Archive for the ‘Torts’ Category

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThe fur is flying in Chicago after the Chicago Cubs, my home team, filed a lawsuit against John Paul Weier, Patrick Weier and three other unidentified individuals who are all dressing up as “Billy Cub” and taking pictures outside of Wrigley Field. As many know, I am a diehard Cubs fan but I have been critical of Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts in the past for this threats against fans to squeeze more money out of one of the most profitable teams in the country. The picture above was submitted as part of the lawsuit.

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Submitted By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Manuel NoriegaManuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama known for his indictment in the United States for drug smuggling, racketeering, and money laundering and his subsequent imprisonment, filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging the game maker Activision Blizzard defamed him. The game in question is the popular “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”.

Manuel believes being portrayed “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the game damaged his reputation. He further claims the company used his likeness and name in order to make money. Therefore, he is entitled to a share of the profits.

The game returned over a billion dollars in sales worldwide within months of release.

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gavel2There is an interesting ruling out of California where the Third Appellate District has reversed a dismissal of tort claims against two defendants who were sued by their former friend after he fell off a cliff while drunk. The appellate court ruled that there are triable issues in the culpability of Zachary Gudelunas and Sarah Koivumaki in bringing Jason Michael Carlsen to the cliff knowing that he was drunk and then waiting for hours before calling police after he fell off the cliff in Redding above the Sacramento River.

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Los_Angeles_Dodgers_Logogavel2A jury found the Los Angeles Dodgers partially responsible for a Giants fan’s savage beating in a stadium parking lot in 2011 and that partial liability will cost the team must nearly $14 million. The team was found 25 percent responsible for the extensive injuries to Bryan Stow, 45, which comes to precisely $13.9 million for their share when all of Stow’s medical bills and lost earnings are factored in.

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140px-800px-Kriek_BeerMinnesotaTwinsThere is an interesting addition at Target Field for Minnesota Twins fans: self-serve beer stations. The machines called DraftServ will allow customers to choose between four beers and how much they want to be poured. The stations however raise some interesting liability questions under dram shop laws and negligence standards. If customers are serving themselves, it raise question over the “over serving” customers. We have previously discussed lawsuits against stadiums for such cases of excessive consumption of alcohol.

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man-dies-in-eating-contest-walter-eagle-tail.jpg-665x385Hot Dog with MustardWe have previously discussed the liability issues surrounding eating and drinking contests. Those concerns were raised again with the death of Walter Eagle Tail, 47, who choked to death during a Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Custer, South Dakota.

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article-0-1F75612F00000578-313_634x427ESPN, the Yankees, Major League Baseball, and announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk are being sued by Andrew Rector, 26, who says that he was defamed after the network showed him asleep at the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game and joked about his being “oblivious” to the game. While Rector says that the commentators called him “stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid,” those insults are not heard on the videotape below from the telecast. Rector is suing for $10 million.

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SluggerrrWe have been following the fascinating litigation over the Kansas City Royals mascot, Sluggerrr, and his tortious injury to fan John Coomer. The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on behalf of a baseball fan who says he was hit in the eye with a hot dog thrown by Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot. Coomer sued the Kansas City Royals and its mascot Sluggerrr after he was hit in the eye by a hot dog thrown into the crowd. Coomer suffered a detached retina and other injures. A jury ruled against him in favor of their popular mascot in a verdict that I previously questioned since it seems to be clearly negligent to fire these projectiles into the crowd. The Missouri appellate court later wisely reversed the verdict. Now The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in Coomer v. Kansas City Royals, and affirmed the appellate court — a two-appeal losing streak for Sluggerrr.

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article-2653639-1E9ECC1B00000578-660_634x356150px-General_Motors.svgThere is an interesting case out of Texas where Candice Anderson is suing General Motors over its defective ignition switches. Anderson, however, has more than the usual damages. She is a convicted felon in the death of her fiancé, Mikale Erickson, in November 2004 when she lost control of her 2004 Saturn Ion in Canton, Texas. While she was not drunk or on drugs, the police could not find a reason for the crash so prosecutors charged her with manslaughter. To avoid a longer sentence, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years probation as a felon. Later, however, she learned that her case was on GM’s list of accidents caused by their defective cars – no one bothered to tell her.

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250px-Cincinnati_Bengals.svgUS-CourtOfAppeals-6thCircuit-SealWe have been discussing the case of Sarah Jones, former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who sued a gossip site, TheDirty.com, after comments appeared from third parties that said that she had sex with half of the football team’s players and had contracted sexually transmitted diseases. (Strangely, the site did not argue that the statement was facially implausible and thus not defamatory since it did not appear in 2010 that anyone could catch anything from the Bengals). Jones, a high school teacher, won a rare $338,000 libel verdict against the site for third party postings. However, the United States for the Third Circuit has reversed the verdict and found that the site is protected under under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Marijuana LeafCity of Wenatchee LogoWe reported last week of the City of Wenatchee prohibiting state licensed marijuana retailers and as a result a future retailer filed a civil suit against the city in Superior Court. It appears now the city council is trying to reverse its earlier position.

On Thursday of this week, the council held a public meeting after an executive council possibly discussing legal issues the city might face. During the public portion a majority of council members voted to direct the city attorney to draft an amendment to the ordinance that would omit a clause in the business licensing ordinance requiring businesses be compliant with federal law to be permitted to operate in the city.

One can probably surmise what instigated the city to have a change of heart, but the American Civil Liberties Union stated recently they would join the plaintiff’s case and were prepared to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme court.

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article-0-1E95A46B00000578-649_634x358The video below is going viral on the Internet and purportedly shows Andrea Mears, 23, getting interestingly irate over a man flying a drone on a public beach. The beach is reportedly Hammonasset Beach in Madison, Connecticut. She is heard calling the police and objecting to his filming people. She is shown holding the man’s equipment and then the scene turns violent. During the fight, she is quoted as saying “Yeah! That’s what you get you little pervert.” However, it turns out that it would be Mears who would be arrested.

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220px-Dog-biscuitI remember some bad school lunches but this is ridiculous. Parents in New Hanover, Pa., are outraged over the news that a recess aide at New Hanover Upper Frederick Elementary School served dog treats to the grade school students. The aide actually joked with the kids that the snacks were in fact dog treats and then told them he or she was kidding and that they were really snacks. The school says that the kids will be just fine since the treats would only harm those with allegories, though we have been reading how Chinese-made treats are being avoided by pet owners due to illnesses around the country being reported by pet owners. Some 75 fourth grade students received the dog treats. Some ate three or more of the “cookies” though it is not clear were told not to beg and to yield to commands.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

University of Cincinnati Medical Center logoA woman in Ohio claims a University of Cincinnati Medical Center employee provided her ex-boyfriend with a medical record indicating a diagnosis of Syphilis. The employee was later fired.

She states that she refused to inform her ex-boyfriend as to why she was a patient at the hospital, and in her lawsuit she alleges he then contacted an employee, who he was romantically involved, and she provided the record.

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raid31n-1-webM84_stun_grenadeWe previously discussed the horrific injuries to a baby after a Georgia SWAT team threw a stun grenade into a house in a no-knock raid that landed in the baby’s crib. The family had no connection to the alleged crime, the suspect was not in the house, there were no drugs found at the house, and no weapon was found at the house. Just a baby near death after having an grenade explode in his crib. Now the police chief has come out to cast blame on the suspect, Wanis Thometheva, 30, and the prosecutor has suggested that he may be charged with the injury caused by the SWAT team despite the fact that he was not even in the house.

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