PUTTING THE ‘PAIN’ IN CHAMPAGNE SPONTANEOUSLY EJECTING CORK CAUSES LAWSUIT
Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL EJECT SOON AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.”
For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own.
When it comes to bubbly-induced
mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder
— literally. With an estimated velocity of 60miles per hour, uncontrolled corks do in fact fly
faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not-so-fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.
in this role. During college at Arizona State University, Kate began working at KEYTLaw with the intention to follow in her dad’s footsteps. “I thought I’d go to law school and become an estate-planning attorney,” Kate says. “I decided not to go in that direction, and sought a job in the creative field.” She ended up utilizing her keen visual and photography skills as an art director for a jewelry manufacturing company. It was actually our founding attorney and Kate’s dad, Richard, who fostered Kate’s love of photography. “My dad was always taking pictures when I was growing up, and I was fascinated by it. In college, I started taking pictures of everything. I’d spend hours editing photos. I eventually started a blog, and that catapulted me into photography,” she says. Recently, she starting working again at KEYTLaw part time, which allows her to continue her legal career while still nourishing her creative side. “Between this and photography, it’s the best of both worlds,” Kate says. “I have a photography business, and I shoot weddings and other events. I get to exercise my right brain as well as get some creative juices out.” EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT KATE FINDS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
K ate is a familiar face at KEYTLaw. In addition to being part of the Keyt family, Kate is the original KEYTLaw girl, and she recently returned to our team after pursuing other adventures. We’re so happy to feature her this month and share more about how working at KEYTLaw enables her to enjoy the best of both worlds. People often wonder what it’s like to work in a family business. “It’s fun!” Kate says. “Nowmy brother’s an attorney here, and my Mom is my boss. It’s fun working with family. It’s low stress, because we all get along really well. Everyone is easygoing.” She adds, “It’s fun working with our office dog, Cody, too — he brings a great energy to the office, and he’s really great with clients. It’s another perk of being part of a family law firm.” As our LLC legal assistant, Kate supports our clients with anything LLC-related, including forming new LLCs, member changes, and helping clients with their confidential trusts. She has six years of experience
We’re so glad to have Kate’s diverse set of skills on the KEYTLaw team— though Cody may be the most excited of all! 2 | Text FAP to 72000 to get our free estate planning book called “Family Asset Protection.”www.keytlaw.com
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