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


Chinese Medicine Doctor Sued over 'Dangerous' Herbs Print

A Missouri woman has filed an unusual case of malpractice against a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), alleging Zhengang Guo fell below the standard of care by prescribing Chinese herbs that caused her to suffer kidney failure.

Delores Drury's case challenges the notion that Chinese herbs are free of the harmful side effects often associated with prescription drugs. After being treated for a variety of ailments by Patrick Kennedy, a St. Louis-area chiropractor who ordered herbs from Guo, she allegedly developed a kidney condition known as “Chinese herb nephropathy” (CHN).

“Defendants knew, or by using ordinary care, should have known that said Chinese herbs caused unreasonably dangerous risks and serious side effects of which the general public would not be aware,” Drury alleges in a complaint filed Dec. 31 in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court.

Guo is a seventh-generation Chinese medicine doctor and the founder of Life Rising, which operates clinics in Chicago. According to Drury, the herbs he prescribed for her contained aristolochic acid, a naturally occuring toxin which some researchers have linked to CHN.

“Plaintiff's Chinese herb nephropathy, kidney disease, and renal failure occurred as a result of her ingestion of the Chinese herbs” prescribed by Guo, the suit says.

Alternative medicine practitioners have generally been insulated from malpractice suits, in part because there is no established standard of care in the field. In Charell v. Gonzales, 660 N.Y.S.2d 665 (1997), a New York judge upheld a malpractice verdict against a licensed physician who used hair analysis and nutritional care to treat a cancer patient.

“Since using a complementary and alternative therapy invariably deviates from the standard of care, physicians cannot undertake a responsible, measured integration of such therapies in clinical practice without risking malpractice exposure,” Michael H. Cohen, a Newport Beach, Calif., attorney who specializes in alternative medicine law, says on his blog.

But Guo is not a licensed physician so Drury alleges a duty “to exercise that degree of care and caution commonly exercised by other [Chinese medicine] practitioners in the community.” Prescribing herbs that contained aristolochic acid and failing to warn her of their alleged side effects, she argues, falls below that standard of care.

Drury's ailments included headaches, joint aches and bowel irritation. Kennedy -– who is not named as a defendant -– treated her between 2003 and 2007 and she also visited Guo at his office in May and August of 2005.

At the very least, the case faces a causation problem since there appears to be no definitive evidence that the amount of aristolochic acid present in a herbal formula is unsafe.

In the 1990s, researchers investigated cases of nephropathy at a Belgian weight loss clinic where dieters were given a mixture of drugs, including serotonin, and herbs. Samples of the mixture showed aristolochic acid but, according to one review of the scientific literature, the dosage was “much lower than would be expected to exert nephrotoxic effects.”

Several incidents of aristolochic acid-related nephropathy have been reported elsewhere in recent years, the review says, but “[i]n none of these cases were the herbs prescribed by a fully trained and licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine.”

According to the Life Rising website, Guo trained as both a TCM practitioner and conventional physician and has taught herbal medicine at the University of Illinois.

This story linked by:

By Matthew Heller



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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