Category: Torts

Churchgoers Fall Ill After Using Holy Water At Notre Dame

IMG_0298The well-known Catholic prayer states “By this holy water and by Your Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord.”  It appears however that the next question for the faithful at Notre Dame may be “what washes away the holy water?”  A significant number of churchgoers in Paris are complaining about failing ill after using the holy water at Notre Dame.  It is not a unique problem according to some studies.

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Roundup The Academics? Monsanto Verdict Raises New Troubling Questions About Professors Working Under Corporate Sponsorship

Roundup_herbicide_logoFor a growing number of critics, the breakthrough verdict against Monsanto for $289 million over its Roundup weedkiller is an indictment of the company’s corporate culture but also of academics who were used by the company to discredit scientific studies linking the herbicide to cancer.  Former groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, 46, reportedly has only months to live but he just delivered a body blow to one of the largest corporations in the world. It is not that $289 million is a crippling fine for Monsanto, but the verdict of guilt based on a finding of actions taken “with malice or oppression” will likely trigger tens of thousands of such claims.  Not surprisingly, Monsanto is now ditching its name in favor of Bayer after its recent acquisition. Continue reading “Roundup The Academics? Monsanto Verdict Raises New Troubling Questions About Professors Working Under Corporate Sponsorship”

An Affair To Remember: North Carolina Man Awarded Nearly $9 Million For Wife’s Infidelity

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There is an extraordinary case out of North Carolina where Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson awarded Keith King $8.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Francisco Huizar III.  Huizar had an affair with King’s wife and was sued for criminal conversation and  the relatively rare claim of “alienation of affection.”  Only six states currently have alienation of affection laws still on the books. We previously discussed an award of $9 million to a woman in North Carolina.

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Florida Gas Station Owner Charged With Attempted Murder In The Shooting Of Shoplifter

1531943331829Florida gas station store owner Mehedeun Hasan, 22, is facing a charge of attempted murder after shooting Rennie Defor, Jr. as he was trying to steal beer worth $36.  It is another example of the common law rule that you cannot protect property with potentially lethal force.

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A Bridge Too Far: Wisconsin Woman Rides Into Gap Of Rising Bridge After Evading Flashing Barriers

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In what may be the clearest example of assumption of risk in torts, a 37-year-old Menasha, Wisconsin woman rode around flashing barriers on a bridge to try to make it across before it was open for river traffic.  She did not make it.

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UCLA Professor Dies During BDSM “Mummification” Game

Doran-George-e1464300730957-280x280Ucla_logoThe death of UCLA Professor Doran George, 48, has shaken the university after he was found dead during a bondage session at the home of a Hollywood executive Skip Chasey.  Chasey is known as Master Skip in the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance and Submission) community.  George, who insisted on being called by the pronoun “their” rather than “he” or “she”, was found wrapped “head to toe in plastic wrap and gaffer’s tape, with small breathing holes at the nose and mouth.”  George died in something called the “mummification” sex play.

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Al Dente: Connecticut Woman Awarded $100,000 After Receiving Head Injury From A Bowl Of Pasta Thrown By Irate Lawyer

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 9.13.20 PMConstance Koulmey has been awarded over $100,000 after she was hit by a bowl of pasta thrown by lawyer James Sweeney.  She alleged that she received a head injury from the bowl that Sweeney threw at another restaurant customer.  That left an al dente on her head that was enough for the Waterbury, Connecticut jury to find in favor of her battery claim.

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FBI Agent Shoots Bar Patron After Weapon Falls From Pants During Dance Move

An off-duty FBI agent shot a bar patron in the leg after he did a dance move in the Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Bar that allowed his service weapon to fall to the floor. When he picked it up, it discharged striking the patron. This could make for an interesting tort action.

 

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GWU Sued For Refusing Appeal In Sexual Assault Case Despite Allegations of False Testimony

150px-gwulogoGeorge Washington University is embroiled in a federal challenge against its handling of a case by one of our students accused of sexual assault.  The case raises troubling questions of the school’s actions following the disclosure of alleged false statements by an accuser.  Many years ago, I wrote a letter to the GW faculty objecting to changes in our rules governing the investigation and adjudication of sexual harassment and assault cases.  Like many universities during the Obama Administration, GW was reducing protections for students accused of such misconduct under pressure from the Department of Education (here and here),  Now, a “John Doe” has raised some of those very concerns in the alleged refusal of the school to allow an appeal in his case following the discovery of potentially exculpatory evidence. Continue reading “GWU Sued For Refusing Appeal In Sexual Assault Case Despite Allegations of False Testimony”

Doctor Featured In Videos Dancing to Hip Hop In Surgeries Accused Of Leaving Patient With Permanent Brain Damage

Youtube screenshotDr. Windell Davis Boutte loves to post videos of herslf dancing around patients to hip-hop tunes like the video below.  Patients however are suing over what they say is her lack of attention and expertise in doing cosmetic surgeries once the dancing stops.  Indeed, one such tummy tuck left a bride with permanent brain damage. Continue reading “Doctor Featured In Videos Dancing to Hip Hop In Surgeries Accused Of Leaving Patient With Permanent Brain Damage”

Student and Former Professor Sue ABA For Accrediting Failed Charlotte School of Law

downloadThere is an interesting complaint filed in U.S. ex rel Bernier v. Infilaw against the American Bar Association that accuses the ABA of negligence in its accreditation of the Charlotte School of Law, which later went defunct.  What is interesting is that the lawsuit (alleging that the ABA should not have accredited the school) was brought not just by former student and graduate Ese Love, but a former faculty member, Barbara Bernier.

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California Charges Mugshots.com Owners . . . Then Releases Their Mugshots

WPTV_Thomas-Keesee-and-Sahar-Sarid_1526580362433.jpg_87226339_ver1.0_640_480 The alleged owners of Mugshots.com—Sahar Sarid and Thomas Keesee—are now among the mugshots of the week.  The company has long been criticized as little more than a shakedown of people desperate to remove embarrassing mugshots on the Internet.  California prosecutors alleged Sarid, Keese, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan engaged in with extortion, money laundering, and identity theft through the site. Continue reading “California Charges Mugshots.com Owners . . . Then Releases Their Mugshots”

New York Attorney Under Fire After Video Of His Threatening To Call ICE On Spanish Speakers In Restaurant

 

download-2New York lawyer (and GW Law graduate) Aaron Schlossberg who went on a bizarre tirade against Spanish-speaking restaurant workers has quickly become the most hated man of the week in New York.  The New York Post reports that he has now been kicked out of his office by Corporate Suites, the company that held his lease.  There is also an effort to disbar him and even a petition to hire a mariachiband to follow him around New York.  That could lead to an interesting legal fight if he alleges harassment or stalking.  The moves against Schlossberg raises our long-standing debate over actions taken against people for obnoxious or unpopular speech in their private lives or on social media.

 

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Oklahoma Woman Mauled To Death By Pack Of Dachshunds

Oklahoma flagTragic mauling deaths are unfortunately not uncommon.  However, Tracy Garcia, 52, was initially listed as the victim of a pack of pit bulls in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It turned out that it was actually a pack of dachshunds, or wiener dogs.  Police are now considering charges against their owner.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks