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 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


Product Defect Case Over Ear Candle Cleared for Trial Print

The unusual product liability lawsuit of a woman who was injured by an ear-cleaning procedure using a special candle is heading for trial on the issue of whether a health store sold her an ear candle with inadequate instructions and warnings.

A judge ruled earlier this week that Anne Danaher cannot claim a Wild Oats Markets store in Kansas City is liable for selling what was, in and of itself, an unreasonably dangerous product. She suffered a burned ear drum when hot wax from the candle ran into her right ear.

But the store has admitted that it sold her the candle without the written instructions provided by the manufacturer, which said a user should keep the head upright, with the candle inserted parallel to the floor. Karen Kenney, the “ear-candler” who performed the procedure on Danaher in 2006, put her head in a horizontal position, with the candle perpendicular to the floor.

“[T]he Court finds that Plaintiff has demonstrated that there is sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that the ear candle was defective based on a warning defect,” U.S. Magistrate Judge David A. Waxse said in partially denying Wild Oats' motion for summary judgment.

He noted that the instructions from Wally's Natural Products also “warn the user never to burn the candle to less than four inches.” Danaher alleges she was injured after Kenney allowed the candle to burn down to within three inches of the tip.

Waxse also allowed Danaher to proceed with a negligence claim against Kenney, who followed the instructions for ear-candling in “A History of Ear Candles,” a pamphlet handed out at her mother's health food store.

In a deposition, Danaher was asked whether her injury was caused by the acts or omissions of Kenney or by the ear candle itself. “In reality, it was caused by Karen Kenney by how she allowed it to burn down and it started melting the wax and it rolled down into my ear,” she replied.

“Ear-candling” has become a trendy alternative to Q-tips, with advocates saying the warmth and suction from the heat generated by the flame draws wax out of the ear canal. But Canada has banned the treatment and the FDA warned last year that ear candles “can cause serious injuries, even when used in accordance [with] manufacturers' directions.”

In arguing that all ear candles are defective, Danaher cited a letter from the FDA to Wally's and the expert testimony of Dr. Richard J. Wiet, an otolaryngologist who wrote in a report that “Ear candles are unreasonably dangerous products because of the potential for damage to the structure of the middle ear associated with their use.”

But Waxse said none of that evidence was admissible. “Although it is clear that Dr. Wiet believes ear candles are not safe for use, he is simply not qualified to render such an opinion,” he said in another ruling.

Expert testimony is not required for the failure-to-warn claim. Wasxe said Danaher can also sue Wild Oats for punitive damages under the theory that it showed reckless disregard for customer safety by selling a product intended to be placed in the human ear and set on fire without proper warnings and instructions.

This story linked by:

By Matthew Heller


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    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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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