All Articles Tagged "lawsuit"
Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop, name is living on in more than one way these ways – including the wrongful death lawsuit filed by her family after medical examiner’s ruled that her death was a suicide.
On Thursday (Dec. 17), U.S. District Judge David Hittner set a trial date for Jan. 23, 2017 for the civil lawsuit filed by Bland’s family.
Cannon Lambert, the Bland family’s lead attorney, told Hittner he couldn’t accept the ruling suicide that suggested Bland hung herself in her jail cell by using a plastic garbage bag as a ligature. For Lambert, the fact that his legal team hasn’t been able to examine the report of an investigation of the case by the Texas Rangers following Bland’s death is a major issue.
“We’ve not had occasion to assess fingerprints on the ligature,” Lambert told the judge. “A lot of information we frankly don’t have. We’re not able to finish our own medical investigation.
Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, in addition to family members and supports gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown Houston for a status hearing in the civil case.
“I’m coming here before you to tell you I’m not OK,” Reed-Veal said. “Coming out of this hearing today, I’m not OK. My daughter is gone. I have now celebrated one holiday without her. It is tough. I walked into these doors with continuations, dates, delays. I’m coming out of these doors with continuations, dates and delays.”
Karen Fennell taped her husband’s 2006 death certificate and funeral flyer to her Brooklyn front door to prove to the New York Police Department her husband was not alive. That may sound like an extreme measure but after being subjected to police visits for years, Fennell was rightfully fed up and sued the NYPD. The case recently settled for $10,000.
Police constantly raided Fennell’s home, flipping over furniture in search of her deceased husband, James Jordan Sr. What crime would cause this much constant disturbance to a widowed mother? Jordan Sr., who passed from diabetes at 46, was arrested in 1996 for jumping over a turnstile.
After all of the turmoil suffered, Fennell is still perplexed on why the city made such a big deal of coming after her husband for such a small offense and minute criminal history.
“He was a hardworking man, and he took care of eight kids,” Fennell told The New York Post. “It isn’t right for them to be coming after him like this. There’s no reason for it.”
Fennell and her son, James Jordan Jr., repeatedly told officers their loved one was deceased but still faced frequent visits. In 2014 the police showed up four times, hence the mother hanging her deceased husband’s death certificate on her front door.
“I wanted it to be the first thing they saw before they came into my home and flipped it upside down,” said Fennell. “I can’t hide anyone in my apartment. It’s not big enough for that. But they keep coming and insisting that he’s in my house.”
Tired of the constant disturbance to her life and her husband’s death, the widowed mother filed a lawsuit against the NYPD last year. Though $10,000 seems like a small sum Fennell’s lawyer told The Post she did not want to endure a grueling trial as the NYPD fought back hard.
“She wanted to resolve the case and move on so she accepted their offer,” said attorney Ugochukwu Uzoh.
Did you hear about the Detroit woman who’s suing FOX’s hit drama television series Empire because she says she’s the real “Cookie?” Well she’ll have to get in line behind hundreds of others claiming her same dilemma.
You won’t believe which TV shows have been accused of stealing plots and which ones of them actually did (and who they screwed over to do it)!
Fox and “Empire” creator Lee Daniels have been slapped with a $300 million lawsuit by a woman claiming to be the real Cookie Lyon.
According to Page Six, Sophia Eggleston, 53, filed a copyright infringement suit with the U.S. District Court in Michigan claiming that the hit television show was inspired by her life and experiences as a “drug kingpin,” which she documented in her memoir, The Hidden Hand. Eggleston claims that she traveled to Los Angeles to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller, who allegedly told her that she would pitch the story to Daniels.
When the show aired in 2015, Eggleston, who served time in prison for manslaughter after placing a “hit” on a man, claimed that she was “dismayed” to see that character Cookie Lyon “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background.” She adds that the similarities were “so numerous and specific, especially . . . Cookie Lyon, that independent creation was obviously impossible.” The lawsuit explains:
“Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail. So did plaintiff Eggleston. Cookie is released from jail confinement and immediately places a hit on a certain individual. Plaintiff . . . actually was jailed for doing the actual hit on a man.”
“There is no possibility the similarities are . . . mere coincidence. Defendants had access to and a copy of” her book.
Daniels and his creative partner Danny Strong declined to comment on the suit. Eggleston, however, says people have been comparing her to the slick-talking record executive since the series aired.
“The whole city’s been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me — $300 million is a very small price for taking my whole life and stealing it,” she said.
We’d love to be a fly on the wall in Lee’s house right now.
Prosecutors would like to see Michigan doctor Farid Fata sentenced to 175 years in jail for treating 553 patients, often for diseases they didn’t have. Many of them were diagnosed with nonexistent cancers, all so Fata could collect the millions of dollars in insurance money on the treatments.
In one case, a man was diagnosed with a cancer he didn’t have and began a round of chemotherapy that caused him to shake uncontrollably and lose all his teeth. In another, a man who was told he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma underwent major surgery and 25 chemo treatments, four times what is recommended. He too never had cancer. And in a final example, a patient, Teddy Howard, had a liver transplant for a cancer he didn’t have and now has to take 40 pills per day for the rest of his life. A life that Howard said could be shortened by this treatment.
Other terminal patients were never told of their inevitable fate because Fata wanted to keep getting paid for treating them.
According to CBS News, Dr. Fata discouraged patients from getting a second opinion and “belittled” them when they tried to talk with him about the pain the treatments caused. Ultimately, another doctor at Fata’s practice turned him in to the authorities. After he was arrested in 2013, a prosecutor said it was the “‘most egregious’ case of health care fraud in US history.”
Many of Dr. Fata’s patients appeared in court yesterday to give impact statements and call for the stiffest penalty possible. In court, prosecutors also compared Fata to Bernie Madoff, saying what he did was even worse than what the Ponzi schemer plead guilty to. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his financial fraud.
A Texas woman, Araceli King, has been awarded almost $229,500 after being “harassed” with 153 robocalls from Time Warner Cable.
King is being awarded three times the standard penalty of $1,500 for each call received as because Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein labeled Time Warner’s action as “particularly egregious.” King sued the company last year after asking Time Warner to stop the calls on multiple occasions.
Unfortunately, King inherited a phone number that previously belonged to a delinquent Time Warner customer, reports Gawker. She repeatedly made the company aware of the change, but the calls continued. Time Warner attempted to argue that the previous owner had consented to the robocalls and therefore they were within rights, but this did not prove successful.
A Time Warner spokeswoman has said the company is currently reviewing their options to determine how to proceed. King’s lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, has sent a clear message to consumers: “Stop taking it on the chin” when the robocalls don’t end.
King, of course, is delighted.
We have all received annoying calls from companies vying for our business. Many have even added their numbers to a “Do Not Call” listing, hoping to ditch any 1-800 calls. With this decision, companies may think twice about being quite so persistent. They may end up paying big time.
Update: Macy’s has joined NBC in dumping Trump for his incendiary comments about Mexican immigrants.
Under pressure by a MoveOn.org petition to break with Donald Trump, the department store said today in a statement, “We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation… In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.”
Trump responded in usual combative fashion: “Both Macy’s and NBC totally caved at the first sight of potential difficulty with special interest groups who are nothing more than professional agitators, who are not looking out for the people they purport to represent, but only for themselves. It is people like this that are actually running our country because our leaders are weak and ineffective.”
Donald Trump is suing Univision for $500 million after the network cut ties with the presidential candidate over offensive comments he made about Mexican immigrants. The Miss USA pageant was scheduled to air on Univision on July 12, but the Spanish-language station has put the kibosh on that plan.
Trump says he also has intentions of suing NBCUniversal for breaking with the pageant and forcing Trump off of Celebrity Apprentice.
In an initial statement, Trump called NBC “weak” for taking action in response to Trump’s comments.
“As a consequence of their inappropriate actions, Univision and NBC have abandoned 51 wonderful young women who have come from all over the United States to pursue their dream of being crowned Miss USA,” Trump said in a statement.
Instead of airing the beauty contest, NBC will broadcast American Ninja Warrior in the three-hour slot. No other network has stepped in to take the broadcast. Variety says the pageant will now be livestreamed on MissUniverse.com/MissUSA. The contest also needs to find new hosts after Cheryl Burke and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts pulled out.
During his remarks announcing his presidential bid, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” He later expanded on the comments saying he was talking about the US’ lax immigration policy and a trade policy that puts this country at a disadvantage.
If that’s what he wanted to say, he needed to choose better words to express that, something Trump is not known for. It doesn’t look like Trump has a chance of being President of the US, but he could be in for a lesson in talking about the issues appropriately while he’s on the campaign trail.
Tabitha Handy claims that Waffle House was none too happy when she announced her pregnancy. “You’re pregnant again?” Handy alleges an upper management staff said, “Don’t you already have three kids?” Soon after, Handy was fired.
Handy is slapping Waffle House with a lawsuit, ThinkProgress reports, for discriminating against her for being a mother-to-be. “It hurt me and it was embarrassing. I felt ashamed and I felt like I did something wrong,” Handy told NBC 5 about the comments.
In her case against Waffle House, Handy claims she “assured this manager that her pregnancy would not hinder her performance.” But her promises fell upon deaf ears. “I was told that I would move too slow […] and can’t do the job” Handy said. Even though she received positive reviews for her work performance, she got the boot a short time later.
According to Handy, the manager Karen Whiting conjured up lies to justify her termination and said, “We don’t need you here at Waffle House anymore.”
“I would like to say this is some unique situation that we don’t see very often, but unfortunately, we have seen this by many employers,” said Robert Lee, Handy’s attorney.
Lee is right. Just a few weeks ago, a nonprofit organization was ordered to pay $75,000 in damages for their “no pregnancy” policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that the policy was unlawful. Two cases, reported by ThinkProgess in March, also follow women being fired after announcing their pregnancy — one the women was reportedly left homeless after the dismissal.
As for Handy, she is suing Waffle House for $100,000 in lost wages and mental anguish.
“Don’t be afraid and don’t be ashamed,” Handy said, calling other pregnant women to speak up. “If you’re going through something like this, you hire an attorney and you fight back.”
NBC5 reached out to Waffle House for comment, but said they do not comment on pending litigation.
Whose side are you on?
— Chili's Grill & Bar (@Chilis) June 3, 2015
An Upstate New York couple Ken Yerdon and his wife Julie Aluzzo-Yerdon plan to sue Chili’s for “the psychological trauma they endured not knowing whether [Ken] Yerdon had contracted HIV or hepatitis” after they used DNA testing to prove that a waiter at the restaurant spit in his soda.
Last July, the two went to Chili’s where Gregory Lamica was their waiter. According to the couple’s version of events, things were going OK until the service started to slip. They ordered broccoli that came out undercooked and never received chips they ordered. Ken, noticing that their waiter seemed a little put off, asked Lamica if he was OK. Clearly he wasn’t.
As they were leaving, the couple asked for a refill on to-go cups. When the lid on Ken’s soda popped off on the ride home, he saw clear evidence of a loogie. Unfortunately, Ken had already taken two sips from the soda.
The couple immediately took photos and went back to the Chili’s and told the managers about the situation. While they apologized and offered both a refund and coupons, they wouldn’t fire Lamica. The waiter went so far as to admit what he’d done (in between tears) as the Yerdons passed him in the parking lot.
Unsatisfied, the Yerdon’s called the police. At that point, Lamica denied spitting in their cup. But the couple had the soda DNA tested. Three months later, the test came back positive. Confronted with scientific evidence, Lamica admitted wrongdoing. He was sentenced to one-year conditional discharge and a $125 surcharge. He was fired from the restaurant three months after the incident.
Still, concerned for his health, Ken was tested for HIV (you can’t get HIV this way) and hepatitis twice, once after the incident and once six months later. Though Lamica has already been punished, the couple is still going after Chili’s.
So what are the lessons here? If you’re the emotional sort (as Lamica clearly is), working with the public probably isn’t for you. Maybe there’s some data entry you can do, where your interaction with people is kept to a minimum.
If you’ve had a run-in with a disgruntled waiter, maybe it’s best to ask to be re-seated elsewhere or take your business to another Chili’s. Clearly, it’s a relationship that wasn’t meant to be. A clean break is the best way to go.
And if you’re a manager that encounters a story like this, recognize that coupons probably won’t be enough to right the wrong.
It’s been nearly four months since a grand jury declined to criminally charge Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed Black teen Michael Brown last August and Brown’s family is seeking justice for the murder with a wrongful death lawsuit, The Guardian reports. The suit will be against Wilson and the city of Ferguson.
“We believe that there were other alternatives available to [Wilson],” Daryl Parks, attorney for Brown’s family, said at a news conference on Thursday, according to ABC News. “He did not have to kill Michael Brown.”
Anthony Gray, a second attorney for the Brown family, echoed Parks’ sentiments, “…We plan to demonstrate in a court of law to reasonable-minded people that choice to use deadly force was unreasonable and unnecessary under those circumstances.”
This announcement comes one day after the Department of Justice declared that they will not be prosecuting Wilson for Brown’s death. “This outcome is supported by the facts we have found – but I also know these findings may not be consistent with some people’s expectations,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.
Gray, speaking on behalf of Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, who attended the conference, but did not speak, noted that they “disagree with those findings.”
The scathing DOJ report, released on Wednesday, scolded the Ferguson Police Department, the law enforcement agency that Wilson once worked for, for targeting Black Americans with excessive ticketing and fines, motivated by profit-driven incentives to balance the city budget. Further, the Ferguson report found the overzealous use of racial jokes, stun guns and searches.
As for the wrongful death civil suit, the Brown family lawyers did not state when it will be filed, but the attorneys say the case will present a less muddled view of the facts.
“In our case we plan to show and outline pretty much the same evidence [as the Justice Department considered]. However, you will get a more clear, a more accurate picture of what took place that day,” Gray said.
No details of the suit are available as yet.