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


Are Strip Clubs Safe from Flying Footwear? Print

The careless stripper bug has struck again in Florida where a patron of a Pompano Beach men's club has alleged he was injured when a dancer's flying shoe hit a mirrored ceiling, sending glass raining down on him.

Charles Privette's suit -– which may be the first to allege negligent performance of a pole dance -– follows that of investment banker Stephen Chang, who sued a Manhattan strip club in January over injuries he allegedly sustained during a lap dance.

A dancer at the aptly-named Booby Trap club, Privette says in his complaint, “negligently performed her pole dance routine when one of her high heeled shoes flew up into the air and struck the mirrored glass ceiling causing the mirror to shatter and fall onto Plaintiff.”

Privette, who was sitting in the front row near the stage, suffered a small laceration to his eyebrow, headaches and nose bleeds, according to his attorney. The suit seeks at least $15,000 in damages.

The club “had a duty to ensure the safety of its patrons” and breached that duty “when its employee failed to perform her routine in [a] reasonably safe manner,” the suit says.

Booby Trap general manager George Gettinger has confirmed that such an incident happened but said paramedics were not too concerned about Privette's injuries after they arrived at the scene. “A quote from the paramedics was, 'I can't believe you even called us for this,'” he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

A wayward shoe, curiously enough, was also the alleged cause of Chang's injury at the Hot Lap Dance Club in November 2007. During the course of a lap dance, his complaint said, the dancer “suddenly swung around, striking the plaintiff in the eye with the heel of her shoe.”

One can only hope that the strip club industry gets a grip on this problem before any more innocent patrons are harmed as a result of negligent strippers and their flying footwear.

By Matthew Heller


Ernie Chambers

If you sue God, you have to -– in the legal sense, at least -– serve God, a judge has ruled in dismissing a Nebraska state senator's bizarre suit against the Almighty because he did not serve it on the defendant.

“Given that this Court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named Defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice,” Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon A. Polk said, meaning the complaint cannot be refiled.

Sen. Ernie Chambers filed his suit in September 2007, seeking a permanent injunction ordering God “to cease harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.” He said he was making a point about access to the court system after other legislators tried to limit “frivolous lawsuits.”

Plaintiffs in Nebraska have six months in which to serve a defendant but Chambers had not done so by the March 2008 deadline.

At a hearing in August, the senator urged Polk to waive service because God, as an omniscient being, would not need formal notice of a lawsuit. Rather than debate whether God exists, he suggested, the judge could just accept the existence of God as fact –- that is, take “judicial notice” of it.

“If God is omnipresent,” Chambers, an avowed atheist, said, “then he is here in Douglas County and in this courtroom.”

But Polk wouldn't go that far. “[T]his Court has no jurisdiction to make further orders except to formalize the dismissal,” he said in his order.

Despite the ridicule he has already attracted by filing the suit, Chambers told the Omaha World-Herald he is considering an appeal. "It is a thoughtful, well-written opinion," he said. "However, like any prudent litigator, I want to study it in detail before I determine what my next course of action will be."

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