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







Settlement May Avert Courtney Love Twitter Libel Trial Print

Those who were looking forward to the first ever celebrity Twitter libel trial may be disappointed as rocker Courtney Love appears close to settling the case brought against her by a fashion designer she described in a tweet as a “total scumbag.”

The much-awaited trial had been set for Feb. 8, with Love arguing that she did nothing more than express protected opinion in a series of tweets about her dealings with designer Dawn Simorangkir, aka “Boudoir Queen.” Simorangkir has accused Love of “despicable conduct” and ruining her business.

But court records show the trial date has been taken off calendar and that the parties are due back in court March 4 to report on whether they have settled the case. “Not all the documentation is finished, but the case is settled,” Love's attorney, James A. Janowitz, told The National Law Journal.

The designer's lawyer, Bryan J. Freedman (Freedman & Taitelman, Los Angeles), says news of a settlement is premature. The parties are "just in hegotiations," he tells On Point, and "Although the other side would like to believe there is a settlement, there has not been any agreement as to the terms of anything."

UPDATE

  • Love settled the case for about $430,000. "There was purposely no confidential settlement," Freedman says. "We would not agree to it. It was the reason this did not settle sooner."


  • A settlement would be somewhat surprising since Love said in her trial brief that Simorangkir “cannot demonstrate one dollar of damage” and she “is perfectly within her right to expresses [sic] herself in a public forum — no matter how vigorous, enthusiastic, or even ugly those expressions of opinion.”

    But the mercurial rocker's Twitter-rant — which included no fewer than 10 allegedly defamatory tweets posted within the space of 21 minutes — certainly tests the line between protected opinion and malicious statements of fact. And Love might just deem it prudent to settle the case rather than roll the dice with a jury.

    In October 2009, a Los Angeles judge refused to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds, finding that the Twitter postings were not speech about a public issue.

    The case evolved out of a business dispute. Love apparently believed that Simorangkir would provide her with custom clothing for free — and went ballistic when she billed her for it, tweeting that she was, among other things, an “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief.”

    “This is undoubtedly one of the most vicious cases of defamation ever,” Simorangkir said in her trial brief. “Moreover, Love cannot dispute that her influence combined with the power and popularity of social media such as Twitter was a lethal recipe that achieved its intended goal, ru[i]ning Simorangkir.”

    Simorangkir argued that Love set out to “blackball” her and have her banned from Etsy, an online marketplace that caters to independent fashion designers. “Love has ... essentially prevented Simorangkir from utilizing her greatest source of income: Etsy,” her brief states.



    By Matthew Heller
    2/2/11


     

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

    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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    • 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 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.
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      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.
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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...
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    Schultz v. Medina Valley
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    Chopourian v. Catholic Healthcare
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    Brown v. Herbert
    Date: 12/16/11
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