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







Priest Sued for Denouncing Critic of Sermons at Mass Print

An Illinois priest who failed to turn the other cheek after a parishioner criticized him now has to defend a “wrongful sermon” lawsuit for inviting the congregation to send his critic “to hell or another parish.”

Father Luis Alfredo Rios apparently forgot Jesus's message of nonretaliation in the Sermon from the Mount after parishioner Angel Llavona complained about the quality of his sermonizing. “I attended Mass on Sunday and I have seen poor homilies, but yesterday broke all records,” Llavona said in one of two messages left on Rios's voice mail.

Llavona, a high-school teacher, was in the congregation the following Sunday when Rios performed the Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Crystal Lake, Ill., and gave him something else to complain about.

“During the Mass, Rios said, 'I have a talked to a lawyer and he said this was OK,'” Llavona says in a complaint filed last week in McHenry County Circuit Court. The priest then allegedly played the two voice mails to the congregation, commenting,

This is the person in charge of religious education here last year. That's why it is no surprise to me we had the kind of religious education we had. That's why we didn't get altar boys. What should we do, should we send him to hell or to another parish?

The suit seeks at least $50,000 in damages for breach of fiduciary duty, defamation and public disclosure of private facts. “Rios impugned Llavona's reputation as a teacher and as a good Catholic before his fellow parishioners,” it alleges.

The First Amendment precludes judges from inquiring into religious doctrine or belief and only a few courts have addressed "wrongful sermon" cases.

Allowing defamation and privacy claims to proceed against a Baptist clergyman, the Missouri Court of Appeals said in Hester v. Barnett, 723 S.W.2d 544 (1987), that

The use of the pulpit as the pretext for the practice of religion, but as the occasion for intentional defamation [ ] is neither justified by privilege nor protected by the free exercise clause.

In McNair v. Worldwide Church of God, 197 Cal.App.3d 363 (1987), a California appeals court found the plaintiff could “recover damages for defamatory remarks made during the course of a doctrinal explanation by a duly authorized minister” by meeting the heightened test of malice applied to public figure libel cases.

Unlike the defendant in Hester, however, Rios never accused Llavona of committing a crime. And as a New Mexico judge suggested in 2004 -- when he rejected a claim against a priest who denounced the deceased at a funeral -- threats of hellfire should not be unduly distressing to the devout.

“For thousands of years, churches have been making judgments against people,” the judge said. “Dante's Inferno has been talking about sending people to hell for many a year. People aren't shocked by it.”

By Matthew Heller
10/7/07


 

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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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  • 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.
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    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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  • 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...
RC_OnFile

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

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RC_OnTrial

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

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RC_OnTheDocket

Brown v. Herbert
Date: 12/16/11
Court: USDC, Utah
Hearing: Motion to dismiss polygamy case

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