Archive for January, 2008

Woman Files Lawsuit Over Abuse By Former Priest

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

The Stockton Diocese is being sued by a woman who claims to have been abused by a former priest in the 1970s. The forty three year old woman claims that former priest, Oliver O’Grady, sexually abused her when she was attending St Anne’s School. The woman’s name has not yet been disclosed.

According to an attorney for the plaintiff the woman was punished whilst she was at St Anne’s school, and the former priest used to find her with the guise of trying to soothe her. The attorney stated that he would sit the girl on his lap, and this led to the abuse that she is said to have suffered. The lawsuit claims that the abuse went on until she reached fifth grade.

The lawsuit has been filed in Joaquin County Superior Court but has not yet been served. According to officials the plaintiff will have to be interviewed be a mental health practitioner to ensure that there is a basis for the lawsuit before this can be done.

The priest in question has already cost the diocese millions of dollars in payouts after admitting to abusing at least twenty five children and having a number of lawsuits filed against him. Other lawsuits against the priest are still pending.

School Dress Code Lawsuit Settled

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

It was announced last week by the Napa Valley Unified School District and the American Civil Liberties Union that a free speech lawsuit over school dress codes has been settled. The lawsuit was filed over what was described as an overly strict dress code at the Redwood Middle School, which banned a variety of fabrics, colors, and clothing, including Winnie the Pooh socks and jeans.Students were reprimanded or removed from class for wearing what the school considered to be inappropriate clothing, but what would be classed as normal clothing at most other schools. The school district had argued that the ban was in place to try and reduce the risk of gang culture, but parents stated that it was too strict.

One parent stated: “I absolutely hated the old policy. It frustrated me that we as parents couldn’t put our kids in clothes they would wear every day. I couldn’t determine what was appropriate for my child to wear.” Parents will not be able to opt out of future dress codes, and the district will no longer be able to restrict lettering or pictures on clothing unless the ban is allowed under state law.

Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, stated: “California law contains strong protections for student speech and limits schools’ ability to restrict students’ clothing choices. It’s important for school districts to know that any school uniform policy must provide an opportunity for families to opt-out and that other dress code restrictions must further the safety and health of the school environment.”

Music Producer Sues Former Attorney

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Well known music producer, Phil Spector, is suing his former attorney for the return of one million dollars that he paid when he was accused of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. The lawsuit was filed earlier this week at Los Angeles Superior Court.

Spector has stated that his first attorney Robert L Shapiro “took unfair and unscrupulous advantage of his friendship and position of trust with Mr. Spector, and decided to use Mr. Spector’s arrest as an opportunity to make a financial windfall and garner publicity for himself.”

The lawsuit alleges that Shapiro and his law firms tricked Spector into paying the one million dollars when he was at his most vulnerable. The lawsuit claims that the money was taken just after Spector was released from jail, and that at the time he had been unable to take medication that had been prescribed for a ‘mental condition’.

Spector has recently hired a new legal team to deal with the murder retrail, which has been delayed for five months. He was accused of shooting the actress when she tried to leave, but the jury deadlocked at the original trial.

Lawsuit Filed Over Accident Involving Motorcycle

Monday, January 28th, 2008

The fiancé of a motorcyclist who was killed in an accident has filed a lawsuit on behalf of their infant daughter. Jay Kauffman was killed on September 11th 2006 after a collision with a vehicle that was being driven the wrong way by a woman.

The fiancé of the deceased is now suing for the future probable income that Kauffman would have earned so that their infant daughter does not miss out on financial security. He was a project designer. The defendant, Lillian May Miller, was driving the wrong way on State Road 50 when the collision occurred.

Fifty six year old Miller has admitted fault, and states that she was tired after babysitting her grandson for a weekend. However, she has denied negligence even though she pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. A lawyer for the plaintiff stated that the response “adds insult to injury.”

Miller admitted that she drove to get cigarettes and coffee at 5.30am on the morning of the accident, but did not take her glasses even though she is required to wear corrective lenses.

Lawsuit Filed For Return Of Fines Over Cell Phone Use

Friday, January 25th, 2008

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the city of Chicago over fines imposed on drivers for using their cell phones while driving. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, after one lawyer claimed that the city had violated a state statute by failing to post prohibition signs with regards to the cell phone ban.

The lawsuit seeks the return of fines imposed on drivers who were caught using their cell phones while driving. Officials claim that there is no state law that requires the information to be posted publicly.

The lawsuit was filed after a Chicago man was hit with a fine over driving and using the cell phone, and the aim is to turn it into a class action involving thousands of other motorists that have been hit with similar fines.

The attorney involved in the lawsuit stated: “Why is this a big deal? Because millions of dollars have been taken out of the taxpayers, or out of just anybody who’s driving a car and being caught. Over 25,000 people have been arrested for this and prosecuted for this.”

Student Reaches Settlement With Former Coach

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

A former Southern Regional High School softball player has reached a settlement with her former coach, who she accused of misconduct four years ago. According to reports the two parties have agreed to an out of court settlement, although details of the settlement were not announced in the report.

According to the lawsuit, Jennifer Hanlon, the plaintiff who was then seventeen years of age, was struck in the face by the coach, Dick Manzo, in 2002. The coach was also accused of using crude language to refer to body parts, and even of entering the girls’ locker room in a state of undress.

Although details of the settlement were not disclosed in the report a lawyer for the plaintiff confirmed that a resolution had been reached and that Hanlon was very happy with the proposed settlement.

The district’s insurance company agreed to the settlement, and the school superintendent stated that this has brought an end to the case. Manzo is not employed by the district any longer. The school superintended sounded pleased that the case was over, stating: “Anytime you can put something behind you, it’s in everybody’s interest. To continue it would be difficult for everybody associated with this.”
A former Southern Regional High School softball player has reached a settlement with her former coach, who she accused of misconduct four years ago. According to reports the two parties have agreed to an out of court settlement, although details of the settlement were not announced in the report.

According to the lawsuit, Jennifer Hanlon, the plaintiff who was then seventeen years of age, was struck in the face by the coach, Dick Manzo, in 2002. The coach was also accused of using crude language to refer to body parts, and even of entering the girls’ locker room in a state of undress.

Although details of the settlement were not disclosed in the report a lawyer for the plaintiff confirmed that a resolution had been reached and that Hanlon was very happy with the proposed settlement.

The district’s insurance company agreed to the settlement, and the school superintendent stated that this has brought an end to the case. Manzo is not employed by the district any longer. The school superintended sounded pleased that the case was over, stating: “Anytime you can put something behind you, it’s in everybody’s interest. To continue it would be difficult for everybody associated with this.”
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New Line Cinema Faces Another LOTR Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

The distributor of the Lord of the Rings movies, New Line Cinema, has been hit with another lawsuit, this time from Saul Zaentz, who acquired the rights to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit novels in the 1970s. He licensed them to Miramax Film Corp, and Miramax assigned them to New Line Cinema.

The Lord of the Rings movies grossed around three billion dollars worldwide and this lawsuit claims that the contract specifies that Zaentz would get a cut of the profits as well as the rights to audit New Line Cinema’s books.

According to the lawsuit he is not being given the opportunity to audit the books, which the lawsuit claims is a breach of the contract. The lawsuit was filed last week at the Los Angeles Superior Court. A lawsuit was filed earlier by the Peter Jackson against New Line Cinema over his share of profits for the movies.

According to reports the lack of access to New Line’s books for auditing meant that it was impossible to determine whether profits were accurate, and therefore whether royalty payments were accurate.

Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Filed By Snowboarder

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

A snowboarder from the Edmonton area has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit after he hit his head on a snow-making hydrant and was left permanently disabled as a result of this. The lawsuit, which is seeking four million dollars, has been filed against the Snow Valley Ski Club by Justin Ward.

The City of Edmonton actually owns the land on which the ski club operates, and has also been named as a defendant in the case. The incident is said to have occurred in January 2006 when Ward was snowboarding at the club, and he hit his head on the artificial snow making machine.

The result of the incident was neck and brain injuries, and his lawsuit claims that he has been left physically and mentally impaired. The lawsuit claims that he has lost both opportunities and income as a result of this and will continue to do so in the future.

The lawsuit claims that the ski club was negligent for failing to put the hydrant in a safer location where it would not pose a danger to those using the ski and snowboarding facilities.

Man Files Lawsuit Over Ladies’ Night

Monday, January 21st, 2008

A New York man is going to court over claims that he is being discriminated against by nightclubs in Manhattan that host ladies’ nights. The promotional ladies’ nights allow women to enjoy special deals such as free entry and cheap drinks, and the plaintiff, Roy Den Hollander, is suing various night spots over what he claims is discrimination.

Club officials have branded the lawsuit ‘frivolous’ and one official stated that if these special promotions were classed as being discriminatory then other promotions such as special kids’ meal promotions or early bird offers at restaurants would also be classed as the same.

Hollander is calling for these ladies’ nights to be branded unconstitutional, but club officials state that men can actually benefit from the promotions because they attract women, thus encouraging men to take an interest in them too.

The club official said: “Under this theory, male customers may actually benefit from ladies’ nights in other ways and be encouraged to attend the club on those nights.”

Lawsuit Filed Over Bridge Tragedy

Friday, January 18th, 2008

A lawsuit has been filed over a tragedy where a bridge collapsed and two people died, with more getting injured. Part of the framework of the Bay St Louis Bridge collapsed in the construction accident just after the bridge had opened two lanes. A lawsuit has been filed for seven of the survivors of the tragedy.

According to the lawsuit a tug boat struck one of the bridge support columns, which contributed to the tragedy. The lawsuit claims that the owner of the tug boat plus a number of contractors were negligent. The accident occurred in mid-June.

There were also concerns raised over whether some of the workers might be working in the country illegally but their legal representative said this was not true. He said: “Although several of our clients are not proficient in the English language, all of our clients working on the bridge that day are either longtime legal permanent residents of the United State or are U.S. citizens.”

He added: “Our clients were just doing their job, albeit a tedious and dangerous one, and through no fault of their own, an accident occurred that has severely damaged and will forever affect their lives and the lives of their families.”