Archive for October, 2007

Lawyers Want Wrongful Death Lawsuit Dismissed

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Lawyers working on behalf of TV host Nancy Grace and television network CNN have stated that they want a wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed against the host and the television network to be dismissed. The lawsuit alleges that the TV host pushed the mother of a missing child to commit suicide as the result of questioning her aggressively.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of the mother, Melinda Duckett. However lawyers are stating that if the lawsuit is not dismissed it could seriously impact upon the future coverage of missing persons by journalists. The motion was filed in court late last week.

A lawyer working for the host and the television network stated: “The law does not permit people to recover money from reporters who ask routine questions while covering ongoing stories of national significance to the public.”

Melinda Duckett had refused to take a lie detector test and was vague with regards to her whereabouts when her son went missing. Because of this the TV host accused her of hiding something. On the day that the taped interview was due to be broadcast, the mother, aged twenty one, shot herself.

Former County Fire Chief Files Lawsuit

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The former Darlington County Fire Chief is considering filing a lawsuit against the county after being fired from the job he held for three years. Robert Watkins is allegedly thinking of filing a civil lawsuit against the county for conspiracy, defamation of character and freedom of speech.

Watkins was fired from his job as county fire chief in June. According to officials from the county the former fire chief had failed to obey instructions. The county council chairman told reporters at the time: “He was released because of insubordination, and that’s all I know.”

It was later learned at a grievance hearing that the termination stemmed from a problem with the sale of two fire trucks to another county. The former fire chief removed equipment from the trucks that should have been included in the sale. The termination of employment was upheld by the grievance committee at that time.

As well as naming Darlington County as a defendant in the lawsuit, an attorney for Mr Watkins confirmed that a number of other defendants would be named. No further details have been released.

First Minnesota Lawsuit Over Cypher Stent Implant

Monday, October 15th, 2007

A man has filed the first Minnesota lawsuit in relation to problems experienced as a result of using the Cypher stent implant by Johnson and Johnson. Over fifty thousand patients have received these stent implants and the Food and Drugs Administration has received many reports of clots or thrombosis in those with the implants.

One attorney that is representing the plaintiff stated: “We hope that a side benefit of bringing this case will be to determine why these stents failed, so that doctors and patients can make more informed decisions.” The stent was approved in 2003 by the FDA, and is manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.

The manufacturer of the stents did issue warning letters just months after its approval in 2003, explaining that the stent could lead to blood clots. This came after nearly fifty reports of clotting were received by the FDA in relation to patients that had recently had one of these stents implanted.

The FDA has stated that the risk of clotting increases with off label use of the implants as opposed to the stent being used as directed. Recent studies have suggested that longer term use of drug coated stents can lead to increased risk of clotting.

Lawsuit Filed Against US Postal Service

Friday, October 12th, 2007

A lawsuit has been filed against the US postal service by an attorney who claims that the postal service sold personal details of employees to marketing firms, which was in breach of the US Privacy Act. The lawsuit has been filed by the attorney on behalf of all US postal employees.According to the lawsuit the US Postal Service has allowed the main employee database to be accessed by various marketing firms. The database contains a range of personal information relating to employees, both current and former, including their home addresses.

The attorney stated: ‘It appears that USPS is sharing sensitive employee information to a wide range of marketers, hawking everything from cell phones to credit cards. Not only do we think this sort of activity is illegal, we think it sets a very bad example as the nation’s second-largest employer.’

Speaking about one client he added: ‘Our client is outraged that an organization he has dedicated the last 10 years of his life to would be so quick to sell his personal information for a quick buck. We expect a huge outpouring from postal employees throughout the U.S. who have experienced the same thing.’

Nike Reaches Multi Million Dollar Settlement

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Nike has reached a multi million dollar settlement following a lawsuit that was filed against the world renowned corporation on behalf of four hundred black employees from the Niketown Chicago store. The settlement brings to an end the race discrimination class action lawsuit that was filed against the company.The settlement that has been reached by Nike is for $7.6 million. According to the allegations in the lawsuit the Chicago Nike retail store discrimination against its black employees and it was also accused of harassing the black employees.

According to the plaintiffs managers at the retail store used racially abusive language about black employees as well as black customers. The suit also claimed that black workers were segregated from whites, and were placed in low paying stock room jobs. The lawsuit further claimed that unfounded accusations of theft were often made against black employees.

The settlement will cover black employees that worked at the store between 1999 to present day. However, despite the settlement Nike continues to deny the claims.

Pet Company Could Face Class Action Lawsuit

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

A pet food retailer could be facing a class action lawsuit in connection with pet food that was allegedly contaminated and could have resulted in the deaths of dogs and cats in the United Stated. The pet food company is Petvalu Canada Inc, and its US parent company, Petvalu Inc.

It is alleged that there were tainted ingredients in the pet food. The company has been advised that there may be a class action lawsuit in the pipeline. However, at present investigations into the claim are still being carried out.

Executives from two Chinese companies have recently been retained in relation to this case, in connection with the export of contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein included in pet food, which has been blamed for the death of many pets.

Nearly one hundred brands of pet food had to be recalled following complaints about the food. After the Food and Drugs Administration got involved, investigations revealed the presence of melamine, which was traced back to the Chinese companies.

Class Action Status Granted In UPS Case

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

A lawsuit filed against the United Parcel Service has been granted class actions status by a federal judge in Pittsburgh. The lawsuit claims that disabled employees were not assisted in getting back to work by UPS, as working conditions for disabled employees were not modified. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers should make reasonable modifications for employees with disabilities where required.

Only three plaintiffs were included in the original complaint against UPS, but now that it has been granted class action status around thirty thousand to fifty thousand UPS employees could be included. The lawsuit was filed in 2004, but there has been no reports on how much is being sought in damaged from the company.

One lawyer stated: “The bottom line is that UPS has a ‘no accommodation’ policy, that’s what we allege. Regardless of the outcome of this case, what a small business owner should take from it is you need to take requests very seriously and try to see what you can do to keep that worker in the fold. A written policy is no good if it’s not being implemented.”

A UPS spokesperson stated that the claims have no merit, and the ruling to grant class action by the court was a mistake. He stated: “We feel it’s totally without merit. We believed the court ruling was in error.”

School Settles Lawsuit Filed By Former Student

Friday, October 5th, 2007

A former school student has won over thirty-three thousand dollars by way of settlement from a school district, after claiming that he had tape wrapped around his head by a teacher for talking too much.The former student alleged that his head was taped up by the elementary teacher because the teacher accused him of talking too much.

The settlement’s terms are for just over thirty-three thousand dollars, and this settlement was approved by the state supreme court judge, John Grow. The superintendent of the school district did not wish to make comment with regards to the incident according to reports.

According to the lawsuit the actions taken by the teacher in question, in terms of wrapping tape around the student’s head, caused the student to become laughed at and ridiculed by other students in the class. As a result of this, according to reports, he became fearful of going to school, and also suffered the pain of having the tape wrapped around his head.

Restaurant Critic Faces Lawsuit

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

A restaurant critic is being sued by a restaurant after he allegedly ordered a fifteen dollar piece of beef and then described it as “miserably tough and fatty.” The restaurant is seeking unspecified damages from the Philadelphia Inquirer critic Craig LaBan.However, there is more bad news in store for the critic, as he was forced to give his deposition on camera, and this poses the risk that restaurant owners all around could see his face, which would ruin his chances of anonymity.

A lawyer for the newspaper for which the critic works stated: “Mr. LaBan’s anonymity is important to the process by which he reviews restaurants. If a restaurant knew Mr. LaBan was in its dining room, it might put on a show for him that would not be provided to the general dining public.”

The critic’s review of the steakhouse that he visited read: “A recent meal, though, was expensive and disappointing, from the soggy and sour chopped salad to a miserably tough and fatty strip steak. The crab cake, though, was excellent.” However, the plaintiffs claim that he did not even have a strip steak, but had a steak sandwich without bread.

Man Settles Lawsuit over Popcorn Flavoring

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

A man has reached a settlement with a company after he filed a lawsuit claiming that he suffered health problems as a result of exposure to a chemical in flavoring used on microwave popcorn. The settlement has been reached with the company that made the buttery flavoring for the popcorn, International Flavors and Fragrances Inc.

John Weimer Jr. filed the lawsuit after he suffered a condition known as popcorn lung, which is a respiratory problem that is associated with exposure to a chemical called diacetyl. This was while he was working at the Snappy Popcorn Company plant in Iowa as a manager.

The trial in the case had been scheduled to start later this month. An attorney working on the case confirmed that a satisfactory settlement had been reached but stated that the actual terms of the settlement could not be discussed at this stage.

The lawsuit had claimed that the company was aware that the flavoring contained a chemical that could pose such health hazards, but that the company failed to issue relevant warnings.