Taylor-Christensen's home to a carwash the day after he bought it for her during their divorce proceedings.

Then nearly two years later she struck and killed Thomas Bowen while driving drunk on Interstate 95. Bowen was changing his tire on the side of the road. Bowen's widow sued both of them and a jury originally found Christensen wasn't liable for the death caused by his ex-wife. The Supreme Court ruled that was a mistake.

Whether he used the car or not, Christensen still had the legal right to drive it or to sell it because he still had the benefits of ownership, the court wrote. And the law says a vehicle's owner shares responsibility of damage, injury or death is caused by another driver.

"When two individuals submit an application for joint ownership, each co-owner commits himself or herself to the judgment of the other and is subject to vicarious liability for the other's negligent use of the vehicle. Should a titleholder never intend to use a vehicle and wish to avoid vicarious liability, then the titleholder must divest himself or herself of any interest in the vehicle," the court wrote.

Christensen said the car was supposed to be a gift for Taylor-Christensen and that he never intended to use it. That doesn't matter, the court said. He was still legally an owner and he showed no evidence that he tried to legally give up that right.

"To divest himself of his co-ownership interest, and relieve himself from the possibility of vicarious liability, Christensen should have transferred his interest at some point after the purchase of the vehicle," the court wrote. "Christensen's non-use of the vehicle does not demonstrate that he transferred his interest in the vehicle to Taylor-Christensen."

Comments
Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The Daystarter: These 80 degree days are here to stay; schools contend with threats; legal lion Barry Cohen closes shop after cancer return

The Daystarter: These 80 degree days are here to stay; schools contend with threats; legal lion Barry Cohen closes shop after cancer return

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.The 80s are here to stay, according to 10Weather WTSP. Weekend temperatures cool only slightly, to the low to mid 80s, with a low rain chance. Next week is just more of the sam...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Legal lion Barry Cohen reveals leukemia and tells how it has changed his priorities

Legal lion Barry Cohen reveals leukemia and tells how it has changed his priorities

TAMPA — Time was, if you were in deep trouble, you turned to Barry Cohen.He kept Jennifer Porter out of jail even after her hit-and-run accident left two children dead. He got charges against Steven and Marlene Aisenberg dropped and won them $3 milli...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said.That’s something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 84-y...
Published: 02/23/18
It’s

It’s "Krunch" time for East Lake students

On a recent Saturday, students arrived at a Pasco County high school for an all-day scrimmage.The gym was covered in black, plastic tarps, with a course down the middle. Six teams came ready to race their robots, including one from East Lake High Sch...
Published: 02/23/18
A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

What’s new in cruising for 2018? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes u...
Published: 02/23/18

High school scoreboard for Feb. 22

Thursday’s scoreboardSoftballBoca Ciega 4, Pinellas Park 2Admiral Farragut 7, Northside Christian 1Boys tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Clearwater Central Cath. 4, Jesuit 3Girls tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Boys basketballClass 3A, region semifina...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

A case for wild flamingos calling Florida their home

In 2015, Conchy the flamingo showed up at Florida’s Naval Air Station Key West, and he wouldn’t leave. Normally, managers on the grounds lethally remove feathered troublemakers — it can be very dangerous with birds flying around million-dollar fighte...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago