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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Julianna Walker Willis Technology



• 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 "[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


Jury Awards $6.7M over Failure to Disclose Herpes Print

Rejecting a wealthy businessman's testimony that he told a California woman about his genital herpes infection before they became sexual partners, a jury has ordered him to pay her more than $6.7 million for negligent transmission of the disease.

The award includes $2.75 million in punitive damages, which means the jury concluded that Tom Redmond, 77, acted outrageously and recklessly in failing to advise Patricia Behr, 56, that he was infected when they began having sex in October 2003. She tested positive for the virus after they broke up in July 2004.

The trial in Riverside County (Calif.) Superior Court lasted 11 days, with the jury also awarding Behr $2.5 million in compensatory damages for future medical expenses and $1.5 million for pain and suffering -- and ownership of a 2004 BMW which Redmond claimed he had only given her as a loan, not a gift..

A press release issued earlier this week did not identify the parties, but On Point identified them from court records.

Redmond may be one of the wealthier people ever to be involved in such a case. At the time he met Behr, a court document says, he had recently sold his hair care products company “for many millions ... owned beautiful homes in several locations, had a private jet, and enjoyed the trappings of his hard-earned wealth.”

He flew by the private jet from his home in Minnesota to Palm Springs to have lunch with Behr -- the mother of actor Jason Behr -- on their first date.

According to court papers, nearly $129,000 of Redmond's money went into funding a start-up furniture design business for Behr. He backed out of the venture in April 2005 -– a few months before she sued him.

Unlike a pending case in which former New York Met Roberto Alomar denies being infected with HIV, Redmond conceded that he contracted herpes some 30 years ago. A key issue was when he told Behr about his infection.

“Much of this case is 'he said-she said,'” he said in a court document.

In her complaint, Behr said she first had sex with Redmond after a “frank discussion” in which he told her about his “sexual limitations,” but “did not inform Plaintiff that he was infected with an incurable venereal disease.” Even though he knew “herpes could be prevented, at least in large part, by the use of condoms,” he did not use one.

In February 2004, the suit said, Redmond told Behr about his infection and that he thought he was having an active outbreak. But the following day, they again had unprotected sex after he said he was mistaken about having an active outbreak.

“Defendant ... knew or should have known that he could infect Plaintiff with herpes whether or not he was having an active outbreak of herpes,” Behr alleged.

Redmond insisted that he told Behr about his herpes before their first sexual encounter. He also suggested in court papers that she accused him of infecting her to retaliate against him for terminating their business relationship.

“The suit was the first time she accused Tom Redmond of giving her Herpes,” the document states.

The jury obviously went with the “she said” side of the story, finding in its verdict that Redmond did “fraudulently conceal his genital herpes from Patricia Behr before he had sexual intercourse with her.” It also cleared Behr of any contributory negligence for her infection.

“This verdict is a clear message to all persons infected with a sexually transmitted disease that this type of behavior simply will not be tolerated,” Behr attorney Shaun M. Murphy of Palm Springs said.

Defense attorney Robert M. Frisbee of Phoenix said Redmond will appeal. "The jury decided they didn't like a wealthy man for no particular reason I can find out," he said. "It's not based on reason or common sense."

Redmond Products -– which marketed its shampoos and conditioners under the Aussie brand -- had annual sales of about $130 million when Redmond sold it to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in 1997. He married another woman after breaking up with Behr.


  • Redmond filed a motion for a new trial Feb. 27, 2009.

  • Judge Burby denied the new trial motion at a hearing April 17. 2009, finding substantial evidence to support the jury's verdict. He declined to consider the "newly discovered evidence" obtained from Ramsdell because Redmond did not include it in the original new trial motion.

  • Redmond filed a notice of appeal May 12, 2009.

  • In a March 2, 2011 decision (click here for On Point's story), the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the jury's finding of liability but reduced the damages award to $4.3 million.

  • By Matthew Heller


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

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Girl's Slaying Tests Cruise Line Liability

      The family of a 15-year-old girl who was killed in the crossfire of a gang shootout on a Caribbean island has asked an appeals court to reinstate a lawsuit that tests the liability of cruise ship operators for onshore injuries to passengers.
    • 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.
    • Jurors' Comments Fuel New Trial Bid in Bullying Case

      Jurors may have opened the door to a new trial in a Maryland school bullying case by saying they returned a verdict for the defense because they were afraid of setting a bad precedent for school systems throughout the country.
    • Abuse Victim Can Sue Ex-DA Over 'Sexting' Messages

      A Wisconsin judge has protected a domestic violence victim from a rogue prosecutor, finding that she can sue him for sending her text messages in which he pressured her to have sex with him.
    • 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.

    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



    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



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