John Doe A v. Penn State
First Penn State scandal lawsuit says Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy more than 100 times and the abuse was enabled by the school's "negligent oversight."
Bradley v. Lohan
Former Betty Ford Center employee sues Lindsay Lohan for assault, alleging the actress threw a phone at her and yanked her wrist while refusing to be breathalzyed.
N.D. v. New York Post
Hotel maid allegedly raped by French politician sues the New York Post for falsely reporting that she is a prostitute who "routinely traded sex for money" with male guests.
Reinhart v. Mortenson
Two Montana residents allege the author of "Three Cups of Tea" "fabricated material about his activities and work in Pakistan and Afghanistan" to sell the book.
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• Maryland appeals court says dog owners can be held strictly liable for pit bull attacks. "Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous." Tracey v. Solesky

• Woman who has been diagnosed as a sex addict sues a school district for failing to prevent her from having sex with male students on the school bus when she was in 11th grade.
Barksdale v. Egg Harbor Township Bd. of Ed.

• Civil rights activist challenges Georgia's "stand your ground law." "By not defining what actions create a reasonable perception justifying the use of deadly force, the Act[] potentially deprives all Georgia[n]s of the right to life without due process of law." Hutchins v. Deal

• Former patient of a Rhode Island doctor sues him for featuring her in a book about drug addiction. "Plaintiff had expected, as any reasonable patient would, that her private conversations during her treatment sessions with the Defendant would remain private and confidential."
Lisnoff v. Stein

• Class action alleges the YMCA deceives consumers by representing that it practices "Christian" values while allowing its gyms to be used for gay sex trysts. "YMCAs around the country ... are currently being used as brothels for cruising, with the YMCA's knowledge and implicit consent."
Keister v. YMCA

• Social workers are not liable for a sexual assault on a 5-year-old boy by a 16-year-old male placed in an adoptive home. "To rule against the individual defendants in this case would definitely break new ground."
Doe v. Braddy

• Student sues college for refusing to grant her the "reasonable accommodation" of a single room after she complained about her roommate's exhibitionist behavior.
Blankmeyer v. Stonehill College

• School district can be sued over a guidance counselor's sexual relationship with a student who was over the age of consent. "The inherent imbalance of power between a guidance counselor in a public school and a student may render opportunistic sexual predation sufficiently shocking, even with a 'consenting' student over sixteen, to form the basis of a substantive due process claim."
Doe v. Fournier

• Utah judge finds a "credible threat" that Utah County officials will prosecute a polygamist and his wives for bigamy. The officials' acts "suggest that an actual prosecution of Plaintiffs is forthcoming."
Brown v. Herbert

• Louisville, Ky., strip club sues a competitor for displaying an electronic sign outside a convention center that said "Don't go to Godfathers, their girls are ugly and have crabs."
The Godfather v. Trixie's Lounge

• A lawyer cannot sue two women he dated for posting derogatory comments about him on liarscheatersrus.com. "[W]hen viewed within the larger context of the website on which they were posted, there can be no doubt that a reasonable reader would understand the comments to be opinion." Coulotte v. Ryncarz

• Oglala Sioux tribe sues beer makers and Whiteclay, Neb., bars for enabling alcohol abuse on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The illegal trade in alcohol has "caused devastating injuries to the Lakota people and massive financial damages to the [tribe]."
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Schwarting




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4th Circuit Steps in Again to Help Dirty Dancer Print

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just won't let Rebecca Willis dance off into the sunset, again reviving the dirty dancer's suit against a North Carolina town that banned her from a nightspot seven years ago.

Willis has a triable equal protection claim, the court said, based on the theory that the Town of Marshall treated her differently than other patrons of Friday night concerts at its community center who danced and dressed appropriately. The town cited her “sexually provocative” gyrations in banning her from the Marshall Depot.

“[A] reasonable jury could conclude that the Town’s actions, rather than being guided by concern for the public welfare, were actually motivated by a conscious desire to single her out for undeserved punishment,” the court ruled in an unpublished opinion.

U.S. District Judge Lacy H. Thornburg had summarily dismissed the case for the second time in April 2007, expressing the hope that it would finally be over after five years of litigation that included an earlier appeal.

“There comes a point in the life of every litigation when the parties are well advised to move forward rather than continuing to harangue about past practices,” he said. “That point has been reached in this proceeding.”

But the 4th Circuit again intervened on Willis's behalf and reversed Thornburg. “That just tickles me to death,” Willis, 63, told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “I finally get my day in court. The town has persecuted me and took my rights away. I hope to get justice out of this.”

The town had submitted affidavits that Willis “and her partner would hunch on the floor [at the Depot], simulating sexual intercourse.” But several patrons identified by the town as witnesses were unable to corroborate that testimony in depositions.

“The record contains evidence that Willis’s dancing at the Depot was appropriate and not unlike other attendees,” the appeals court said. As for her attire,

Although the record does have evidence that Willis’s skirts were so short that her underwear could be seen when she bent over while dancing, it also includes evidence that Willis “dressed no differently than any other women” at the Depot, and that people sometimes could see the underwear of other women who were dancing at the Depot.

Willis also sued the town for violating her First Amendment rights. In October 2005, the 4th Circuit agreed with Thornburg that Willis's gyrations were not “constitutionally protected expressive activity,” but reinstated the equal protection claim. Willis v. Town of Marshall, 426 F.3d 251.

By Matthew Heller
5/1/08

 

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rc_insidestories
  • Hotel Sued Over Slaying of Escort by 'Craigslist Killer'

    The mother of a prostitute slain by the “Craigslist killer” at a Marriott hotel in Boston has alleged in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that the hotel's operator is liable for her daughter's death because it failed to prevent prostitution from occurring on its premises.
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RC_OnFile

U.S. v. Arpaio
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Document: Complaint

Schultz v. Medina Valley
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Document: Non-Kumbaya order

Chopourian v. Catholic Healthcare
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Document: Verdict

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Subject: Sexual harassment
Document: Complaint

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RC_OnTrial

Peterson/Pryde v. Thyden
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Subject: Virginia Tech shootings
Verdict: $8 million

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Brown v. Herbert
Date: 12/16/11
Court: USDC, Utah
Hearing: Motion to dismiss polygamy case

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