All Articles Tagged "lawsuit"

175-Year Sentence Sought For MI Doctor Who Treated Patients For Diseases They Didn’t Have

July 9th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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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.

Texas Woman Wins Almost $230,000 From Time Warner For 153 Unwanted Robocalls

July 8th, 2015 - By Chelcee Johns
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

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.

Trump Sues Univision For $500 Million, Gets Dumped By Macy’s

July 1st, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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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.”

via CNN

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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.

“Don’t You Already Have Three Kids?”: Waffle House Allegedly Fires Woman For Being Pregnant

June 16th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Shutterstock

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?

Couple Plans To Sue Chili’s For ‘Psychological Trauma’ After Waiter Spits In Their Soda

June 4th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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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.

via Syracuse.com and Gawker

Michael Brown’s Family To File Wrongful Death Civil Suit

March 5th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden. Photo via  Scott Olson/Getty Images

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden. Photo via Scott Olson/Getty Images

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.

Funny Business? Ne-Yo Sues Ex-Business Manager For $8 Million

February 24th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Source: AP

Source: AP

Ne-Yo isn’t too happy with his ex-business manager, so much so that he’s taking him to court. According to a lawsuit filed by Ne-Yo, Kevin Foster committed fraud and the superstar is seeking $8 million in damages.

The singer claims that Foster as well as  Vernon & Co., the consulting firm he worked for, moved money from his accounts without permission, forged loan documents, and even invested in a water company with Ne-Yo’s money, reports theJasmineBRAND.com. Ne-Yo filed a lawsuit against his former manager once before as well.

In all, Ne-Yo says Foster shifted $4.5 million out of his bank accounts as well as charged an additional $3.5 million in fees over the years. This is how Ne-Yo reached the $8 million he is seeking from the suit.

But none of this is true, counters Foster who says that while he did have control over Ne-Yo’s bank accounts he didn’t commit any fraud while managing the money, reports EURWeb. The court will soon decide who is telling the truth.

Didn’t know Ne-Yo was rolling in that kind of dough? Well, according to Celebrity Worth, Ne-Yo is currently worth about $16 million.

Octavia Spencer Wins Weight Loss Lawsuit

January 3rd, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Octavia Spencer is definitely a winner.

The actress won her lawsuit against Sensa Products, a weight-loss company she had an endorsement deal with. In the lawsuit, Spencer claimed the company wrongfully terminated her and ended her endorsement deal. Sensa claims her use of the hashtag #spon for “sponsored” while promoting their products negatively affected their campaign.

According to BET News:

The lawsuit goes on to state that it wasn’t in Spencer’s contract to not use the hashtag or get her tweets pre-approved. Spencer claimed she did more on her part to honor the deal by permitting Sensa to use before-and-after photos of her and advertisements in tabloids despite her reluctance. In addition, Spencer said she had lost the 20 pounds that she was required to lose as part of the deal.

“This was always about principle for our client, Ms. Spencer. She was taken advantage of by a company that is no stranger to misrepresentations,” Spencer’s attorney Bryan Freedman told The Hollywood Reporter. “I am very proud of Octavia’s will to fight.”

In the end, the judge ordered the company to pay $940,00 to Spencer. Reportedly the judgment was a default due to no representation by Sensa. The company is currently experiencing financial hardship. It may be a very a long time before Octavia sees any of her money.

Government Labor Watchdog Says McDonald’s Violated Workers Rights Over Protests

December 22nd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com

Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com

Here’s something McDonald’s isn’t lovin’. According to the National Labor Relations Board, McDonald’s and franchise owners subjected workers to “discriminatory discipline” for participating in nationwide protests aimed at raising pay in the fast food industry. And the NLRB has filed several complaints against the fast food giant.

The NLRB’s general counsel says restaurant owners reduced hours and discharged some workers who joined in the movement. The employers also engaged in other “coercive conduct” against employees, such as surveillance, interrogations, and restricting worker’s ability to communicate with union reps.

Since vast majority of 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are owned by franchisees, the company has been able to avoid taking responsibility for low wages and workplace violations at its restaurants. But these complaints name the head company–McDonald’s–along with its franchise owners as violators.

“The complaints issued today underscores what most everyone understands as common sense: That the company is responsible for the workers at its restaurants,” said Kendall Fells, an organizer with Fast-Food Fight for $15, one of the groups spearheading the protest movement.

The complaints came from 291 labor violations charges that have filed since November 2012, when the protests began. NLRB’s general counsel found merit in 86 of those cases.

“Today’s news makes it clear that the NLRB finds merit in the claim that McDonald’s is a joint employer because it exerts substantial power over franchisees,” said Mary Joyce Carlson, an attorney for Fast-Food Fight for $15.

McDonald’s said in a statement that it will fight the allegations, reports CNN. The company countered that the government agency “improperly and dramatically strike at the heart of the franchise system — a system that creates economic opportunity, jobs and income for thousands of business owners and their employees across the country.”

That trial will begin in March.

Hungarian Musician Sues Bey And Jay For Sampling Her Voice In “Drunk In Love”

December 16th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Radio station bans Jay Z's 'Drunk In Love' verse

Hungarian folk singer Monika Miczura Juhasz known by her artist name Mitsou, is suing Beyoncé, Jay Z and Timbaland for sampling her song “Bajba, Bajba Pelem (I Got Into Trouble)” in “Drunk In Love.” In a Manhattan civil suit, Mitsou claims the trio used and digitally manipulated her Hungarian Roma folk song as the acapella intro for their 2013 hit.

She also claims in her lawsuit, her song’s sample was used “to evoke foreign eroticism alongside the sexually intense lyrics performed by Beyoncé and Jay Z in ‘Drunk in Love.’” The suit further explains Mitsou’s vocal intro was recorded and revamped for 57 seconds and the sampled continued to play alongside Jay Z’s rap verse. Altogether, Mitsou’s vocals were featured in “Drunk In Love” for 1.5 minutes.

The original track, “Bajba, Bajba Pelem” was released under the title “Gypsy Life On The Road” in the United States by North Pacific Records in 1997. According the New York Post, Mitsou is an acclaimed Hungarian Roma singer who was discovered at 17 years old and performed around the globe at festivals and concerts. Mitsou claims friends notified her about “Bajba, Bajba Pelem” being used in Yoncé and Hov’s duet. The Post says Mitsou is seeking unspecified damages and, she notes, she never signed any documents to permit her song or voice to be used in advertising or trade materials.

Below you can listen to Mitsou’s “Bajba,Bajba Pelem” and The Carters’ “Drunk In Love.”

Bajba, Bajba Pélem (I Got into Trouble) | Listen for free at bop.fm

Do you hear any similarities between the two tracks?