Here are a few interesting snippets from appellate court opinions involving Christmas related facts. Well, interesting is sort of subjective I guess, but at least I found these to be interesting.
In 1984 it was affirmed that Christmas trees are within the definition "timber". Since then, when that grinch the power company tries to take land from a peaceful Christmas tree grower, the power company has to pay for the trees.
In 1996 an employer was deemed innocent with respect to the acts of one employee against another after the employer's Christmas party ended, but some employees carried on the party at a local saloon.
In 1983 an employee's injury was deemed compensable by workers' compensation insurance. The employee was already out on leave when the employer sent the employee a letter that the employee could come to the plant to get a voucher for a free turkey as something of a Christmas bonus. The employee on leave did so, but while heading back to his car and while still in employer's parking lot, the employee slipped, fractured his ankle, and was required to be off work an additional five months. I wonder if the employee ever got his turkey or if the voucher went unused.
In 2010 we learned the haven called Christmas Acres, which includes Christmas Lake, isn't quite as holly and jolly as would be expected. Two neighbors (presumably not elves), fought over boundary lines on their properties.
And finally, in 1996 the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed a trial award to a family and its homeowner's insurer after a Christmas tree caught on fire and burned. The homeowner claimed the salesman at the Christmas tree farm told them the tree had a "flame retardant, fireproof" property to it. In reliance on that representation, the homeowner left the tree up until New Years. Some rascals were having a pillow fight, hit the tree, and the tree caught on fire. To the surprise of (one would expect) nobody, the tree was engulfed in flames within seconds, causing over $14,000 in damages.
So, Christmas gets into the law. Hopefully your Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus or whatever you celebrate stays law free, fire-free, and you just get to enjoy a nice glass of wine, a couple presents, and good company.
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