When should a college or university be responsible for failing to protect its students?
The parents of a UC-Berkeley graduate have sued UC-Berkeley for failing to report domestic abuse that took place on campus. The lawsuit was filed after student Jose Lumbereras killed the two passengers in his car when driving while intoxicated, including Milanca Lopez and her six month son.
Lopez’s family sued UC-Berkeley, asserting that Lopez previously complained about domestic abuse in her home, but UC-Berkeley campus officials did nothing. They believe that UC-Berkeley could have prevented the accident if it had investigated Lopez’s concerns about Lambreras’ allegedly abusive conduct.
A California Tea Party group, NorCal Tea Party Patriots, has sued the IRS yesterday, in connection with the recently revealed news that the federal government was scrutinizing them disparately because of their political affiliations.
According to Ginni Rapini, the group’s founding president, as told to KGO-ABC7 in San Francisco, the IRS requested voluminous data when they were applying for tax-exempt status. ’They wanted every email I had ever sent out,’ she said. ‘They wanted the transcripts of every speech from any speaker at any event, meeting or anything that we had had,” Rapini reported to ABC7. More than two years passed while their application remained pending.
NorCal Tea Party’s lawsuit asserts that the IRS has violated its rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. They claim that the IRS “engaged in systematic discrimination based upon the speech, expressed viewpoints, and association of NorCal Tea Party Patriots, its members, and similarly situated groups.”
It is unclear to what extent the lawsuit was brought merely to make a statement in and of itself, given the likelihood that it will not ultimately succeed. Class actions, by their nature, require the injured victims to have suffered nearly-identical injuries so as to prove typicality among the class. It is hard to imagine how individualized tax-exempt applications are not unique to each tax-exempt applicant. Further, the Supreme Court previously refused to hold in the famous Dukes v. Wal-Mart matter that gender discrimination claimed by the female employees of Wal-Mart could be certified as a class.
Citizens know soon enough – with every class action comes a motion to dismiss.
The California Attorney General’s office has sued JP Morgan Chase Bank for abusive debt collection practices.
Apparently, over the last few years, Chase flooded California courts with unpaid credit-card lawsuits by using illegal robo-signing and other unlawful debt collection practices. Chase is accused of failing to provide borrowers with debt collection notices as required by law, before initiating lawsuits. Chase also apparently failed to investigate whether certain borrowers were active military personnel or service-members, even though “swearing” under penalties of perjury that they were not, which is required for default judgments to be entered against individuals who have not responded to a lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, “At nearly every stage of the collection process, Defendants cut corners in the name of speed, cost savings, and their own convenience, providing only the thinnest veneer of legitimacy to their lawsuits.”
“Robo-signing” refers to the practice of signing declarations, affidavits, and other documents in voluminous quantities, without having any knowledge of the facts in the document and without regard to the truth or accuracy as to those facts. In Chase’s case, Chase would often file affidavits, “under penalty of perjury” that the declarant was an “assistant treasurer and officer Chase USA” when in reality, it was a “low-level employee” of Chase “who has never even seen the Complaint.”
Copy of the Complaint - http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press_releases/Complaint_0.pdf?
Skechers is going to be paying $40 million to settle a huge class action over its “toning” shoes, which advertised that the shoes would help people lose weight and tone leg/calf muscles. More than 520,000 claims could be made. Settlement claimants with approved claims will be able to obtain a repayment of up to $80 for Shape-Ups, $84 for Resistance Runner shoes, $54 for Padded Sole Shoes, and $40 for Tone-Ups. Last year, Skechers also settled a governmental investigation brought against it over “toning” shoes from the Federal Trade Commission.
Read More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/judge-oks-40m-class-action-settlement-over-skechers-shoes-ads-claimed-they-aided-weight-loss/2013/05/13/685e6fec-bbf6-11e2-b537-ab47f0325f7c_story.html
The lawsuit was decided in favor of a Pensacola, Florida woman Jackie McMahon, who had severe injuries to her limbs as a result
Jackie McMahon, of Pensacola, Fla., was driving the four-wheeler on a family farm in Alabama when she tried to make a right turn and the vehicle overturned on top of her, causing serious injuries to her limbs.
Yamaha has been sued numerous times since the Rhino came onto the market in 2003. In 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said 70 deaths were reported in Rhino crashes.
McMahon’s $3.3 million verdict also included $2 million in punitive damages for Yamaha’s reckless conduct in keeping the vehicle on the market, despite all of the complaints that came in.
There is a new addition to the lawsuit against disgraced athlete Lance Armstrong – the United States Department of Justice. The lawsuit was originally brought against Armstrong asserting that the seven-time Tour de France winner defrauded supporters, advertisers, and the general public about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, which he always denied.
The DOJ became involved because of the long-time support provided to Armstrong by the U.S. Postal Service.
“Lance Armstrong and his cycling team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules – including the rules against doping,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen to the Associated Press. “The Postal Service has now seen its sponsorship unfairly associated with what has been described as ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’”
According to the Associated Press, Armstrong was the subject of a two-year federal grand jury investigation that the Justice Department dropped a year ago without an indictment. Last October, a report was released including affidavits from 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates, detailing how the U.S. cycling team was supplied with hormones through injections and blood transfusions, and that they were pressured to dope by Armstrong.
Does this one pass pass the straight-face test? A San Diego family, Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock, have sued their Encinitas school district for teaching yoga to their children and other students, alleging that the classes violate the “separation between church and state.”
According to their lawyer, ”
EUSD’s Ashtanga yoga program represents a serious breach of the public trust.” “This is frankly the clearest case of the state trampling on the religious freedom rights of citizens that I have personally witnessed in my 18 years of practice as a constitutional attorney.”
The legal position taken by the Sedlocks has also been strongly advocated for by conservative non-profit group The National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP). According to the NCLP’s white-paper, the yoga life skills taught in the classes are “
and “conflict with the beliefs of Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Jews and others.”
Encinitas school district is one of the few in the nation that has full-time yoga teachers at its schools, to help students de-stress before tests. The classes were funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Asthanga yoga.
A California federal judge has approved the $1 million settlement of the lawsuit brought against University of California – Davis by students who were the victims of the shocking “casual pepper spray” incident at the Occupy protests that took place on the campus back in November 2011. The students were videotaped being saturated with pepper spray at close range by UC Davis police officer John Pike, as they sat on the ground with their hands under their seats.
According to the ACLU, “What happened on November 18 was among the worst examples of police violence against student demonstrators that we’ve seen in a generation. The early resolution to this lawsuit means that the students can begin the process of moving on and we can work with the University to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again at the University of California.”
In the wake of the incident, UC-Davis formed a task force to investigate the incident and analyze the police officers’r esponse to the protests. Their report stated that “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented,” and determined that the police force as well as University administration were all responsible for poor handling of the incident.
As part of the settlement:
- $730,000 will be paid to the students who were arrested and pepper-sprayed;
- $250,000 will be paid to the attorneys for fees and costs;
- $20,000 will be paid to the ACLU for future work with UC-Davis to develop new policies on student demonstrations, crowed management, and the use of force;
- $100,000 has been set aside to compensate other students or individuals who were pepper-sprayed or wrongfully arrested;
- A formal written apology will be made by the UC-Davis Chancellor to each student or alumni who was pepper-sprayed or arrested;
- UC-Davis will assist students who were negatively affected in their academic performance to apply for an academic records adjustment.
The stakes have been raised in a California federal lawsuit brought by thousands of temporary warehouse workers against Schneider Logistics, a warehouse logistics company serving mega-retailer Wal-Mart. On January 10, 2013, the Judge overseeing the case, Carillo v. Schneider Logistics, ordered that Wal-Mart could be included in the lawsuit, which alleges violations of overtime rules, meal/rest breaks, and other labor code violations on behalf of approximately 1,800 workers.
What is monumental about this case is that none of the workers worked for Wal-Mart directly. According to the lawyers for the workers, ““Walmart has the ultimate say in how the warehouse work will be conducted,” says Michael Rubin, a plaintiff lawyer for the workers at the San Francisco law firm Altshuler Berzon. “The evidence shows a remarkable degree of control by Walmart. As a matter of economic reality, which is the ultimate legal test, Walmart should be held liable.”