Recent Lawsuits/Cases - Part 2


TV Wall Mounts Recalled Due to Risk of Injury

Ergotron has issued a recall on their interactive television wall mounts due to a risk of injury. According to the recall, “The weld between the “VESA” style mounting plate and the mounting ring can fail, allowing the monitor or TV to fall. This poses a risk of injury to bystanders.” Nearly 200,000 wall mounts sold across North America have been included in the recall. The company has received three reports of incidents of the monitor plate separating from the wall mount system, but no injuries have been reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 01/24/2014

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Pa. Police Officer Faces Sexual Coercion Lawsuit

A Pennsylvania woman has filed a federal lawsuit after a Pittsburgh police officer sexually assaulted her. The police officer approached the plaintiff at her home, offering to help get her boyfriend out of jail, and then demanded sex. Between 2008 and 2011, three complaints were filed by women who also claimed the police officer demanded sex from them, but no action was taken against him. The lawsuit names the city, the public safety director, former police chief and former assistant chief of operations.

Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 01/16/2014

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10-Minute Ohio Execution Sparks Lawsuit

The family of a man who was executed in Ohio yesterday is planning to file a federal lawsuit against the state. The family considers the 10-minute execution in which the man gasped for air, choked and struggled “cruel and unusual punishment.” The drugs used in the execution yesterday had never before been used in a US execution and was considered by one of the man’s public defenders as a “failed, agonizing experiment by the state of Ohio.” The man was executed for the brutal 1989 murder of a pregnant 22-year-old woman.

Alan Johnson, Columbus Dispatch 01/17/2014

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Lawsuit Claims W.Va. Chemical Leak Can Cause Cancer

A number of West Virginia businesses and residents have filed a lawsuit against Eastman Chemical Company. They produce the form of methanol which recently leaked into the local water supply, leaving thousands of people without water. The lawsuit claims that the company hid evidence that the chemical can cause cancer. The plaintiffs include businesses that were forced to shut down and residents who claim they were exposed to the contaminated water. The lawsuit also names West Virginia American Water, Freedom Industries and its director of operations.

Kate White, The Charleston Gazette 01/16/2014

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Lawsuits Filed Over Fatal Yale Fraternity Accident

Multiple lawsuits have been filed over a November 2011 incident in which a Yale student struck three people with a U-Haul truck, killing one and injuring two, while transporting beer kegs to a fraternity event. The most recent lawsuit was filed against 86 current and former members of the fraternity. Lawyers claim that the national headquarters would not take responsibility for the Yale chapter’s actions, so the plaintiffs were forced to file against individual members of the fraternity. It is possible that the multiple lawsuits will be consolidated and may go to trial sometime next year.

Saba Hamedy, LA Times 01/16/2014

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Suit: Law Enforcement Officers Failed to Protect Drunk Man

The family of an Ohio man who was killed after deputy sheriffs and a state trooper failed to arrest him for drunken driving have filed a lawsuit. The man was struck and killed while walking on the side of the road after the deputies and trooper dropped him off at a fast-food restaurant. According to the lawsuit, the deputies made fun of the man’s inability to speak English and his Mexican ethnicity and proceeded to drop him off at a Taco Bell. The lawsuit alleges that the deputies should have done more to protect the intoxicated man.

Laura Arenschield, Columbus Dispatch 01/10/2014

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Medicine Cabinets Recalled Due to Injury Hazard

RSI has issued a recall on bathroom medicine cabinets sold exclusively at Home Depot. According to the recall, “The mirror or its back panel can separate and fall out, posing an injury hazard to consumers.” There were about 14,000 medicine cabinets sold nationwide from August 2013 to October 2013 that are included in the recall. There have been two reports of the medicine cabinet’s mirror or back panel falling out but no reports of injuries.
Staff Report, PR Newswire 01/16/2014


Surgeon Who Did Not Complete Medical Procedure is Sued

A California cardiac surgeon is facing a lawsuit after he left an open-heart surgery before it was finished. The Fresno, Calif. heart surgeon left the operating room before his 72-year-old patient was in stable condition. The patient has subsequently been in a vegetative state since the surgery two years ago. The patient’s wife and stepson filed the lawsuit on December 23. The suit seeks unspecified damages and also names the Community Regional Medical Center as a defendant.
Barbara Anderson, The Fresno Bee 01/08/2014

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Suit Claims Doctor Died of “Easily Diagnosable” Blood Clot

The parents of a young doctor who died shortly after graduating from medical school have filed a lawsuit against Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp., Pa. The 26-year-old woman suffered cerebral hemorrhaging, a stroke and irreversible brain damage and died as a result of a blood clot condition which the lawsuit alleges was “easily diagnosable, treatable and entirely correctable.” The woman sought medical attention at the hospital after 10 days of headaches but doctors failed to detect and treat the blood clot. The doctors did not conduct the proper tests, including a CT scan, until 40 hours after she arrived at the hospital. The suit names the hospital, Geisinger Health System, and Geisinger Health System Foundation as defendants.

Bob Kalinowski, The Scranton Time-Tribune 01/09/2014

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Suit: Diet Pills Put N.Y. Woman in Mental Hospital

A woman from Queens, N.Y. has filed a lawsuit after suffering from severe insomnia and being put into a mental hospital after taking “black market” diet pills. The lawsuit alleges that the fat-burning pills prevented the 26-year-old from sleeping and caused her to behave in an odd and aggressive manner. While taking the pills, the woman argued with strangers, heard voices, sent aggressive text messages to her mother and tore a screen door at her home. As a result, she spent five days in a mental hospital. The lawsuit names the Natural Health Food Center in East New York and seeks unspecified damages.

Oren Yaniv, New York Daily News 01/09/2014

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Former Police Officer Files Suit Over False Arrest and Imprisonment

A former Vancouver Police Department officer has filed a lawsuit over what he alleges was false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, deliberate fabrication of evidence and conspiracy. The former police officer spent almost 20 years in prison after being accused of sexually abusing his children and now he is filing suit against two former sheriff’s detectives who worked to have him jailed. The plaintiff was released from prison in 2004 when it was discovered that investigators in the case hid significant details, such as medical records showing no signs of abuse and the fact that one of the detectives was having an affair with the plaintiff’s wife. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Stephanie Rice, The Columbian 01/06/2014

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Texas Hospital to Review Policies After Cavity Search Lawsuit

University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas has agreed to review its policies concerning cavity searches in conjunction with a lawsuit filed by a 54-year-old woman who was subjected to a baseless six-hour full-body cavity search for drugs. The woman was reentering the U.S. from Juárez, Mexico when border patrol officers forced her to undergo a full-body cavity search at the hospital. No drugs were found. The hospital has agreed to hire a third party to “conduct a comprehensive review of policies, procedures and practices relating to the provision of care, including properly obtaining consent, to patients brought to UMC by Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies.”

Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times 01/07/2014

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Some Charges in Teacher’s Discrimination Suit Dismissed

Part of a lawsuit against Maine Township High School District 207 in Illinois has been dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge. The lawsuit, filed by a former tenured teacher, alleged that the plaintiff was subjected to “gender and age discrimination, retaliation for exercising her right to free speech and retaliation in violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act.” In the recent ruling, the charges of age discrimination and violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act were dismissed. The plaintiff alleges that she was discriminated and retaliated against and eventually fired because of negative information she had about the district’s superintendent.

Jonathan Bullington, Chicago Tribune 01/06/2014

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Nebraska Family Files Excessive Force Lawsuit Against Police

A Nebraska man and four members of his family have filed a lawsuit accusing Omaha police officers of excessive force and other rights violations. The lawsuit stems from a March 2013 incident in which three of the plaintiffs allege “illegal search and seizure.” The incident was caught on video by a neighbor and shows an officer throwing one of the plaintiffs to the ground and punching him in the face. The lawsuit seeks compensation for medical expenses, loss of work time and damages “for the humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish” suffered by the plaintiffs.

Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle 01/06/2014

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Widow Voluntarily Recalls Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A lawsuit seeking $100 million from a Florida billionaire who caused a helicopter crash which killed a prominent tax attorney has been voluntarily withdrawn. The attorney’s widow filed the wrongful death suit in Miami last month, but on Tuesday she withdrew it. The lawsuit alleged that the billionaire, who was flying the helicopter when it crashed in the Bahamas in November 2012, tried to cover up the fact that he was at the controls so that he would not have to pay more than a $2 million insurance payment.

Wire Report, Claims Journal 01/06/2014

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Kiteboard Bindings Recalled Due to Risk of Injury

A recall has been issued on Cabrinha H2 Hydra Series Binding due to a risk of injury. According to the recall, the bindings, which are used on kiteboards, can detach from the base while riding and cause a loss of control, posing a risk of injury. Only 57 of the bindings were recalled in the U.S. and just 5 in Canada. The bindings were sold in specialty watersports stores from August 2013 through December 2013 for about $180. The company has received no reports of incidents or injuries.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 12/30/2013


Amputee Files Suit Against County After Loss of Arm

A Pennsylvania woman who lost her arm as a result of an altercation with county sheriffs has filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County. The plaintiff was picked up on a bench warrant as a result of missing a hearing for a charge of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. According to the lawsuit, the sheriffs allegedly shocked the plaintiff with a Taser, applied arm bars and wrist locks and put on handcuffs that the plaintiff claims were too tight. As a result of the tight cuffs, the plaintiff suffered “compartment syndrome” leading to the amputation of her arm above the elbow. The lawsuit alleges excessive force, cruel and unusual punishment, battery and negligence, and seeks more than $75,000 in damages.

Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/31/2014

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Texas Teen Faces Another Lawsuit Over Fatal Accident

Another lawsuit has been filed by a family affected by a drunken driving accident that took place in Burleson, Texas, killing five people and injuring others. The plaintiffs’ son was seriously injured when he and several others were hit by a teenager driving with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. The boy and the other passengers of the car had stopped on the side of the road to assist a stranded motorist when they were struck by the vehicle. The teen who was driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced in Tarrant County juvenile court to 10 years probation and intensive therapy. This is the sixth lawsuit filed over the June incident.

Elizabeth Campbell, Star Telegram 01/02/2014

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Pa. Bus Crash Which Injured Dozens Results In Additional Lawsuit

Another lawsuit has been filed over a Pennsylvania bus crash that killed a pedestrian and injured dozens of passengers. The accident, which took place during a snow storm, occurred when the bus approached two disabled vehicles, subsequently striking and killing a pedestrian. The lawsuit claims the bus driver operated the vehicle in a “careless, reckless, and negligent manner under the circumstances” and says that the bus company is “responsible for the negligent acts of their employee.” The woman who filed the lawsuit allegedly fractured her nose and broke teeth in the crash, suffers from cervical problems, and has post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident.

Bob Kalinowski, The Scranton Time-Tribune 01/02/2014

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Lawsuit Seeks List of Priests Involved in Abuse Cases

A lawsuit has been filed by a sexual abuse victim against the diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota which seeks a list of priests credibly accused of abuse. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Stearns County District Court, accuses the diocese of failing to warn parishioners about the history of sexual abuse by priests. According to the lawsuit, the diocese would merely move priests from parish to parish after incidents of sexual abuse. The diocese admitted in 2003 to having 26 priests accused of sexually abusing children. The lawsuit alleges that by not releasing the names of priests involved in sexual abuse, the diocese is continuing to endanger the public.

Staff Report, St. Cloud Times 01/01/2014

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Class Action

Second Class-Action Suit Filed over Target Data Breach

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed over the recent security breach involving the financial data of Target customers. The security breach affected customers who shopped at Target locations across the country between November 27 and December 15. It has been estimated that over 40 million Target customers had their credit card data compromised as a result of the breach. The lawsuit, filed against Target Corporation, “seeks compensation for financial losses resulting from defrauded deposits of financial institution members and customers, as well as costs associated with closing accounts, reissuing new checks, debit cards and credit cards as a result of Target’s data breach.”

Staff Report, The Montgomery Advertiser 01/02/2014

Read Article: The Montgomery Advertiser


Walmart Issues Recall on Card Tables and Chairs

Walmart has announced a recall of their Mainstays five-piece card table and chair sets due to finger amputation and fall hazards. According to the recall, “The chairs can collapse unexpectedly, posing a fall hazard and a risk of finger injury, including finger amputation.” There are about 73,400 of the table and chair sets which have been recalled. The company has received 10 reports of incidents including one finger amputation, three fingertip amputations, sprained or fractured fingers and one report of a sore back.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 01/02/2014


Chicago Alderman Files Pre-Emptive Lawsuit

An alderman from Chicago’s South Side has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit alleging that a former Chicago Public Schools principal tried to extort $1 million from him, claiming he sexually harassed her. The lawsuit alleges that the former principal sent an email to the plaintiff and his attorney informing them that she would be filing a sexual harassment lawsuit and demanding $1 million in damages. The plaintiff believes the former principal intentionally filed the suit during his congressional campaign, five years after the alleged harassment.

Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune 12/27/2013

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CA Group Files Lawsuit Over “Noxious” Animal Odors

A group of restaurant and hotel owners in San Diego, California have filed a lawsuit over “foul, noxious and sickening odors” that have kept patrons from multiple establishments near the odorous cliffs. The group of plaintiffs, called the Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement, is seeking to have the city get rid of the odor caused by birds and sea lions defecating on the cliffs. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the city’s previous decision to put up a fence around the cliffs, keeping people from scaring the animals away. The plaintiffs say the strong odor has caused a significant amount of lost revenue.

Tony Perry, LA Times 12/28/2013

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Woman Receives $80K Settlement in Injury Lawsuit

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a woman who was injured when she fell into a hole. The woman was leaving a football game in Lubbock, Texas when she walked into a hole that was left after city workers removed a utility pole. The woman suffered injuries to her left knee and foot when she fell into the 4 to 5 foot hole. The lawsuit alleged that the city neglected to fill in the hole and failed to warn pedestrians of the hazard. The city has agreed to pay the woman $80,000 to settle the lawsuit.

Walt Nett, Amarillo Globe-News 12/26/2013

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City Workers File Suit over 4.6% Pay Cut

A lawsuit filed by thirteen labor organizations on behalf of workers in Memphis, Tennessee who received a 4.6 percent pay cut is awaiting a May trial date. The lawsuit alleges that the pay cuts, which were due to a difficult budget cycle, were in violation of negotiated agreements with the city. Mediation between the group and the city earlier in the fall proved unsuccessful. Although the City Council has voted to reverse the pay cuts, both sides are awaiting the May 19 trial.

Wire Report, Kansas City Star 12/30/2013

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Same-Sex Benefits Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

A lawsuit challenging same-sex benefits has been moved from a Republican judge’s court in Houston, Texas to U.S. District Court after the judge halted same-sex benefits without giving the city proper notice. A city attorney filed the “Notice of Removal,” saying the case belonged in U.S. District Court because it deals with the guarantees of equal protection and due process under the U.S. Constitution, among other federal questions. The lawsuit challenging same-sex benefits alleges that the benefits violate the city’s charter and the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Charles Kuffner, Houston Chronicle 12/30/2013

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Candies Recalled Due to Undeclared Peanut Allergen

Giant Eagle has issued a voluntary recall on their packages of ‘Candy Place Chocolate Santas’ due to an undeclared peanut allergen. Although the individual packages reference peanut butter, the primary package label does not list peanuts. The candies were sold throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland since October 1, 2013 and were purchased by about 1,100 customers in Giant Eagle supermarkets. The company has received no reports of incidents.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 12/28/2013


Man Falsely Identified as Sex Offender Files Lawsuit

A legally blind Florida man who was mistakenly identified as a sex offender on his driver’s license has filed a lawsuit against the Duval County Tax Collector’s Office. The plaintiff was given a new driver’s license by the DMV after moving to Florida, but did not notice until five months later that a number on the license identified him as a sex offender. The lawsuit alleges two counts of defamation and seeks at least $15,000 in damages. The Duval County Tax Collector’s Office says they have worked hard to prevent further mistakes and use the plaintiff’s story as a training example.

Andrew Pantazi, Florida Times Union 12/26/2013

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Suit: Police Failed to Act After Violations of Protective Order

The family of an Arizona woman who was killed by her boyfriend, whom she had a protective order against, has filed a lawsuit against the Tucson Police Department. The lawsuit alleges the police department’s negligence led to the woman’s death and that if the department had not waited to act on reports of protective order violations, the woman would not have died. In December 2012, the boyfriend shot the woman multiple times, killing her, then went to her parents’ house and told them he had killed her daughter. The man then returned to his own home and shot himself. The suit claims the incident could have been avoided had police taken action after several violent violations of the protective order.

Daren DaRonco, Arizona Daily Star 12/26/2013 Read Article: Arizona Daily Star

Settlement Reached in Police Misconduct Lawsuit

A settlement has been reached between the city of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana and a man who filed a lawsuit alleging police misconduct. The plaintiff, who was arrested in an armed robbery, claims that police influenced the victim to pick the plaintiff in a police lineup. Prosecutors dismissed the charges against the plaintiff after suspicions arose concerning the police investigation. The officer involved in the investigation has since resigned and pleaded no contest “to charges of perjury and malfeasance in office for allegedly lying about his role in leading the victim to identify [the plaintiff].” The plaintiff, who had never been arrested before the incident, had two alibi witnesses and no physical evidence linking him to the crime was ever found.

Richard Burgess, The Advocate 12/27/2013

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Housekeepers Lawsuit Moved to Federal Court

A Colorado lawsuit filed by seven housekeepers has been moved from Pitkin County District Court to federal court. The lawsuit alleges that the Basalt cleaning company did not pay their employees for overtime wages and would take away monetary compensation for drive time if the employees were late or not “behaving.” Some of the plaintiffs are still employed by the cleaning company and several have been fired. The defendant’s lawyers filed a “removal of action” on December 13 which transferred the case to U.S. District Court in Denver.

Andre Salvail, Denver Post 12/27/2013

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Lawsuit Alleges Fruit Processor Contaminated Water

A federal judge had decided that several claims against a Michigan fruit processor can go forward. The lawsuit filed against the company by several Michigan families alleges the groundwater surrounding the plant was contaminated due to the use of wastewater to irrigate the fields. The groundwater now contains high levels of iron, sodium and arsenic. The defendant hoped the key claims would be dismissed, but a judge says several of the claims, including lost property use and value, will remain.

Wire Report, Detroit Free Press 12/27/2013

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Oodle Swings Recalled Due to Injury Hazard

Oodle has issued a recall on their swings due to an injury hazard. According to the recall, “The swing seat is suspended too close to the ground, posing an injury hazard to children who can get their legs caught underneath the swing seat.” The company has received reports of nine children breaking their legs or suffering sprains when their legs got caught underneath the swing. There were 177 of the recalled swings sold to schools and other facilities between February 2011 and November 2013.

Staff Report, Consumer Product Safety Commission 12/23/2013


Lawsuits Filed Against TX Teen Who Killed 4 in Drunk-Driving Crash

A Texas teenager who killed four people and injured nine in a drunk-driving accident is now facing a lawsuit filed by one of the victim’s parents. The defendant was driving around seven of his friends, five inside the cab of the truck and two in the bed, with a blood alcohol level of .24, when he struck four pedestrians who were stopped on the side of the road. The plaintiff’s son, who was riding in the bed of the truck, suffered a traumatic brain injury and is still in the hospital. This suit seeks a maximum $20 million in damages. There are four other lawsuits filed on behalf of other victims.

Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle 12/18/2013

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NY Coach Alleges He Was Fired for Being Straight

A discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a New York City school by a man who alleges he was fired for being a “heterosexual family guy.” The plaintiff, a coach at the school for 12 years, alleges that the athletic director, whom he describes as “a homosexual, single female administrator with no children,” concocted lies about him to get him fired. The lawsuit asserts that the athletic director held a bias against the plaintiff because he was straight and put his family before his job and told the school he illegally sublet his school-provided apartment and left students unsupervised to get him fired.

Bill Hutchinson, New York Daily News 12/19/2013

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FL School Blocks Girl from Starting Gay-Straight Alliance

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of a 12-year-old girl from Florida who was denied permission to start a gay-straight club at her school. The seventh-grade girl had filed an application to start a Gay-Straight Alliance which would fight against bullying, discrimination and harassment of students, but was denied by school officials who said the club was “not an extension of the school curriculum.” The school district faced a nearly identical lawsuit earlier in the year when an eighth-grader tried to start the same club. After the ACLU filed on behalf of the girl, the school allowed the club to meet until the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Erica Rodriguez, Orlando Sentinel 12/18/2013

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N.H. Settles Lawsuit over Treatment of Mentally Ill

The state of New Hampshire will have to change its policies regarding services for people who are mentally ill in order to settle a lawsuit filed by the Disabilities Rights Center. The suit, filed in 2012, alleged that the state needlessly kept people in mental wards and hospitals because of a lack of treatment options for the mentally ill. As part of the settlement, the state must expand community treatment teams, create new mobile community treatment teams and expand employment assistance and housing opportunities for the mentally ill. In addition, the state has agreed to pay $2.4 million in legal fees.

Rik Stevens, Nashua Telegraph 12/20/2013

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La. City Settles Accident Lawsuit for $225K

The city of Lafayette, Louisiana has paid $225,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who was in a car accident involving a police officer. The plaintiff was injured when she hit a police car that had driven through a red light while responding to another accident. Her lawsuit alleged the officer “did not pay enough attention to cross-street traffic before passing through the intersection.” The plaintiff sustained neck injuries in the accident. The city of Lafayette has settled three lawsuits this year, all of which were over $200,000.

Richard Burgess, The Advocate 12/20/2013

Read Article: The Advocate


Children’s Utensils Recalled Due to Choking Hazard

Cubetensils has issued a recall on their children’s spoon and fork sets due to a choking hazard. According to the recall, “The utensil’s handle can detach, posing a choking hazard to infants.” While there have been no injuries reported, the company has received one report of a handle detaching from the fork and a baby putting it in its mouth. There were about 1,100 of the eating utensil sets sold at major retailers and specialty stores across the US, as well as through Amazon and eBay.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 12/19/2013


CA Schools Face Lawsuit Over Discrimination

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit alleging racism and sexism throughout the schools of Eureka, California. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of four students, alleges that teachers and staff routinely use racially and sexually discriminatory language, disproportionally punish minority students and have failed to report such abuse. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the plaintiffs, as well as administrative changes, including a monitoring program.

Thadeus Greenson, The Times-Standard 12/19/2013

Read Article: The Times-Standard

Carnival Cruise Lines Knew of Fire Risk, Lawsuit Says

A lawsuit has been filed against Carnival Cruise Lines alleging that they knew of fire risks well before one of their ships caught fire at sea in February. The lawsuit was filed by numerous passengers who claim the tow to Mobile, Alabama after the ship caught fire and was disabled was a nightmarish experience. Records show that the cruise line had received a report one month before the ship took off that the engine fuel hoses had leaks. The lawsuit alleges the company was negligent in allowing the ship to depart when they were aware of the risks.

Christopher Sherman, USA Today 12/19/2013

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$250K Settlement Issued in MI Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Bay County, Michigan has agreed to pay $250,000 to end a lawsuit brought against them by a woman who alleged she was routinely sexually harassed by her supervisor at the Bay County Friend of the Court. The plaintiff alleged that she was subjected to “a hostile work environment and also quid pro quo request for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct by [the defendant] in communications of a sexual nature” while she was an employee from 2005 to 2010. According to the county, the plaintiff “was paid partly by the County of Bay and partly through insurance proceeds of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority.”

Cole Waterman, MLive 12/19/2013

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Judge Dismisses Walmart Intercom Lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled that Walmart will not be held responsible for an incident in which a teenager took control of the intercom system and demanded that black shoppers leave the store. The lawsuit was filed by a black man who was in the store at the time of the incident which he called an “imminent terrorist threat.” His lawsuit sought $1 million in damages from Walmart. The judge’s ruling stated that Walmart would not be held “vicariously liable for the offensive speech of one of its customers.”

Jim Walsh, USA Today 12/18/2013

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Cocktail Glasses Recalled Due to Laceration Hazard

Libbey Glass has issued a recall on their Bristol Valley Cocktail Glasses with Sheer Rim due to a laceration hazard. The recall states that the glasses can break unexpectedly, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. There are about 218,000 of the glasses affected by the recall. Libbey has instructed consumers to return the glasses for a full refund. They have received 16 reports of glasses breaking, including one minor laceration.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 12/18/2013

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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Suit Filed over Teen’s Car Accident Death

The parents of a Muncie, Indiana teenager who was killed when he was hit by a car have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. The teenager and a 14-year-old girl were walking partially in the road when they were struck by a 58-year-old man the lawsuit alleges “was being a distracted driver, diverting his eyes from the roadway.” The teenager died in the hospital a day after the incident and the girl sustained minor injuries. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages for the loss of their son’s “love and companionship,” as well as medical, funeral and burial expenses.

Douglas Walker, Muncie Star Press 12/17/2013



The family of a Los Angeles MTA bus driver who was killed when a tow truck driver ran a red light and crashed into her bus has filed a lawsuit over the accident. The family is claiming that the tow truck driver was negligent when he sped through a red light at 60 mph and hit the city bus. Both the bus driver and the tow truck driver were killed. The lawsuit also alleges that “the restraint systems in the bus failed to work properly,” as the driver “was ejected from the bus, despite wearing her seat belt.” The estate of the tow truck driver, the towing company and the bus manufacturer are named as defendants in the case.

Jill Cowan, LA Times 09/24/2013

Settlement Reached in CT Bullying Lawsuit

A 2011 lawsuit filed over the bullying of a junior high student has reached a settlement. The boy and his mother have agreed to a settlement of undisclosed terms that will bring an end to their two-year lawsuit against a Connecticut school district. The lawsuit alleged that the school district did not do enough to protect the boy from incidents of bullying, including the boy’s head being put in a toilet. “The lawsuit also says the district violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate the boy’s diabetes.”

Staff Report, The Connecticut Post 09/26/2013

Lawsuit Says Jail Suicide Could Have Been Prevented

The family of a suicide victim who hanged himself in jail has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the county and sheriff’s office in federal court. After the victim was put in jail, the family warned the jail of his mental illness and a previous suicide attempt. The officials at the facility allegedly did nothing to prevent the man from making another suicide attempt. The lawsuit will see its first hearing on Nov. 4.

Nicole Young, Tennessean 09/26/2013

Excessive Force Suit Filed by Disabled Man Settled

The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $145,000 to a man who filed a lawsuit alleging officials at a home for the disabled used excessive force. The man, who is mentally ill, allegedly sustained broken ribs and bruises when officials tried to restrain him. The case was previously dismissed, but brought back to court when it was discovered that a judge excluded evidence.

Wire Report, Detroit Free Press 09/26/2013


Recall on Candle Holders Due to Fire Hazard

A recall has been issued on votive candle holders sold in Cracker Barrel gift shops nationwide due to fire and burn hazards. The decorative arms that support the candle holder can break, causing the candle to tip over. Though there have been no incidents reported, customers are urged to return their product for a full refund. There are about 7,900 candle holders affected by the recall.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 09/25/2013

Wrongful Death

Lawsuit Says Police Didn’t Respond in Time

The family of a murder-suicide victim has filed a lawsuit against the city of Hoover, Alabama alleging that the police department did not respond quickly enough at the scene. The police department received a call from the victim before she was attacked. After getting to the scene, the officers allegedly waited an hour and a half before going into the house. The lawsuit claims negligence and wrongful death.

Al Ratcliffe, CBS 42 News 09/25/2013


Residents File Lawsuit Over Fire Pollution

Nearly a dozen residents of Slaughter, Louisiana filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in state District Court in Baton Rouge over pollution from a fire that destroyed a nearby chemical facility. The lawsuit says that the incident, which took place in November 2012, caused health issues and decreased property value for residents. The suit is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the chemical facility and several other companies.

Staff Report, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 09/25/2013

Correctional Facility Abuse Lawsuit Settled

A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit against a Pennsylvania state correctional institution and others over the abuse of one of the inmates. According to the lawsuit, two of the facility’s former correctional officers forced the plaintiff to strip down and get on the ground while one of the officers exposed himself. Similar lawsuits were filed against correctional officers at the facility by other inmates after the filing of this lawsuit. The plaintiff has accepted an unspecified settlement which brought an end to the lawsuit.

Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 09/25/2013