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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Judge Finds Woman in 'Orgy' Video Did Not Go 'Wild' Print

A St. Louis judge has thrown out a jury verdict in an involuntary nudity case, finding that the evidence showed a woman did not consent to appearing topless in a “Girls Gone Wild” video by dancing flirtatiously for the cameraman.

“It is clear from viewing the video that plaintiff was an unwilling participant in the exposure of her breasts and can be seen visibily mouthing 'no,'” Circuit Court Judge John J. Riley said in granting the woman's motion for a new trial. She sued Mantra Films, the makers of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, for misusing her likeness and invading her privacy.

Riley also noted in his ruling that Mantra “did not produce any written or oral waiver by plaintiff in which she authorized the defendants to make use of her image in commercial film products or advertisements,” concluding that “A finding of consent or waiver here is against the evidence.”

The plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe, was socializing with friends at a St. Louis bar in September 2005 when a “Girls Gone Wild” crew asked her to bare her breasts. After she said “no,” another woman grabbed the shoulder straps of her tank top and pulled them off her shoulders, causing the top to fall down and expose her breasts.

A jury returned a defense verdict in July, buying Mantra's argument that Doe consented to being filmed topless by being in the Rum Jungle bar and dancing for the cameraman. “Through her actions, she gave implied consent,” the jury foreman said. “She was really playing to the camera. She knew what she was doing.”

Mantra also said it was shielded from liability because it posted “area notices” around the Rum Jungle informing patrons they were being filmed.

But Riley shredded what amounted to a “blame the victim” defense, perhaps leaving Mantra with little choice but to settle the case rather than risk a retrial. Doe had been seeking at least $2.4 million in damages for post-traumatic stress and psychological injuries.

“The Court believes it is highly questionable whether a reasonable person reading the notices defendant contends were posted at the Rum Jungle would believe she was consenting, merely by dancing fully clothed, to the use of her image being spliced into and/or used for the promotion of pornographic material not filmed at the location,” the judge said.

“It is apparent to the Court,” he continued, “that plaintiff did not voluntarily expose her breasts, and it would have been apparent to the person making use of the footage that she did not consent to such exposure.”

Doe appeared for about 20 seconds in the “Girls Gone Wild Sorority Orgy” video. She argued in her new trial motion that Mantra's use of her image “in a sexually explicit adult pornographic film goes above and beyond any alleged consent that the Defendants claimed they may have received from Plaintiff through her conduct on the night in question.”

A Mantra official identified the woman who pulled down Doe's top as Crystal McDaniel, who was working with the “Girls Gone Wild” crew at the Rum Jungle.

UPDATE

  • Mantra filed a notice of appeal June 21, 2011.




  • By Matthew Heller
    11/8/10


     

    Editor's note: On Point's RSS feed has moved to this link.

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