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


Soap Star Hit With $885,000 Award for Suing Therapist Print

A Las Vegas judge has dealt a crushing blow to soap opera star Hunter Tylo, ordering her to pay nearly $885,000 in damages to a psychotherapist whom she sued for negligent treatment of her children.

Hunter Tylo

Shanna Downing, a licensed clinical social worker, counseled Tylo's children while their parents were going through a divorce. The $884,983 award resulted from an unusual counterclaim for abuse of process in which Downing alleged that Tylo sued her as payback for her refusal to testify on Tylo's behalf in the divorce case.

“[Tylo] can produce no evidence that Downing was negligent in any respect in her care and treatment of any member of the Tylo family,” Clark County District Court Judge Timothy C. Williams said in a Sept. 21 order.

Williams also found that Tylo “attempted to suborn perjury from Downing” in the divorce case, awarding Downing $700,000 in noneconomic damages, $158,104 in attorney fees, and $26,879 in special damages.

The case has now cost Tylo a total of nearly $1 million, including the award to Downing, about $50,000 in attorney fees to the other defendant — Horizon Family Therapy & Wellness, the clinic where Downing practiced — and $61,912 in fees to Tylo's original attorney.

With Tylo representing herself, Williams granted Downing's motion for summary judgment on her countersuit in June. Tylo, who stars in “The Bold and the Beautiful,” did not show up for the Sept. 16 hearing on Downing's damages even though Williams had given her additional time to find a lawyer.

Awards for abuse of process, a tort that is similar to malicious prosecution, are rare. “This case really called for it,” says Downing's attorney, Michael J. Shannon (Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Las Vegas). “She [Tylo] used the legal system for an illegitimate purpose.”

Tylo sued Downing in April 2006, alleging violations of professional ethics, and once told Larry King in an interview that Downing's treatment of her family was “a disaster.” Among those she treated was Tylo's son Michael, who drowned in the swimming pool of her Henderson, Nev., home in October 2007 after suffering a seizure.

Williams last year dismissed an earlier award to Downing of $749,185 on her counterclaim, finding Tylo had not been able to properly defend it because legal papers were not sent to her current address. Downing then renewed her motion for summary judgment.

When Tylo did not appear at the “prove-up” hearing on damages last month, court records show, the judge found her in default. She showed up later in the day, saying her new lawyer was running late, but Williams refused to reopen the proceeding.

"[Tylo] sued Downing after Downing refused to sign an affidavit containing false statements as part of Deborah Hunter Tylo's divorce case," he ruled.

The higher award now facing Tylo includes the additional attorney fees incurred by Downing from another year of litigation. Tylo's only remaining recourse may be an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

In 2008, Williams denied her motion to add a wrongful-death claim to her complaint because she had not produced an expert witness to testify that Downing's negligence caused her son Michael's death. Downing had diagnosed him with a stress disorder.

“Michael did not receive proper referrals and testing during a critical period of his life so that true diagnoses could be confirmed and good treatment could commence,” Tylo alleged. “... [H]ad the proper referral been made ... Michael's death could have been avoided.”

Tylo has certainly experienced the extremes of the legal system. In 1997, a Los Angeles jury awarded her $4.8 million in her pregnancy discrimination case against the producers of "Melrose Place."

Adding to Tylo's legal woes, her manager, a security company and a law firm sued her in August over more than $250,000 in unpaid bills.

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