Archive for May, 2008

Lawsuit filed against the Texas Youth Commission

Friday, May 30th, 2008

A lawsuit has been filed against the Texas Youth Commission by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Texas Youth Commission earlier in the week, accusing it of allowing its female offenders to be routinely strip searched, have brutal force used against them, and be confined to solitary for no reason.

The lawsuit claims that female offenders are “frequently subjected to punitive solitary confinement in oppressively cold, concrete and cinderblock cells containing nothing more than a metal slab intended for use as a bed, and in some cases, a metal toilet.”

The lawsuit further claims that the girls are strip searched regularly, and if they try to resist then brutal force is used against them. The class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas on behalf of five female prisoners.

However, an official from the TYC said: “If kids are on a work detail in the cafeteria, before they go back to their dorm, I’m sure they’re searched, to make sure there is no contraband, no weapons. These are things that are done across the board.”

Former Worker Files Lawsuit Against Capital One

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

A former Capital One employee has filed a lawsuit against the financial giant, suing the company for fifty one million dollars. The former underwriter, Rachel Steinmetz, claims that she blew the whilst on fraudulent activity that took place in the subprime mortgage unit, and as a result was forced to resign.

The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Manhattan. The former workers said that she was forced into ‘involuntary resignation’ by her bosses for refusing “to approve fraudulent, unlawful and bad loans”. The woman had worked as an underwriter for GreenPoint Mortgages before it was acquired by Capital One in 2006.

Steinmetz goes on to claim that her bosses forced her to authorise loans that contained fraudulent information, and in some cases even approved loans that she had already denied once she had left the office. She said that her working environment was made intolerable after she blew the whistle, and was forced to resign in June of 2006.

She had blown the whistle by contacting the New York State Banking Department about her concerns. She further accuses her former employers of violating Sarbanes-Oxley and banking protections by forcing her to resign in retaliation.

Record Label Sues Stone Temple Pilots

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The record label of the alternative rock band the Stone Temple Pilots has sued the group, claiming that the members of the band tried to end their recording contract early. Atlantic Records, which is part of the Warner Music Group Corp, filed the lawsuit against the lead singer of the group, Scott Weiland, and the drummer, Eric Kretz.

However, the group has expressed surprise at the fact that the record label has filed a lawsuit against it, and issued a statement reading: “Stone Temple Pilots were deeply disappointed to see that Atlantic filed a surprise lawsuit against two members…when they were in the middle of what were believed to be cordial and positive discussions about returning to the studio to make a new album after 5 years.”

Famous in the 1990s, the Stone Temple Pilots reunited last month for their first national tour in around eight years. The lawsuit claims that the record company wanted the band to record a seventh album and possibly up to two more albums.

However, it alleges that the bans threatened to stop recording immediately unless some significant changes were made by Atlantic.

Lawsuit Filed Against Wendy Williams’ Husband

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

A talent booker and publicist, Nicole Spence, has filed a lawsuit against Kevin Hunter, who is the husband and manager of the radio personality Wendy Williams. Amongst other things the lawsuit claims that Hunter dominated and physically abused the radio star.

Spence’s lawsuit goes on to claim that Hunter screamed at her and cursed when she was a guest on the Wendy Williams Experience, and then that he propositioned her repeatedly, and even that he called her late at night to talk about his sexual fantasies.

The complaint claims that when Spence rejected these advances Hunter’s tone and comments became more threatening. Spence claims in her lawsuit that she did not feel safe around Williams and Hunter after seeing Hunter verbally and physically abuse his wife.

The DJ’s employer, Inner City Broadcast, has also been named as a defendant in the case. Both Hunter and Williams have denied the allegations made in the lawsuit.

Actor Reaches Settlement With Stylist

Monday, May 26th, 2008

The actor and rapper Jamie Foxx has reached a settlement with a stylist that sued him for failing to pay her for work that she did two years ago. The celebrity stylist filed the lawsuit against Foxx last year, stating that she picked his wardrobe for the BET awards and also for a number of publicity events relating to his movie Miami Vice.

The actor has now settled the matter with the stylist, Stacy Young, out of court, although the amount that was reached in the settlement has not been disclosed. The stylist was suing for the money that she claimed she was owed as well as the money that she turned down from other jobs in order to work with Foxx.

After the complaint was filed the actor’s team had stated that it was not Mr Foxx but Universal Studios that had hired the stylist and therefore it was the studio that was responsible for payment of the bill and not Mr Foxx personally.

The freelance stylist had claimed that she was left with no payment for her work or the costs that she incurred to take the job after arranging the star’s wardrobe.

Starbucks Being Sued For Breach Of Contract

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Coffeehouse giant Starbucks is being sued by communications giant T-Mobile, which has accused the coffeehouse chain of breaching a contract that was in place. T-Mobile has accused Starbucks of colluding with another provider, AT&T over the provision of WiFi in its coffee shops.

T-Mobile claims that Starbucks had an exclusive agreement in place. The lawsuit was filed late last week in New York state court. According to T-Mobile the three companies had already come to an agreement with regards to Starbucks transferring from its T-Mobile partnership to one with AT&T, and claims that this agreement was not adhered to.

The lawsuit goes on to state that T-Mobile was given permission to “sell, market and promote its services” in Starbucks coffee shops until they were all set up and ready for the AT&T transfer. The lawsuit stated: “T-Mobile had made a very significant investment in the technology and equipment necessary to provide Wi-Fi service in the many thousands of Starbucks stores in the United States.”

An official from Starbucks said: “Our goal is to ensure Wi-Fi access at all Starbucks locations. This is a benefit offered to our Starbucks Card Rewards members as well as AT&T subscribers and steps are being taken to ensure that this access continues.”

Jury Awards Six Million Over Taser Death

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

A jury has awarded compensation of over six million dollars after a man died following multiple shots from a stun gun. The lawsuit was filed against the largest stun gun maker, Taser International Inc. This is the first product liability case that the firm has lost.

The California man died after he was shot multiple times with the weapon by police. The San Jose jury found that Taser had failed to warn police that multiple shots could increase the risk of a cardiac arrest. The $6.2 million payout was awarded to the estate of forty year old Robert Heston and to his parents.

A lawyer working for Taser stated: “Certainly, this was a tragedy for the Heston family as well as for the officers involved. We, however, do not feel that the verdict is supported by the facts.” Taser plans to appeal the verdict.

According to reports Heston’s father called the police in 2005 to say that his son was acting strangely and may be on drugs. Officers then shot him multiple times with the stun gun until he stopped moving. It seemed that he went into cardiac arrest and died as a result.

Reopened Settlement Results In Fresh Round Of Lawsuits

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Two weeks ago Congress reopened a settlement dating back to 1999 relating to discrimination by the Agricultural Department. The settlement that was reopened was over past discrimination but the reopening has given those that missed out on compensation last time around to file a fresh claim.

Many black farmers have taken advantage of the reopening of the settlement by quickly filing lawsuits against the Agricultural Department for discrimination. It is thought that around eight hundred have so far filed lawsuits.

It is thought that around seventy five thousand people could file fresh claims after missing deadlines from the last time around, and depending on the success of these lawsuits the government could find itself liable to pay out another several billion dollars.

Nearly one billion dollars was paid out in damages the last time around. The lawsuit was filed by the National Black Farmers Association, and was filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Citizenship Delays Result In Lawsuit

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Delays in judging citizenship applications has resulted in the Florida Immigration Advocacy Center filing a lawsuit on behalf of ten people, claiming that they have been left waiting to find out the decision for years when they should have been advised within three months.

The Florida Immigration Advocacy Center has filed the lawsuit on behalf of ten permanent residents of South Florida, and accuses the federal government of causing unnecessary delays. The centre claims that the plaintiffs have been waiting between two and four years for a decision due to FBI checks, when federal law stated that the wait should be no more than three months from the naturalization interview.

The lawsuit aims to get the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to finalize the applications of the ten people within ninety days, and is seeking class action status.

An official from the FBI said that ninety percent of cases were finalized and completed within ninety days. He added that a central records facility is being developed, and should be completed by 2011, which could help to speed up the process.

Woman Accuses Firm of Violating Privacy

Friday, May 16th, 2008

A woman from South Fayette has filed a lawsuit accusing her cable television provider of violating her privacy. Krista Cooney filed the lawsuit against Comcast Corp claiming that employees of the firm had emailed copies of a check sent to the firm to people outside the company, thus jeopardizing her privacy and risking her security.

The incident occurred after the woman sent a check to the company for the amount of “My Right Arm and Zero Dollars”. This came after she became fed up of the costs. She also put in the memo “Robbing Customers Blind.”

Of course the check that was sent in to the company contained details such as the woman’s bank account number, address, and signature, and she claims that her bank account is now at risk due to the check being emailed to others outside of the company.

A lawyer for the woman stated: “They’re still shocked and in fear of some major identity theft attempt. They’re so geeked by this.” The lawsuit claims that the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 forbids cable firms from disclosing any “personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber” without permission.

A woman from South Fayette has filed a lawsuit accusing her cable television provider of violating her privacy. Krista Cooney filed the lawsuit against Comcast Corp claiming that employees of the firm had emailed copies of a check sent to the firm to people outside the company, thus jeopardising her privacy and risking her security.

The incident occurred after the woman sent a check to the company for the amount of “My Right Arm and Zero Dollars”. This came after she became fed up of the costs. She also put in the memo “Robbing Customers Blind.”

Of course the check that was sent in to the company contained details such as the woman’s bank account number, address, and signature, and she claims that her bank account is now at risk due to the check being emailed to others outside of the company.

A lawyer for the woman stated: “They’re still shocked and in fear of some major identity theft attempt. They’re so geeked by this.” The lawsuit claims that the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 forbids cable firms from disclosing any “personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber” without permission.