Archive for December, 2008

State Attorney General at Centre of Lawsuit

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

The State Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, has found himself at the centre of a lawsuit that has been filed by eight state troopers. The lawsuit claims that the Attorney General’s office is not properly able to protect whistleblowers when it comes to cases against the government because it also has to protect the defendants in such cases.
The lawsuit was filed just before Christmas at the United States District Court in New Haven. It claims that Blumenthal was not able to stop the harassment and persecution that whistleblowers faced in such instances, referring to retaliation that was faced with troopers came forward and gave information in a 2006 case that was aimed at proving corruption amongst state police.

A lawyer representing the plaintiffs said: “Statutorily, the attorney general’s office is placed in an untenable position to investigate whistleblower complaints and to represent those individuals they believe are retaliating against them. The Connecticut State Police cases illustrate this.”

Blumenthal stated: “With all due respect, the lawsuit is an act of frustration. But the lawsuit cannot accomplish legislative change, and the lawsuit is factually and legally baseless.”

Lawsuit Filed Over President-Elect’s Oath

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

According to recent reports a lawsuit has been filed over the oath that is to be used to have President-elect, Barack Obama, sworn in later this month, with those filing the lawsuit seeking to have a reference to God removed from the oath.
The lawsuit was filed by a Californian man and seventeen other co-plaintiffs, asking that the reference be removed from the oath. Obama is due to be sworn in on 20th January. Michael Newdow, who is the main plaintiff and an Atheist, wasn’t the ending reference of ‘So help me God’ removed from the oath.

The lawsuit states: “There can be no purpose for placing ‘so help me God’ in an oath or sponsoring prayers to God, Other than promoting the particular point of view that God exists.” The lawsuit also claims that the reference to God is not included in Article 2 of the Constitution.

Mr Newdow has filed a number of lawsuits in relation to having references to God removed from oaths, and he previously filed similar lawsuits to have the reference removed from the oaths used by President Bush in both 2001 and 2005.

Lawsuit Being Filed Over Cleanup of Bay

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

A lawsuit is being filed by members of a conservation group, who are seeking to make officials to clean up pollution in Chesapeake Bay. The lawsuit is being filed in US District Court in Washington by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Officials from the foundation claim that anti-pollution measures have not been enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, stating that this should be a requirement in line with federal law in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

The Foundation wants to highlight the problems at a time when the new President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the new EPA administrator, Lisa P Jackson, are due to come into power and begin their new roles.

The president of the foundation stated: “I think the interesting thing is this lawsuit is going to put the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay directly on the desk of the new EPA administrator, and the decision will be whether she follows business as usual or changes course and puts the bay on the road to recovery.”

Former Mills Nanny Files Lawsuit

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Heather Mills, ex-wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, dominated the news over the past year as a result of the legal wranglings that resulted from her seeking a huge divorce settlement from the millionaire singer. Mills, aged forty, was eventually awarded a massive sum of over thirty five million.
However, Mills, a former model and presenter, is now said to be livid after a former nanny filed a lawsuit against her. Mills is said to have already spend nearly half of the fortune that she inherited as part of the settlement, and could now be forced to payout her former nanny by way of compensation.

The former nanny, Sara Trumble, claims that whilst she was working for Mills she was the victim of sexual discrimination, intimidation and constructive dismissal. She went on to resign around three months ago from her employment with Mills.

One publicist who was working to improve Mills’ image last year said that she was upset and bretrayed by the lawsuit, and that she had treated Sara like a family member.

Cruise Movie Threatened By Lawsuit

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

A new movie by Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise is being threatened by a lawsuit as a result of allegedly using a Nazi prop without the necessary permission being obtained. The prop that is at the centre of the controversy is a replica of the Nazi leader’s Fuhrer Globe.
In the movie Cruise plays one of the major characters involved in the plotting of the assassination of Adolph Hitler. The globe, which was used in a number of military strategies by Hitler according to reports, is said to have been used in several scenes in the film, which is called Valkyrie.

Two limited editions of the original globe are thought to have been commissioned by Hitler in the 1930s, and one was apparently found by a soldier in the 1940s. It was then purchased for tens of thousands of dollars by an art collector, Robert Pritikin, who wanted it used for educational purposes and therefore had it copyrighted against replication.

An official stated: “Pritikin believes the globe should be used as a teaching tool so the lessons of Hitler’s nightmare can keep history from repeating itself. Tom Cruise’s use of the globe’s likeness without our client’s permission was likely just an oversight. We’re confident this will all be quickly resolved out of court.”

Welding Fume Lawsuits Filed

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

According to recent reports two lawsuits have been filed in Marshall claiming that fumes from welding resulted in two workers contracting nervous system problems. The lawsuits claim that the workers were exposed to the welding fumes without the necessary ventilation, causing the nervous disorders.
The lawsuits, which were filed earlier this month at the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, name a number of defendants, and this includes The Lincoln Electric Company, Linde Inc. formerly known as The Boc Group Inc., TDY Industries Inc. and Hobart Brothers Company.

The lawsuit claims that when welding is in progress there are fumes present that contain a toxic substance called manganese, and this is known to pose dangers to the human nervous system. The problems that can results from this exposure, according to the lawsuit, are similar to the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

The lawsuit goes on to state that the defendants were members of organizations such as the National Electrical Manufacturers Associations and the American Welding Society and therefore should have been aware of the dangers of exposure to welding fumes and taken the necessary action to avoid such exposure.

Walmart Settles Labor Related Lawsuits

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Retail giant Walmart has decided to settle over sixty lawsuits that were filed against it, totalling compensation payments of around six hundred and forty million dollars. The retail giant want accused of breaking labour laws in the sixty three lawsuits that had been filed against it, with employees claiming that they were forced to work during breaks and were not properly paid for overtime.
After announcing the settlement an official from Walmart stated: “Many of these lawsuits were filed years ago and the allegations are not representative of the company we are today.” The company will now be using an electronic system to ensure that employee hours and wages are correct.

An official from Walmart added: “Our policy is to pay associates for every hour worked and to provide rest and meal breaks.” The company has agreed that the electronic system will be used to ensure that all working hours and overtime payments are in compliance with labour laws and regulations.

A number of similar lawsuits across the country have been settled by Walmart over the past few years, with cases in Minnesota being settled for over fifty million dollars earlier this year and cases in California being settled for over one hundred and seventy million dollars in 2005.

Recording Association to Stop Suing Individuals Over Illegal Downloads

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Earlier this week the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated that it would not be filing mass lawsuits against individuals that were found to be illegally downloading, and that instead it would leave it to the individual’s Internet Service Provider to take the necessary action instead.
The US recording company stated that in order to get the ball rolling it was working alongside a number of leading Internet Service Providers as well as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Since 2003 online piracy lawsuits have been filed against around thirty five thousand people by the music industry group.

The group said that a number of Internet Service Providers had already agreed to take action against consumers found to be illegally downloading, and this included contacting the consumer to advise that they had broken copyright laws and then taking various steps if the consumer continued to illegally download.

However, one official described as troubling the news “…that the RIAA is pressuring US ISPs into adopting some sort of ‘3 strikes’ approach, similar to those it’s been seeking in Europe.”

DJ Files Lawsuit Over Crash

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Celebrity DJ, DJ AM, has filed a lawsuit over a crash that he and his friend were involved in. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and involves a Learjet crash that he and his friend were involved in earlier this year in September.
DJ AM, who goes by the name Adam Goldstein, and his friend, Travis Barker, escaped from the crash earlier this year. The lawsuit has been filed against Learjet, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Global Exec Aviation, Clay Lacy Aviation and the estates of the pilots of the plane. The plane crashed in Columbia, South Carolina.

The lawsuit states: “The pilots were either poorly trained and/or failed to follow their training.” It also goes on to state that the aircraft was “…defective, not fit for its intended purposes and unreasonably dangerous…”

Following the crash the DJ and his friend had to be hospitalised, and both suffered second and third degree burns. His friend, Barker, had already filed a lawsuit last month seeking over twenty five thousand dollars in damages as a result of the incident.

Lawsuits Filed Over Fatal LA Train Crash

Friday, December 12th, 2008

A number of lawsuits have been filed by victims of a Los Angeles train crash which occurred on September 12th. The crash left twenty five people dead, and the lawsuits have been filed against the company that employed the engineer that was suspected of causing the crash.
Negligence lawsuits have been filed against Veolia Transportation Services and subsidiary Connex and the estate of the engineer, Robert Sanchez, by a number of victims that survived the crash and the mother of a passenger that died.

It is alleged that the engineer was busy sending text message on his mobile phone at the time the train crashed. The train failed to stop at a red light and crashed into an oncoming cargo train. The lawsuits were filed earlier this week at Los Angeles Superior Court.

Records from the telephone company have shown that immediately before the accident the engineer, Sanchez, and sent around twelve text messages. He died in the accident.