Archive for November, 2017

Ja Rule Requested by Bankruptcy Trustee to Take Responsibility for Debts in the Fyre Fest Fiasco

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Fyre fest, the famous festival that never was. Ja Rule is now on the hook for the infamous festival and all the debts it acquired from April of 2017.

Billy McFarland and Ja Rule who’s real name is Jeffery Atkins, are being requested by Gregory M. Messer, the appointed trustee in the liquidation of Fyre Fest, to be responsible for $530,000 in loans borrowed for the event.

Ever heard of Fyre fest? It was advertised as a luxury two weekend music festival in the Bahamas. Some of the advertised luxuries were top shelf liquor, chef made catered meals, and living areas that would be fully furnished. The cost would set the festival goer back a few thousand dollars for this royal treatment and “cultural experience of the decade”. However, when people arrived they found little water, not enough food, and unsafe conditions. Instead of fully furnished dwellings they found disaster relief tents, it took hours if not days to get off the island.

In August Fyre fest filed for bankruptcy, for months McFarland was making headlines in criminal and civil lawsuits, not guilty please to event ticket schemes, and attorneys who were done with the entire situation.

Ja Rule was the celebrity name attached to the festival and co founder in business with McFarland has been missing in action during the scandal up to this point in the case. After Fyre Fest fell apart, Ja Rule took to social media to tell his fans “NOT [HIS] FAULT”, according to Atkins counsel his “role was primarily to bring the artistic idea to life,” and after hearing of McFarlands criminal allegations they stated their client was uninvolved in the business side.

However, McFarland and Atkins are already facing quite a few lawsuits together, which includes a $100 million class action suit.  Motions filed by Messer last week were asking the judge to allow him to designate co-founders Billy McFarland and Atkins as the “persons responsible for performing the obligations of the debtor” and he is also requesting they provide their bank records, company ledgers, and “information from all of the parties in order to put together an accurate snapshot of the debtor’s finances in the run-up to the Fyre Festival debacle”.

The motion filed “would also allow Messer to go after the pair — who have apparently not responded to the bankruptcy case at all since it was filed — for civil or criminal contempt of court, and refer the case to the U.S. trustee for a criminal investigation.”

“There’s really no way to get this moving other than to get some motions on file, and compel the principals to do as required under the code and turn over the books and records,” according to special litigation counsel to the trustee Fred Stevens of Klestadt Winters Jureller Southard & Stevens LLP.

$12 Million Awarded to Tucson Woman in Malpractice Case

Monday, November 6th, 2017

A jury in Tucson awarded $12 million dollars a woman in a vegetative state in a malpractice lawsuit.

In over a decade this case against the University of Arizona Health Network, now Banner-University Medical Center Tucson has been the largest medical malpractice in Pima County.

Esmeralda Tripp was on Coumadin, a blood thinner medication, and had a history of seizures.

On Sept. 13, 2013 Tripp made a visit to the emergency room. According to Jamaica Tripp-Serrano, Tripp’s daughter, said she went by herself and had been to the same emergency room numerous times due to the same reoccurring issue. During these visits Tripp was usually treated with a shot of vitamin K or plasma and then she would be released. “That was the routine,” stated Tripp-Serrano.

According to Tripp’s lawyers the doctor who treated her had just been out of medical school for 8 weeks and administered the drug Profilnine. Unfortunately, Tripp suffered from blood clots and a heart attack that caused permanent brain damage just hours after her visit.

Less than 2 months after the occurrence Esmeralda was taken back home.

“Look at the outcome,” said Tripp-Serrano. “Look at my mom – she’s no longer my mom. She doesn’t talk, she doesn’t walk, but she’s here and we know she’s here she’s listening to us right now.”

Tripp lives in her families 8×8 den, her four children have taken on the primary role as care givers. She responds to her husband, children and seven grandchildren by restricted facial expressions and hand movements.

“She’s our queen, she’s our world, she’s our rock,” stated Tripp-Serrano.

The trial, which lasted three weeks started in October. The jury deliberated for over three and a half hours until a verdict was decided. “We received a unanimous jury verdict. Every single person on that jury agreed with us and wanted to help Esmeralda and her family,” said attorney for Tripp, Brian Snyder

This statement was released by the attorneys for Banner UMC:

We are truly sorry for the medical outcome that occurred for Ms. Tripp and her family. Yet, we believe these physicians acted in good faith and with sound medical judgment based on the information provided to them. When Ms. Tripp came to the emergency room on September 13, 2013, she provided inaccurate information to her emergency physicians about her health history. This included major health events and a drug allergy that could not be substantiated despite a thorough review of her medical records. She also admitted to taking blood thinners at four times the level that was prescribed to her. No one expects to have an emergency medical situation, but a patient’s knowledge and willingness to provide the most accurate information about symptoms, health history, current medications and allergies is paramount to an emergency physician’s ability to deliver the right care in the safest manner.

A study from Johns Hopkins University theorizes medical errors are the third foremost cause of death in the country.

A Florida Woman Charged with DUI After Riding Her Horse on the Highway Drunk.

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Donna Byrne was arrested on Thursday by Polk County Sheriff deputies for riding a horse while drunk.

Sheriff deputies found Byrne on Combee Road near North Crystal Road in Lakeland, which is 35 miles east of Tampa on Thursday as a result of a passerby tip who saw Byrne. The passerby saw Byrne on a horse with a confused look and She thought Byrne could possibly be in danger which prompted her to notify the police. When the officers confronted Byrne she dismounted the horse and lost her balance, she also smelled of alcohol, and had bloodshot eyes.

Brian Bruchey, a spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said, Byrne rode the horse for from Polk City about a 10 to 15-miles.

“We haven’t had a horse DUI that I’m aware of. We’ve had incidents of bicycle DUIs and motorcycle DUIs, so this was a different kind of thing.”

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s office, Donna Byrne, 53, is charged with a DUI for riding her horse equipped with a saddle and bridle, drunk on a Florida highway and faces a count of animal neglect. She put the horse in danger of being injured or killed while riding it on the highway while drunk. Depending on the state a person under the influence can be charged with a DUI and DWI while riding a horse.

An appellate court in California in 1993, ruled in People vs. Fong that people riding animals while on the street should follow the same rules as the drivers of vehicles, so, riding animals should be at a reasonably safe speed and no reckless behavior.

In Montana, however, riders on horseback can’t be arrested while under the influence because the state law’s conditions exclude mechanisms moved by “animal power.” The issue created a buzz in Montana in 2011, due to the state’s department of transportation airing a commercial in which a horse picked up its owner after a night of drinking.

Numerous criminal defense lawyers in Florida are doubtful of whether the DUI charge will hold up in Florida court. A Tampa attorney, Thomas Grajek, specializes in DUI cases, he believes Byrne can’t be charged with a DUI because the law in Florida states people riding animals on roadways or shoulders are not exposed to the same rules as automobile drivers they should be treated as pedestrians. Grajek believes Byrne would be charged with disorderly conduct or public intoxication like a pedestrian for riding a horse drunk and not a vehicle.

During Byrne’s sobriety test she registered blood-alcohol levels of .157 and .161, twice the state’s legal limit of .08. The officers then arrested her, and the horse was taken to the Polk County Sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility.

“The road she was stopped on was a very busy road,” Bruchey said. “Of course, if somebody hit the horse, then that person would be in danger. And (Byrne) was a danger to herself.”

The officer who arrested Byrne, according to Bruchey the sheriff’s department spoke person, he had enough information for probably cause to consider the horse a vehicle. No immediate comment has been made by The Polk County State Attorney’s office.

“I can tell you it’s going to be interesting if (the DUI charge) goes through,” Bruchey said. “The way sheriffs look at it, the woman put a saddle and bridle on this horse and was riding it to get from point A to point B. For all intents and purposes, we look at that as a vehicle.”

Byrne could not be reached for a comment. However, according to officers, her criminal history includes five felony and ten misdemeanor charges, consisting of cruelty to animals, drug possession, probation violation and criminal traffic.