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




Alltop_125x125.jpg







Judge Bars Woman From Suing Over Faulty Google Map Print

Finding that Google has no duty to provide accurate content on its website, a Utah judge has thrown out the novel case of a woman who claimed that faulty walking directions on Google Maps caused her to be hit by a car.

The highway where Lauren Rosenberg was hit by a car

Lauren Rosenberg argued that Google was liable for her injuries because it has a “one-on-one” relationship with users of Google Maps. Providing her with directions over the Internet, she said, “was no different than if Plaintiff had called Google and orally asked a Google employee for walking directions.”

But publishers have generally been shielded from lawsuits over defective content, with courts finding either that the publisher owes no duty to the reader or that the content is protected under the First Amendment.

Salt Lake County District Court Judge Deno G. Himonas refused to deviate from that template, finding in a recent decision that Google “is clearly a publisher” because even though an individual Google Maps user can customize search results, “the exact same information provided to Rosenberg is readily available to any individual who uses the same search terms as Rosenberg.”

Imposing a legal duty on Google to provide Google Maps users with accurate directions and warn them of traffic hazards would “clearly be difficult, if not impossible[,] for Google to bear,” he concluded in granting its motion to dismiss the case.

“[U]nder such a broad duty,” Himonas wrote,

Google might have to investigate and warn about any foreseeable risks along any route, which might include negligent drivers, drunk drivers, dangerous wildlife, sidewalks or roads in disrepair, lack of lighting, and other risks that may only exist during certain times of the day.

Rosenberg was struck by a car in January 2010 as she was walking across a highway in Park City, Utah, following a route she had chosen after consulting Google Maps on her Blackberry. She sued the driver, Patrick Harwood, and Google for at least $100,000 in damages.

“As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google's careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken [sic] by a motor vehicle,” the complaint said.

Google has claimed that Rosenberg “stepped in front of [Harwood's] car in the dark at 6 in the morning, apparently after drinking all night.”

The case appears to be the first to allege that an Internet service provider is liable for defective content. Since Google provided Rosenberg with “customized” walking directions in a “one-on-one communication,” it was no different than surveyors or real estate agents, who “have routinely been held liable for negligent misrepresentation,” she argued in a brief.

But Himonas said the argument that Google does not “publish” the directions on Google Maps “ignores the realities of modern society and technology ... [A]ll of the information on the Google Maps service [is] available to the public worldwide, and the fact that a user of the Google Maps service obtains customized results does not remove the protections afforded to any other publisher of information to the public.”

The judge did not address whether Rosenberg was drunk at the time of her accident but concluded that imposing a duty on Google “would serve to diminish the responsibility that pedestrians have for their own safety.”

In a seminal case, the Hawaii Supreme Court found a publisher of travel guides was not liable for publishing inaccurate information that allegedly resulted in a man being injured while body-surfing. Birmingham v. Fodor’s Travel Publications, 833 P.2d 70 (1992).

A bill that would have made travel guide publishers liable for failing to warn readers about dangerous conditions died in the Hawaii legislature earlier this year.



By Matthew Heller
6/14/11


 

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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.
    Read more...
  • Court Extends Doctors' Liability for Prescription Gaffes

    The Utah Supreme Court has given a boost to the battle against prescription drug abuse by ruling that medical professionals can be sued over injuries to a nonpatient that were allegedly caused by  drugs they carelessly prescribed to patients.
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  • Girl's Slaying Tests Cruise Line Liability

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  • Bystander Claims "Swoon and Fall" Injuries at Church

    In yet another “swoon and fall” case against a church, an Illinois woman claims she was injured during a church service when a parishioner who was receiving the “spirit” fell backward, knocking several other worshippers into her.
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  • Jurors' Comments Fuel New Trial Bid in Bullying Case

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  • Four Loko Maker Says Users Knew of Health Dangers

    The maker of Four Loko has previewed its defense of a slew of product liability lawsuits, arguing that the physical effects of the energy drink's mixture of alcohol and caffeine — far from being an undisclosed risk to consumers — are precisely what made it so popular.
    Read more...
RC_OnFile

U.S. v. Arpaio
Subject: Civil rights
Document: Complaint

Schultz v. Medina Valley
Subject: School prayer
Document: Non-Kumbaya order

Chopourian v. Catholic Healthcare
Subject: Sexual harassment
Document: Verdict

Jackson v. Paula Deen
Subject: Sexual harassment
Document: Complaint

Marsh v. Air Tran Airways
Subject: Roaches on a plane
Document: Complaint

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RC_OnTrial

Peterson/Pryde v. Thyden
Court: Montgomery (Va.) Circuit
Subject: Virginia Tech shootings
Verdict: $8 million

Sheridan v. Cherry
Court: L.A. Superior
Subject: Wrongful termination

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RC_OnTheDocket

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

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