All Articles Tagged "lawsuit"

Man Trying To Rob A Pizzeria Sues Over Injuries He Suffered While Being Subdued

July 25th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Nigel Sykes tried to rob Delaware’s Seasons Pizza restaurant in 2010 but failed. Rather than getting away with the money — $140 that a delivery driver gave him — he was wrestled to the ground. His gun fired a shot that missed a worker and hit a garbage can, but was taken from him.

Sykes, who is 23 years old, admits to the crime and is in jail serving a 12-to-15-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery. At the time of his arrest, he was facing 51 charges of robbery, attempted robbery and weapons possession. He pleaded guilty.

But he says he was “unarmed and defenseless” when he was attacked by all of the Seasons Pizza workers. He says he was punched, kicked, hot soup was poured on him and he was knocked unconscious. And as he was coming to, he realized the police had handcuffed him and tasered him. Then he was denied medical attention for eight hours and an officer used a racial slur.

It should be noted that Sykes’ story changed between his first complaint and the current one. In the first one, he said he was held at gunpoint and forced to commit the robbery. And he claims he was beaten with pots and pans. The first complaint was tossed out over procedural issues.

But this second complaint has been given the go-ahead in court.

“Sykes demands $20,000 each from six Seasons employees, $20,000 from each of the two arresting officers and $100,000 from Seasons,” says USA Today.

Attorneys for the cops in this case are trying to have it tossed because of statute of limitations issues. Of course they also think it’s crazy that an admitted robber would be able to sue for getting hurt while trying to commit a crime. One worker was traumatized for some time by the event.

So what do you think? Should Sykes be allowed to sue?

Johns Hopkins To Pay $190M For Gynecologist’s Pics Of Patients

July 24th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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This might make you want to skip your next GYN visit. A gynecologist in Baltimore was secretly video taping his patients visits. And now one of the world’s most renowned medical centers must ante up $190 million in a settlement to his victims. And there were plenty of victims–8,000 women and girls to be exact.

Dr. Nikita Levy used a tiny camera shaped like a pen to record videos and photos without his female patients’ knowledge. When this was discovered by a female co-worker, he was fired after 25 years with the Johns Hopkins Health System in February 2013.  A few days later, Levy committed suicide, reports EUR This ‘N That.

Later, an investigation found about 1,200 videos and 140 images of patients stored on computers in Levy’s home. One of the plaintiffs’ attorney Howard Janet indicated there were 62 girls among the victims.

“All of these women were brutalized by this,” said their lead attorney, Jonathan Schochor. “Some of these women needed counseling, they were sleepless, they were dysfunctional in the workplace, they were dysfunctional at home, they were dysfunctional with their mates. This breach of trust, this betrayal — this is how they felt.”

So now John Hopkins has opted for a settlement, a major one to try to compensate the victims for this unbelievable violation of their privacy. This preliminary settlement was recently approved by a judge and is said to be one of the largest ever on record for sexual misconduct of a physician, reports The Huffington Post.  “Each plaintiff was interviewed by a forensic psychologist and a post-traumatic stress specialist to determine how much trauma she suffered and how much money she will receive,” reports The Boston Herald.

Some of the victims have not been identified–it would be nearly impossible to do so. According to the lead attorney for the victims, there were thousands of women and girls traumatized and it would inflict more distress to have them “sit around a table and try to identify sexual organs without pictures of faces,” according to Schochor.

Smoker’s Widow Awarded $23.6 Billion In Lawsuit Against RJ Reynolds

July 22nd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Katherine Welles /

Katherine Welles /

Right on the heels of news that it was purchasing the world’s No. 3 cigarette maker, Lorillard, RJ Reynolds has been ordered to pay $23.6 billion in a landmark lawsuit. The figure is 230 times what the plaintiff was asking for, more than $100 million.

The widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996, Cynthia Robinson, brought the suit against the No. 2 tobacco company. And now a Florida jury has sided with her and has directed RJ Reynolds to fork over  $23.6 billion in punitive damages.

“The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict,” reports The Huffington Post. Under that ruling smokers and their families had to only prove addiction and that smoking led to their illnesses or deaths.

A Pensacola jury awarded the multi-billion-dollar award after a four-week trial. The tobacco company must also pay an additional $16.8 million in compensatory damages. According to Robinson’s attorneys, the punitive damages are the largest of any individual case tied to the original class action lawsuit.

In 2008, Robinson individually sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.on behalf of her late husband, Michael Johnson Sr. “The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes,” said one of the woman’s attorneys, Christopher Chestnut.

Robinson maintains that her husband wasn’t given all of the details about what’s in cigarettes, thereby denying him of the ability to make an informed choice. A clip played in court shows execs saying cigarettes aren’t addictive, contradicting statements in corporate documents.

Of course, RJ Reynolds is not too happy. Its vice president and assistant general counsel, Jeffery Raborn, claimed the damages were “grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law.”

“This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented,” Raborn said. “We plan to file post-trial motions with the trial court promptly, and are confident that the court will follow the law and not allow this runaway verdict to stand.”

“Treme” Star Rob Brown Settles “Shop-And-Frisk” Suit Against Macy’s & New York City

July 21st, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Dimitri Halkidis / WENN

Dimitri Halkidis / WENN

You may remember Treme actor Rob Brown “shop-and-frisk” experience. It was covered widely in the media during a period where there seemed to be a rash of racial profiling cases of shoppers of color.

While shopping for a gift for his mother at Macy’s Herald Square location in midtown Manhattan, the HBO actor was falsely accused of suing a fake credit card to by a $1,300 watch for his mother.

Brown went on to sue the retail chain along with the city of New York, as the incident involved New York policemen. Now Brown, 30, has agreed to a settlement.  “The court has been informed that the parties have reached a settlement in principle,” Manhattan Federal Judge Lorna Schofield wrote  with regard to Brown’s twin actions against the department store and the city, reports The New York Daily News.

A spokeswoman for Macy’s would only reiterate that public announcement, “The lawsuits by various plaintiffs who alleged racial profiling by Macy’s have been settled in principle. We are making no further comment.”

Brown, who also appeared in the 2000 movie Finding Forrester, said he was handcuffed, “paraded” through the store and detained on June 8, 2013. His suit charged Macy’s and the city with false imprisonment, negligent training and civil rights allegations and sought unspecified money damages and a court order forcing Macy’s and the NYPD to stop the alleged practice of targeting minorities who shop at high-end stores.

There were further charges by other shoppers at Macy’s who claimed to be victims of racial profiling.  And a customer of Barneys New York also filed a shop-and-frisk lawsuit. The Rev. Al Sharpton later met with reps from various retail stores to speak about the problem and to insist on retraining of store staff. He drew up a “Customers Bill of Rights” he urged the stores to comply with.

As far as Brown’s lawsuit, his lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, did not offer the terms of the settlement.

A lawyer for the city said, “A settlement has been reached in principle, but the details are still being finalized.”

Wigdor also represents other people who have brought or who intend to bring lawsuits over similar Macy’s incidents. Those cases have also been settled in principle.

GOP Sets Ball In Motion To File Suit Against President Obama

July 16th, 2014 - By Samantha Callender
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New York City newspaper refers to Obama as 'The N****r In The White House' in op-ed headline.

Source: WENN

“So sue me,” were the words President Obama said to Republicans last week after explaining his plans to take executive action without the support of the GOP, who he feels are stalling pressing matters such as healthcare reform.

Specifically, Republicans plan to sue President Obama over his decision to delay a requirement in the health care law for businesses to provide coverage to employees. One senior administration official also pointed out that the same lawmakers who are filing a suit against Obama for his action ultimately voted (last July) to do the exact same thing at the exact same time.

House Republicans (led by Speaker John Boehner) plan to move forward with a lawsuit against Obama with claims that he is abusing his executive power. However, it’s been noted a number of times that President Obama has issued far fewer executive orders than other presidents, including those like Ronald Reagan who are highly supported by conservative Republicans.

“That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own,” Boehner said in a statement.

The GOP has been very open about the fact that they hate the sweeping healthcare law, and claim that Obama changed the law’s employer mandate on his own. By the end of the month, the Republican-led House is expected to have voted on a resolution to have authorized legal action to taken against the President in what would be The House v. Obama. The process began today with constitutional lawyers appearing before lawmakers to explain why the lawsuit should and shouldn’t move forward.

The White House released a statement expressing disappointment in the lawsuit, and calls the action taken by the GOP a “political stunt.”

“As the President said today, he is doing his job — lawsuit or not — and it’s time Republicans in Congress did theirs,” the statement said.

Also pointing out how taxpayers dollars are going to be going towards the lawsuit, the White House press secretary adds, “At a time when Washington should be working to expand economic opportunities for the middle class, Republican leaders in Congress are playing Washington politics rather than working with the President on behalf of hardworking Americans.”

Many disagree with the move, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who calls the move “another toxic partisan stunt.”

Others question why the lawsuit includes nothing about the immigration reform the President recently took executive action to implement, even though that has been another area which the GOP and Obama have been butting heads.

Some believe it is based solely on the fact that the Republican party blatantly dislikes the President and his reforms, and not so much about protecting the constitution. The GOP, of course, suggests it’s not.

“It’s not about Republicans versus Democrats. This is about the legislative branch that’s being disadvantaged by the executive branch. And it’s not about executive actions. Every president does executive orders. [It’s about Obama] basically rewriting law to make it fit his own needs,” says Boehner.

Gospel Artists Sue Katy Perry For Copyright Infringement, Say Their Song Is Now Associated With The Illuminati

July 3rd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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As per normal, musicians sample one another’s music and, while “borrowing” ideas is one thing, wholesale taking a sound without offering credit or payment for usage can land you in trouble. We hear about lawsuits all the time from artists claiming that someone or another stole their work. The question is always whether it’s true.

St. Louis hip hop Christian musicians Flame — born Marcus Gray, and Chike Ojukwu along with Lecrae Moore, of Atlanta, and Emanuel Lambert, of Aldan, Pa — allege in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in federal court that Katy Perry (nee Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson), her producers and songwriters have  infringed upon the copyright of their song “Joyful Noise” for her latest hit, “Dark Horse.” And in so doing, they have brought evil to their music.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the musicians also believe Perry exploited their song while profiting from it. The lawsuit states, “’Joyful Noise’ has been irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in ‘Dark Horse’.”

Also included along with Katy Perry are Juicy J (born Jordan Michael Houston); Dr. Luke, born Lukasz Gottwald; Max Martin; Cirkut, born Henry Russell Walter; Sarah Theresa Hudson; and Capitol Records LLC.

Orginally written in 2007 and debuting in 2008, “Joyful Noise” received a nomination for the Gospel Music Association Dove Award. The album “Our World: Redeemed” that featured “Joyful Noise” received a Grammy Nomination for the best rock or rap gospel album too.

Eric Kayira,  a lawyer for the hip hop musicians, says the beat of “Joyful Noise” was “percolated” online. Therefore, he believes the gospel song was “leaked” on the internet and then shared with Katy Perry. “Joyful Noise” was released five years prior to “Dark Horse.”

Katy Perry’s publicist has not responded on behalf of Perry on these allegations. Below is “Joyful Noise” and “Dark Horse.” The two songs sound similar but perhaps not enough to win a lawsuit. You be the judge.

Report: ‘Think Like a Man Too’ Producers Facing A Lawsuit From Bronner Bros. CEO

June 24th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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think like a manThink Like A Man Too may have been tops at the box office this past weekend, but there was a not-so-nice drama brewing behind the scenes. According to an exclusive EURWeb report, the film’s producers are being sued for gross mismanagement and abuse of control. A lawsuit was just filed against Rainforest Films by Bronner Brothers president and CEO Bernard Bronner.The black haircare products mogul (and publisher of Upscale magazine) is suing Will Packer and partner Robert Hardy, II, along with TRF Productions, LLC for gross mismanagement, misappropriation of corporate assets, waste of corporate assets and abuse of control, among other things.

Bronner says he invested more than $500,000 to launch Rainforest with Packer and Hardy and raised more than $250,000 for the company. But he claims he has received “only a fraction of the initial amount that he invested in Rainforest (and the amounts solely raised from his personal business and social contacts)” even though Hardy and Packer have made “millions of dollars” from the success of the company.

Bronner has been in business with the pair since 2000′s indie film Trois when he says he invested more than $500,000 in the film in exchange for a return on his investment and “a profit” based on  the film’s box-office performance. Trois turned out to be the film that put Rainforest in the mix in Hollywood — it grossed more than $1.2 million in box office receipts and became the fastest African-American distributed film to surpass the $1 million mark.

More successful films followed--The Gospel ($15.7 million in box office sales), Stomp the Yard ($75. 5 million ), This Christmas (roughly $50 million), Obsessed ($73.8 million), Takers ($69 million), Think Like a Man ($96 million worldwide), Ride Along (almost $150 million) and About Last Night ($50 million in gross receipts as of April 25, 2014).

According to the suit, Bronner didn’t receive any payments for 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and when questioned about the financial status of Rainforest, Hardy and Packer repeatedly told Bronner that the company, despite its successful films, was making “little to no profit.”

In addition to not getting the money he says he’s due, Bronner says in the suit that he was systematically shut out of Rainforest by Hardy and Packer as they took over total control of the company without giving him any decision-making power.

“Bronner alleges in the suit that Hardy and Packer’s conduct was ‘oppressive’ and ‘unfairly prejudicial’ to him and Rainforest shareholders. In addition, the executive claims Hardy and Packer committed fraud in withholding financial information as well as ‘violated and breached their fiduciary duties of good faith, loyalty, oversight, and supervision,’” reports EURWeb.

EURWeb says it didn’t receive comment from Will Packer’s spokesperson upon request.

Miami Sues JPMorgan For Predatory Lending In Minority Communities

June 18th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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The city of Miami says JPMorgan Chase & Co took advantage of minority homebuyers so it’s suing the bank, alleging predatory mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods resulted in massive foreclosures during the last decade’s housing crisis.

According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, “the country’s largest bank engaged in a continuous practice of discriminatory mortgage lending since at least 2004, violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act,” reports The Huffington Post.

The lawsuit says JPMorgan issued high-cost loans to minorities prior to the housing crisis, but later refused to refinance the loans on the same terms as it extended to whites, which led to defaults and foreclosures. The suit says loans in predominantly minority communities in Miami were nearly 4.6 times more likely to result in foreclosure than loans in mostly-white neighborhoods.

Miami leads the country in foreclosures.

“The Miami City Attorney’s claims are baseless and stand contrary to our long record of providing affordable housing to low- to moderate-income families across the region,” JPMorgan spokesman Jason Lobo said.

Miami isn’t the only city taking legal action against the way a bank does business with minority customers. The city of Los Angeles recently filed similar claims against JPMorgan, asking for damages due to lost tax revenue and increased city services needed in depressed neighborhoods.

And other banks have been accused of the same thing. Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp have also been sued by  Los Angeles and Miami for allegedly giving minorities unaffordable home loans, which resulted in numerous defaults.

The banks deny any wrongdoing, though Wells Fargo and Citigroup were unsuccessful in having their lawsuits tossed.

Hair Suit: Barclays Center Security Guard (And Cancer Survivor) Fired For Not “Taming” Her Afro

June 17th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Would having an Afro keep someone from performing their job as a security officer? Short answer: no. So a former Barclays Center security guard was wondering why she was fired from the Brooklyn sports arena that Jay Z built for having an “untamed” Afro. Now she’s suing the Barclays security team for $900,000.

According to Tiffany Bryan, 27, of Queens, New York, her bosses at AEG Worldwide, the company that provides security for the arena, often made fun of her hair and ultimately fired her for not wearing it differently.

“It was ridiculous,” Bryan, currently a mail carrier, told The New York Post. “I couldn’t understand what they had a problem with. I would get compliments all the time from people at events at Barclays.”

For Bryan her wild mane was a form of self-expression and celebration. After growing back her hair following successful chemotherapy to battle bone-marrow cancer in 2008, she decided to keep her hair natural.

“I just didn’t want to put any chemicals in it after that,” she told The Post. “After you lose it, you don’t want to do anything that might cause a problem again.”

And in 2013 AEG Worldwide hired her and she heard no negative feedback about her hair until security supervisor Denise Brown told her last March that she “looked like she stuck her finger in a socket and was electrocuted.”

“At the time, I just took it as a joke,” Bryan said. “It was rude, but I just laughed it off. But it didn’t stop there.”

A few days later, security manager LaNiece Tyree informed Bryan that she “needed to do something with her hair” and that she needed to “tame it,” according to the lawsuit.

Tyree told her to wear a headband, and Bryan agreed until she charges her bosses next demanded that she wear her hair in a ponytail.

“I told them my hair won’t do that,” Bryan said. “It’s sad that it even had to come to that. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate.”

“Plaintiff Tiffany Bryan is a black woman who was ridiculed, discriminated against and effectively terminated for the way she wears her hair,” the suit says.

No comment from AEG. Barclays Center is not named in the suit.

L.A. Awards Black Man $200K After He Was Ejected From City Meeting For Wearing KKK Hood

June 16th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Screen shot via LA City Channel 35

Screen shot via LA City Channel 35

To settle a free speech lawsuit, Los Angeles will pay $215,000 to a Black man who was kicked out of a city meeting for wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, The Daily Mail reports.

Michael Hunt, a resident of Venice, L.A., also wore a t-shirt emblazoned with a profane word and a racial slur at a Recreation and Parks meeting in 2011. After refusing to remove the KKK garb, police escorted Hunt out of the public session because “the racist outfit violated their rules of decorum,” The New York Daily News wrote.

Hunt was slapped with citation for disturbing a public assembly, but it was later dismissed. Still, Hunt fought back with a lawsuit and claimed that he was wrongfully arrested and his First Amendment rights were infringed upon when he was thwarted from speaking.

Hunt’s attorney, Stephen Rohde, blasted the city officials for violating Hunt’s rights to free speech.

“These rules of decorum should not be used to silence people unless they engage in actual disruption of the meeting,” Rohde told the Los Angeles Times. “And actual disruption doesn’t mean upsetting people or offending people.”

Hunt has been a regular nuisance for the L.A. officials — he also pulled this KKK stunt in 2009.  That time, though, the reverse happened: Instead of  Hunt getting the boot, it was the council members that walked out of the chambers in protest.

According to Rohde, Hunt wears the hood to “turn the tables” and address the alleged discriminatory practices in L.A.

Fearing that the lawsuit may encumber the city with expensive legal fees, L.A. officials agreed, unanimously, to pay Hunt $215,000. Councilman Bernard Parks, also Black, said that the vote was a “business decision.” In a recent lawsuit, a judge found the city  guilty of violating free speech rights of two men who were repeatedly thrown out of public meetings. Though the jury only awarded each man $1, the city had to cough up $600,000 in legal fees!

On top of that, Rohde served as the plaintiffs’ attorney in both of those cases. L.A. is not willing to risk the possibility of Hunt’s case going to trial.

“This is one of those things where you hold your nose and vote,” Parks said.

This isn’t the first time Hunt was victorious. Back in 2009, Hunt, a vendor on the Venice Boardwalk, challenged vending restrictions and was awarded $264,286. The city also shelled out $340,000 in legal fees.

Do you think LA should have paid Hunt $215,000?