Recent Lawsuits/Cases - Part 5

Wrongful Death

Taser Death in Ohio Prompts Suit Against Police

A lawsuit has been filed against the city of North College Hill, Ohio, and a police officer over the alleged improper use of a Taser that resulted in a man’s death. The lawsuit police were responding to reports of a fight at a local basketball court; one of the officers drew his Taser and shot it into the victim’s chest for no reason, allegedly stopping the man’s heart. The suit accuses the officer of using unnecessary force and improper use of the Taser.

Janice Morse and Carrie Blackmore Smith , The Cincinnati Enquirer 06/20/2013

Read Article: The Cincinnati Enquirer

Suit over ‘Huffing,’ Fatal Car Wreck, Settled

A lawsuit has been settled over a fatal crash in Highland Park, Ill., that killed a five-year-old girl. The teenager responsible for the accident was accused of “huffing” a cleaning product before getting into her car and causing the collision. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed. The defendant also faces criminal charges and, if convicted, could face up to 26 years in prison.

Ruth Fuller, Chicago Tribune 06/12/2013

Read Article: Chicago Tribune

Laws/Cases

Suit: ICE Agents Responsible for Man’s Death

The death of a Texas man in southern California in March 2012 has prompted a lawsuit by the man’s family against Border Patrol agents allegedly involved in his death. The man was stopped by Border Patrol agents after allegedly driving the wrong direction down the interstate; the suit claims that an officer fired a Taser dart at the vehicle, causing it to burst into flames, killing the victim. The suit accuses officers of knowingly using the Taser in a dangerous situation and ignoring company warnings for the weapon. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

Greg Moran, San Diego Union Tribune 06/18/2013

Read Article: San Diego Union Tribune

NYC Settles NYPD Retirement Benefits Lawsuit

New York City officials have settled a lawsuit with current and former police officers over the improper reduction of retirement benefits. The suit claimed that the city cheated officers who were called to military duty after Sept. 11 of proper benefits. The settlement may affect as many as 1,500 police officers.

Jonathan Stempel, Yahoo News 06/17/2013

Read Article: Yahoo News

Suit Filed Against Private Prison Over Abuse

A group of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correction Facility have filed suit against prison officials alleging “shocking human rights violations” against mentally ill and special needs prisoners. The suit claims the privately-run prison denies its prisoners even “rudimentary health care” and “insufficient access to psychiatric care.” The plaintiffs say they are forced to “defecate into Styrofoam trays or plastic trash bags” and do not have electricity in their cells. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Laura Sesana, Washington Times 06/17/2013

Read Article: Washington Times

Labor/Employment

NYFD Pays $1.25m in Discrimination Suit

The New York Fire Department has agreed to pay $1.25 million to five women who claimed they were discriminated against by the department because of their gender. In the suit, the plaintiffs said they were denied the opportunity for promotions with the EMS division of the NYFD, and that only people “in a certain clique” are promoted above lieutenant. The suit also pointed out that only 16 percent of the lieutenants and captains in the division are women.

Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times 06/14/2013

Products

Five Deaths Prompt Recall of Nap Nanny Recliners

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the company Baby Matters have come together to issue a recall of 165,000 the company’s infant recliners following five deaths. The product, called the Nap Nanny, did not meet safety standards and infants were hanging or falling out of the recliners. The products were sold between 2009 and 2012.

Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today 06/14/2013

Stride Rite Recalls 7,500 Girl’s Sandals

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall about 7,500 “Joanna” girl’s sandals sold by Stride Rite. The agency said the sandals have metal flowers glued to them that can come unattached, posing a choking hazard to young children. There have been six reports of the flowers coming off the shoes, but no injuries.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/13/2013

Laws/Cases

Federal Suit Filed over Oil Spill in Arkansas

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit, along with the state of Arkansas, against ExxonMobil over a pipeline rupture in March that spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil in a local neighborhood. The suit is seeking to penalize Exxon under the Clean Water Act up to $4,300 per barrel spilled. The spill prompted evacuations, killed wildlife and polluted wetlands and a local lake, the suit claims.

Neela Banerjee, LA Times 06/14/2013

Suit Alleges Abuse in NY County Jail

A female inmate in the Greene County jail in upstate New York has filed suit against jail officers, claiming she was sexually abused. The woman claims a male officer “watched her undress, forcibly touched her and threatened to punish her if she refused his advances.” The officer and a fellow co-worker were arrested last December on charges of sexual abuse. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Brendan J. Lyons, Albany Times Union 06/13/2013

Products

Propane Heater/Cookers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 325 propane heater/cookers from Cedar Lake due to fire hazards. The agency said that when the product is switched from cooking to heating, the gas propane turns to liquid, which can cause flare ups and fires. There has been one report of a small fire, but no injuries occurred.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/13/2013

Honda Recalls 18,000 Sport Vehicles

Honda has issued a recall of almost 18,000 Acura RSX sedans and S2000 sport vehicles due to issues with the break system. Honda said that an error in the brake system component can cause decreasing brake assistance, increasing the risk of crash. There have been no reported crashes or injuries.

Jerry Hirsch, LA Times 06/13/2013

Wrongful Death

Police Shooting in Utah Prompts Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against West Valley City, Utah, and a group of police over the killing of a local 21-year-old woman. In the suit, the woman’s parents claim their daughter’s killing was “unjustified and senseless” and “unrelated to any legitimate law enforcement purpose.” The girl was shot and killed by an undercover police officer after she backed her car into another cop. The suit also accuses the department of withholding information about the details of the shooting.

Kimball Bennion and Michael McFall, The Salt Lake Tribune 06/12/2013

Suit Filed over NM Fatal Police Shooting

The fatal shooting of a New Mexico man by New Mexico State Police has prompted a wrongful death lawsuit against the department and the officer that pulled the trigger. An officer shot the man at his home in 2011 while police were investigating an incident involving the victim’s brother.

Wire Report, San Francisco Chronicle 06/14/2013

Laws/Cases

Third Lawsuit Filed over Hepatitis A Outbreak

A third lawsuit has been filed against the Oregon-based Townsend Farms and Costco Corporation over an outbreak of Hepatitis A that was linked to frozen berries sold at Costco stores across the country. The plaintiff in this suit is just one of 61 known victims in 7 states who allegedly contracted the virus after eating frozen berries from Townsend Farms. The company has so far refused to “acknowledge the link between the frozen berry mix and Hepatitis A illnesses.”

Read Article: PR Newswire

Suit Filed by Nashville Retailer Against Visa

Mass merchant retailer Genesco Inc., operator of over 2,500 shoe and clothing stores across the country, has filed suit against credit card company Visa over a breach of its computer system in 2010. Both Visa and Mastercard fined Genesco over $15.5 million, accusing them of not complying with industry data standards. Genesco maintains that they were compliant and that there is no evidence that hackers stole credit card data from their servers during the breach.

Read Article: USA Today

Federal Jury Sides With Austin Police 

In 2011, Byron Carter Jr. was a passenger in a car when he was shot four times by a police officer in Austin, Texas. His family subsequently sued officer Nathan Wagner, citing excessive force. This week, after deliberating for over four hours, a Federal jury ruled in favor of Wagner and against damages for the family.

Read Article: Austin American Statesman

Civil Lawsuit Settled Over Fatal Accident

A civil suit against a Chicago-area teenager who drove her vehicle across several lanes of traffic and struck a family has been settled. The accident caused the death of a 5-year-old girl, and the suit alleged it was the result of the teen “huffing” fumes from a cleaning product while driving. This suit was settled for an undisclosed amount, but a criminal trial against the teen driver is still forthcoming.

Read Article: Chicago Tribune

New Mexico Supreme Court OKs Warrants via Telephone

In a ruling this week, the New Mexico Supreme Court stated that the use of search warrants obtained via telephone satisfies the requirement for probable cause. The case in question involved a couple whose property was searched after a police officer obtained a search warrant “through a telephone conversation with a magistrate, rather than an in-person appearance.”

Debra Cassens Weiss, American Bar Association Journal 06/11/2013

Read Article: American Bar Association Journal

Labor/Employment

EEOC Sues Over Rejected Applicants with Criminal Records

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week that it is filing lawsuits against BMW and Dollar General for discriminating against applicants with a criminal background. The EEOC argues that companies should give applicants “the opportunity to explain the circumstances of the arrest(s) and should make a reasonable effort to determine whether the explanation is reliable” instead of automatically rejecting them.

Laws/Cases

Jury Awards $500,000 to Victim in Rape Lawsuit

A Virginia jury has ordered a former Norfolk police officer to pay $500,000 to a local woman he allegedly raped while responding to a 911 call in August 2010. The woman said she was disoriented from a combination of alcohol and prescription medication when the officer arrived, and was not able to object or say no when he began raping her.

Patrick Wilson, Virginian Pilot 06/11/2013

Read Article: Virginian Pilot

Suit Filed over 20-Story Building in Iowa City

A group of citizens in Iowa City, Iowa, have filed suit against the City Council in an effort to stop the approval and building of a 20-story tower in the city’s downtown area. The lawsuit claims the city is “spot zoning” – using the building to create a “small island of properties in the area with usage restrictions different from surrounding properties.” A local coalition group, which serves as plaintiffs in the suit, attempting to rezone the area earlier this year, which would have limited building sizes to six stories, but the council rejected the request.

Josh O’Leary , DesMoines Register 06/11/2013

Read Article: DesMoines Register

Labor/Employment

Man Awarded $500,000 in Wrongful Termination Suit

A San Miguel, Calif., man has been awarded more than $500,000 in a lawsuit against his former employer in which he claimed wrongful termination. In the suit against Applied Technologies Associates Inc., the plaintiff said he was told that a hostile work environment claim was filed against him which, as a first-time offense, would have warranted a written warning from the company. He was, however, told to take a few days off to “cool down” and subsequently fired without any explanation. The suit claimed breach of contract and wrongful termination.

Tonya Strickland, San Luis Obispo Tribune 06/10/2013

Read Article: San Luis Obispo Tribune

Class Action

First Class-Action Suit Filed over NSA Surveillance

A couple in Philadelphia have filed a class-action suit against the NSA over the collection of Verizon customer phone records. The lawsuit claims that the surveillance “violates Verizon user’s expectation of privacy, free speech and right to unreasonable searches and seizures.” The lead plaintiffs in the suit claim their phone records were accessed because they have been critical of President Obama and the U.S. military.

Emily Babay, Philadelphia Inquirer 06/11/2013

Read Article: Philadelphia Inquirer

Products

Bear Grylls Machetes Recalled over Laceration Hazard

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a recall of more than 91,000 Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machetes across the United States and Canada. The agencies said the machetes can cut through the sheaths when the blade is removed, posing a laceration risk. There have been eight reports of users suffering cuts to hands or fingers.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/06/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Chrysler Recalls 15,000 Dodge Darts

Chrysler has issued a recall of about 15,000 new Dodge Dart vehicles after the company discovered the cars can stall during cold weather. Chrysler said the problem lies with the computer that controls the engine and transmission – the issue can cause a loss of power, which increases the risk of injury. There have not been any reports of crashes as a result of the defect.

Laws/Cases

Suit Filed in Fatal Philly Building Collapse

The first lawsuit has been filed over a Philadelphia building collapse earlier this week that killed six and injured 13. The suit, filed by one of the survivors, says the demolition contractor who was working on tearing the building down “violated a number of federal safety regulations and showed blatant disregard for human life.” The building collapsed onto a nearby thrift store. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Wire Report, Boston Globe 06/07/2013

Read Article: Boston Globe

Age Discrimination Suit Filed Against School District

A former employee has filed suit against the Sumner County Board of Education in Tennessee, claiming he was “discriminated against because of his age.” The man says in his suit that, after 27 years with the district, he was forced to take a massive pay cut or retire. The plaintiff was quickly replaced by a “significantly younger” employee, the suit says.

Jennifer Easton and Tena Lee, Tennessean 06/06/2013

Read Article: Tennessean

Wells Fargo Pays $1.4 Million to Louisiana Cities

Banking giant Wells Fargo has agreed to pay more than $1.4 million to the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge to settle a housing discrimination lawsuit. The suit accused the bank of neglecting to maintain foreclosed properties in “minority neighborhoods” while spending money fixing homes in “white neighborhoods.” According to reports, the settlement funds will be used to help people with homeownership opportunities in the local areas.

Richard A. Webster, New Orleans Times-Picayune 06/07/2013 Facebook

Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Products

11,000 IKEA Jumbo Cups Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 11,000 LYDA jumbo coffee cups from IKEA due to a potential burn hazard. The agency said that when filled with hot liquid, the cups can shatter and spill, posing a burn hazard. There have been no injuries reported in the U.S., but 20 have been reported worldwide.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/06/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

1,100 Iron Supplement Bottles Recalled

Country Life has issued a recall of more than 1,100 Target-Mins iron supplement bottles sold at natural food stores across the country. The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the bottles are not child-resistant as required under federal law. There have been no injuries reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/06/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Wrongful Death

Fatal Accident in Oregon Prompts Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed over the death of a man killed in Auburn, Oregon, when a driver crossed over the center line on a local road and crashed into the man’s motorcycle. According to the police report, the man who caused the crash was driving in an “erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner.” The suit also names three insurance companies as defendants, alleging the car driver was underinsured.

Laws/Cases

Judge Orders Girl Put on Transplant List

A federal judge has ruled that 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis must be put on the adult organ transplant list. The girl’s family sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after they refused to put the girl on the list because of a 12-year-old minimum age policy. The judge issued a 10-day temporary lift on the age requirement, and her family says the girl has about a 75 percent chance of receiving a transplant.

Edith Honan, Reuters 06/05/2013

Read Article: Reuters

City Pays After Cops Raid Wrong Home

The city of Longview, Texas has agreed to pay $5,000 to two local brothers who say police raided their home by mistake while attempting an arrest warrant. Police smashed the doors of the plaintiffs’ home and tossed in a flash grenade while storming into the home, but they had the wrong address.

Sarah Thomas, Longview News-Journal 06/05/2013

Read Article: Longview News-Journal

Products

DiveAlert Devices Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 2,500 DiveAlert and DiveAlert PLUS signaling devices due to a default that can cause the devices to malfunction. If the device malfunctions, the diver’s airflow can become restricted, posing a drowning risk. There have been no injuries reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/05/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Malpractice

Women Target Vancouver Plastic Surgeon in Suit

Six women have filed suit against a Vancouver plastic surgeon and the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Washington over botched surgeries. The women claim in their suit that the doctor was negligent in his care and that each of the plaintiffs were forced to undergo “additional corrective surgeries” after their procedures. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Marissa Harshman, The Columbian 06/03/2013

Read Article: The Columbian

Wrongful Death

Suit Filed over Boy Killed at Alabama Airport

The parents of a boy killed by a fallen sign have filed suit against a group of contractors that worked on signs at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The boy was killed by one of the airport monitors that displays flight information; the suit alleges the contractors knew the monitors were unstable and likely to fall. The family is seeking unspecified damages.

Matt Campbell, Kansas City Info Zine 06/05/2013

Read Article: Kansas City Info Zine

Suit Filed After Construction Worker Killed in Calif.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a drunk driver in California, Caltrans and the state highway patrol over the death of a construction worker in April 2012. The victim was struck after the driver drove through a freeway closure. The lawsuit claims Caltrans and other state and local defendants failed to properly secure the barricade and construction site.

Laws/Cases

Third Suit Comes Against Illinois School Closings

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed the third lawsuit against the State Board of Education to prevent the closing of 10 Chicago public schools. The union’s lawsuit claims Chicago Public Schools “did not follow state law or its own guidelines for shutting down schools.” Independent hearing officers made recommendations to the district that the schools not be shut down this year, which the district promptly ignored, the suit says. All three lawsuits are seeking injunctions to halt school closings.

Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune 05/29/2013

Read Article: Chicago Tribune

Suit Filed Against LAX Construction Projects

A group of plaintiffs, including a neighborhood coalition, in Los Angeles have filed suit against the newest proposed construction at Los Angeles International Airport. The lawsuit claims the airport operator, Los Angeles World Airports, failed to do a thorough evaluation of the environmental effects of the construction projects, part of which includes moving runways closer to local homes. The suit says the construction proposals “understated the potential noise, air pollution and traffic effects in nearby cities and neighborhoods.”

Dan Weikel, LA Times 05/30/2013

Read Article: LA Times

County Pays in Distracted Cop Car Crash

Santa Clara County has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit over a crash caused by county deputy, who was allegedly distracted at the wheel by a hamburger he was eating. According to the suit, the officer was eating a hamburger and fumbling with a light switch in his car when he crashed into the victim’s vehicle. The victim, a 78-year-old man, suffered a torn aorta, broken ribs and a skull fracture in the crash.

Tracey Kaplan, San Jose Mercury News 05/21/2013

Read Article: San Jose Mercury News

Parents Left Loaded Gun, Boy Killed Friend, Suit Says

A $1 million lawsuit has been filed against a New Jersey family after their six-year-old son accidentally shot and killed their 4-year-old neighbor. The lawsuit, filed by the parents of the boy killed, accuses their neighbors of negligence in allowing their son to leave the house with a loaded rifle. The boy’s father has been arrested on child-endangerment charges.

Nina Golgowsk, New York Daily News 06/03/2013

Read Article: New York Daily News

Products

Lightlife Foods Recalls Veggie, Black Bean Burgers

Lightlife Foods has issued a recall of the company’s veggie and black bean burgers due to an undeclared allergen present in the products. The company said the burgers may contain milk, which is not listed on the product ingredients label. There have been no reports of illnesses associated with the recalled products.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/03/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Wrongful Death

Fatal Restaurant Explosion Prompts Lawsuit

A fatal explosion at a JJ’s restaurant in Springfield, Mo., has prompted a lawsuit filed by the parents of the hostess killed in the blast. The blast occurred after a natural gas line outside the building was severed by a construction crew. The suit names the gas company and the company responsible for the construction as defendants.

Laws/Cases

First Suit Filed Under New Minn. Sex Abuse Law

A St. Paul man has filed the first sexual abuse lawsuit against a local priest since the Minnesota Legislature loosened the statute of limitations on sex crimes. In his lawsuit, the plaintiff claims he was sexually molested by a former priest in the late 1970s. The suit was filed under a new law approved this year that lifts the six-year statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases.

Wire Report, San Francisco Chronicle 05/29/2013

Read Article: San Francisco Chronicle

Panda Express Settles Sex Harassment Suit

Restaurant chain Panda Express has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a lawsuit with three female employees who were sexually harassed while working in a Kapaa, Hawaii, location. The lawsuit claimed the store supervisor harassed the girls on a daily basis, demanding sexual favors and making graphic sexual comments toward them.

Staff Report, Honolulu Advertiser 05/29/2013

Read Article: Honolulu Advertiser

Discrimination Suit Filed Against Chivas USA

Two former coaches with the soccer team Chivas USA have filed suit against the club, claiming they were fired because they did not speak Spanish and were not Latino. According to the suit, after the club was purchased by a Mexican businessman, all employees were required to give detailed information about their heritage and ethnic background. The team president then met with the plaintiffs and fired them, saying the owners were taking Chivas back to its “Mexican roots.” The suit is seeking unspecified punitive damages.

Kevin Baxter, LA Times 05/29/2013

Read Article: LA Times

Pot Magazines File Suit Against New Colorado Law

Three Colorado-based marijuana magazines have filed suit against a provision of the state’s new anti-pot laws. The suit challenges part of the law that requires marijuana-themed magazines to be kept behind the counter in stores, which the plaintiffs say violates their free speech laws. The plaintiffs say their content is being treated like pornography, which is unfair.

John Ingold, Denver Post 05/30/2013

Read Article: Denver Post

Products

12,000 Pottery Barn Crib Bumpers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 12,000 crib bumpers from Pottery Barn due to an entanglement hazard. The agency said the Sweet Lambie crib bumpers have decorative stitching that can come loose, posing an “entanglement hazard to infants.” There have been two reports of stitching coming loose and entangling children, but no injuries occurred.

Staff Report, The Sacramento Bee 05/29/2013

Read Article: The Sacramento Bee

Wrongful Death

Orange County Settles Suit over Police Shooting

The city of Orange County has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a U.S. Marine sergeant by a local deputy. The officer shot the victim in a high school parking lot after he refused to get out of his car. The shooting occurred in front of the man’s two daughters, who were also in the car. No criminal charges have been filed against the deputy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Christopher Goffard, LA Times 05/30/2013

Laws/Cases

Judge: Arizona Sheriff Discriminated Against Latinos

A federal district judge in Phoenix has ruled that Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio has “violated the constitutional rights of Latinos” in his county. The judge ruled that the department “has no authority” to detain people suspected of being illegal immigrants based only on probable cause. The judge forbade the department from using race or Latino ancestry as a reason to stop a vehicle.

Edvard Pettersson, Bloomberg 05/24/2013

Read Article: Bloomberg

Multiple Suits Filed Against Missoula Health Center

A group of employees at Partnership Health Center in Missoula, Mont., have filed multiple lawsuits against the center, alleging horrible treatment by top center officials. The lawsuits, among other things, claim employees were forced to clock out and then continue working and that managers “scream and curse” at employees. Other suits say full-time plaintiffs have been fired and replaced with part-time workers so the center does not have to pay for benefits.

Gwen Florio, Billings Gazette 05/28/2013

Read Article: Billings Gazette

Trial Begins over Catholic School Firing

The trial has begun in a lawsuit filed by a Cincinnati woman who claims she was illegally fired from her teaching position at a Catholic school. The woman says she was fired after she became pregnant despite not being married, which Catholic archdiocese officials said violated church doctrine and her contract. The suit claims the woman, who taught computer technology, had no ministerial duties and couldn’t be dismissed over church doctrine.

Lisa Cornwell , Columbus Dispatch 05/28/2013

Read Article: Columbus Dispatch

Kellogg Settles False Marketing Claims Lawsuit

Kellogg will pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit over marketing claims the company made about its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal. The suit accused the company of falsely advertising that the cereal “improved children’s attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions.” The company ran the ad campaign about four years ago and has since “adjusted its message.”

Wire Report, Houston Chronicle 05/28/2013

Read Article: Houston Chronicle

Products

Faulty Airbags Prompt BMW to Recall 220,000 Vehicles

This month BMW issued a recall of more than 220,000 vehicles across the globe, including about 42,000 in the United States. The recall covers model year 2003 and 2004 3-Series sedans, coupes, convertibles and station wagons due to an issue with the airbags. The company said that the manufacturer of the airbags alerted them to an issue with the front passenger seat airbag, which can cause it to inflate incorrectly.

Bernie Woodall, Reuters 05/07/2013

Read Article: Reuters

Business Litigation

Suit Filed over Alleged Oil Price Manipulation<

A commodities trading firm in Illinois has filed suit against three global oil companies, accusing them of price fixing. The lawsuit was filed after the EU began investigating the reporting of false prices to price-setting agency Platts. The lawsuit accuses BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil of reporting “inaccurate, misleading and false information” on the price of crude oil.

Issues

Auto Group Demanding Jeep Cherokees be Recalled

An auto safety advocacy group has demanded that the Chrysler Group recall about five million Jeep Grand Cherokees, model years 1993 to 2004, citing the deaths of three children in car fires since 2006. The agency said that problems with the fuel tank and filler pipe can cause fires if the vehicle is hit from behind.

Christopher Jensen, The New York Times 05/23/2013

Read Article: The New York Times

Laws/Cases

Nightclub, City Named in DUI Lawsuit

A federal judge in Mississippi has declined to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to hold a nightclub liable for injuries sustained to a patron in a car accident after leaving the club. The lawsuit names the city of West Point and The Pony nightclub, and says bar employees “improperly served” the plaintiff, who was 20 at the time. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Wire Report, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger 05/24/2013

Read Article: The Jackson Clarion-Ledger

Mass. Officer’s First Amendment Suit Going Forward

A Massachusetts judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit by a Quincy, Mass., police officer who claims the city violated his First Amendment rights. In the suit, the plaintiff claims he was discriminated against and eventually fired because he spoke with news outlets about the issue of enforcing dog ordinances on local beaches. The plaintiff says that after he made his comments, city officials and the police chief retaliated against him.

Jessica Bartlett, Boston Globe 05/22/2013

Read Article: Boston Globe

Hospital Named in Whistleblower Lawsuit

A whistleblower lawsuit has been filed against Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in California, claiming hospital officials provided “substandard care” to patients. Highlighted in the case is a male patient who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a staff member in 2011, an incident hospital officials failed to report county officials. Court documents also detail assaults by patients and a lack of proper supervision in the hospital.

Anna Gorman, LA Times 05/23/2013

Read Article: LA Times

Products

Nourison Polyester Rugs Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 1,400 area rugs from Nourison that were sold exclusively at Home Depot. The agency said the company’s I-CANDI collection of polyester shag rugs have failed to meet the federal flammability standards, which can result in unexpected fire hazards. There have been no injuries reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 05/23/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Wrongful Death

Ohio Dept. of Transportation to Pay in Fatal Accident Suit

An Ohio court has awarded $4 million to the family of a woman and son who were killed when a tree struck their car in December 2008 while they were driving on Rt. 83. The suit names the Ohio Department of Transportation as the main defendant, claiming the department should have taken care of trees that they knew had been leaning over the road along an eroding bank on Rt. 83.

Laws/Cases

1,500 Rechargeable Roller Shades Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 1,500 solar-powered motor roller shades due to an overheating issue with the battery that can cause a fire. Manufactured by Insolroll Window Shading Systems, the agency said the lithium battery in the motor can overheat while charging. There has been one report of a motor overheating and starting a fire, but no injuries occurred.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 05/23/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Suit Filed over New Connecticut Gun Law

A group of gun owners and firearms rights organizations have filed suit against the governor of Connecticut and the state attorney’s office over a new gun law passed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings. The bill requires universal background checks for purchasers of all firearms, among other things, which the lawsuit calls unconstitutional and a violation of 2nd Amendment rights. The lawsuit says “the act was rushed through the legislature without thorough debate or meaningful public examination” and is highly “irrational.”

David Owens, The Hartford Courant 05/22/2013

Read Article: The Hartford Courant

Appeals Court Allows QB to Sue Video Game Maker

A federal appeals court has ruled that former Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart can pursue a lawsuit against Electronic Arts Inc. over the alleged theft of his likeness for the company’s “NCAA Football” video game series. EA had tried to hide behind the First Amendment, but the panel ruled that company had not done enough to transform the plaintiff’s identity for the game.

Joe Palazzolo, WSJ Blogs 05/21/2013

Read Article: WSJ Blogs

Suit: Exxon Discriminates Against LGBT Applicants

A lawsuit has been filed against ExxonMobil, claiming hiring managers have shown bias against LGBT candidates for open positions. The lawsuit says Exxon denies “qualified gay and transgender Americans a fair shot to get a job” and often hire less qualified candidates instead. The plaintiffs call the tactic the “paired resume test,” saying the hiring officials will completely ignore applicants who are linked to the LGBT community.

Tiffany Hsu, LA Times 05/22/2013

Read Article: LA Times

Village Settles Overtime Suit with K-9 Officer

The Village of Tinley Park in the Chicago area will pay $40,000 to settle a lawsuit with a K-9 officer over unpaid overtime. In the suit, the plaintiff claimed the village should have paid him for the countless hours he spent caring for his police dog while off duty. While working with the animal, the plaintiff was only paid a $2,000 stipend a year.

Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune 05/22/2013

Read Article: Chicago Tribune

MD Firefighter Fired over Pregnancy, Suit Says

A former firefighter in Sykesville, Md., has filed suit against the department, alleging she was fired after taking time off for the birth of her son. In her suit, the woman says she was fired “without explanation” after notifying the department that she was taking a month off after her son was born. The suit says the department violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Laws/Cases

54,000 Avon Microwave Popcorn Makers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of more than 54,000 Avon microwave popcorn makers due to burn and fire hazards. The agency said that when the popcorn cooks too long in the maker, the machine can overheat and ignite, posing a burn or fire risk to users. There have been 20 reports of popcorn makers overheating, including two fires, but no injuries were reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 05/16/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Suit Filed Against NYC High School Admissions

A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the New York City high school admissions office, claiming admission policies “herd black and Hispanic students into underperforming schools.” Data shows that in 2011 about 60 percent of Hispanic and black students graduated from city high schools, compared to around 80 percent of white and Asian students. The plaintiffs’ attorney said “the city is sending black and Latino students to schools where they are much less likely to earn a diploma.”

Ben Chapman, New York Daily News 05/20/2013

Read Article: New York Daily News

Florida Inmate Suit over Kosher Meals Revived

A Jewish inmate’s lawsuit against a northern Florida correctional institution over the lack of kosher meals has been reinstated by a federal judge. The suit has said that the lack of kosher food forces the inmate to “choose between his religious practice and adequate nutrition.” The U.S. Justice Department filed a similar suit against the prison last year; the suits are seeking to represent hundreds of Jewish inmates in the prison system.

Staff Report, United Press International 05/19/2013

Read Article: United Press International

Suit: Annapolis Discriminates Against Black Officers

A group of former and current black police officers in Annapolis have filed suit against the city, claiming they were discriminated against and wrongly turned down for promotions. Two of the plaintiffs in the suit accuse the city of disparate treatment, saying they were punished and fired over minor issues. The suit also points out that the city only has one African-American officer in upper management.

Andrea F. Siegel, Baltimore Sun 05/18/2013

Read Article: Baltimore Sun

Supreme Court to Hear Prayer Before Council Meeting Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case over a Christian prayer read before a council meeting in a small New York town. Recently, lower courts have brought into question whether opening prayers that favor a single religion may violate the First Amendment. Last year, a court of appeals ruled that the town of Greece, Ny., had violated the First Amendment by using a Christian pastor in nearly every opening prayer.

David G. Savage, LA Times 05/20/2013

Read Article: LA Times

Ticketmaster To Pay in Rewards Program Lawsuit

Ticketmaster will pay $23 million to settle a lawsuit over a rewards program that charged millions of people a monthly fee but never provided any benefits. The plaintiffs claimed they were not aware they were signed up for the program upon buying tickets through Ticketmaster.com, and were charged automatically through their credit or debit card each month. Of the people enrolled between 2004 and 2009, 93 percent did not redeem any online coupons for which they were charged.