Category: Torts

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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Michigan State Agrees To $500 Million Settlement For Sexual Abuse Victims

360px-Michigan_State_University_seal.svgIn what might be a record amount for a university, Michigan State has agreed to pay $500 million to victims of Larry Nassar.  That staggering figure would crush most schools, but Michigan State has decided to take the hit to get the controversy behind it. The school is in a similar position to Penn State in terms of paying out massive fees and damages while trying to keep its alumni support base.  It has worked for Penn State which (like Michigan State) has a fiercely loyal base built around its football program. However, half a billion dollars could chill some donors who want their money to go to the school and not litigation.

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Corey Lewandowski Threatens To Sue New York Magazine Over Reported Unlawful Entry By Reporter Olivia Nuzzi [Updated]

imagesFormer Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has, through counsel, sent a intent to sue letter to New York Magazine over an alleged home invasion by reporter Olivia Nuzzi.  Nuzzi in March admitted that she entered his home without permission — an act that certainly would be a crime as well as a tort. Update:  There is an interesting twist (and potential defense) to the potential criminal or tort case involving the “home” of Lewandowski, which also happens to be the office of Turnberry Solutions, a lobbying firm started a close Trump campaign associate.  Continue reading “Corey Lewandowski Threatens To Sue New York Magazine Over Reported Unlawful Entry By Reporter Olivia Nuzzi [Updated]”

Liar, Liar, DOJ On Fire? Comey and McCabe Offer Sharply Conflicting Accounts

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitAndrew_McCabe_official_photoI previously wrote that President Donald Trump has the curious skill of bringing out the worst in his critics.  In the last two weeks, two of Trump’s greatest critics have not only faced their own investigations into leaks by the Inspector General (and McCabe is now the subject of a criminal referral for prosecution), they are increasingly at odds with one another. It is clear that either Comey or McCabe is offering a false account of leaks from the Justice Department.  With McCabe now promising defamation lawsuits and the possibility of a prosecution, this could get much worse before it gets better.

 

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Memphis Store Clerk Charged With Murder In Shooting Alleged Shoplifter

Anwar-Ghazali-and-Dorian-HarrisIn torts, we discussed the long-standing debate over the use of potentially lethal force to protect property.  The common law has long barred the use of lethal force to solely protect property given the value of a human life.  That issue appears at the heart of a first-degree murder case in Memphis where a store clerk followed a teenager out of a store after the teen allegedly stole a beer.  The clerk, Anwar Ghazali, 28, shot and killed Dorian Harris, 17.

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Former MLB Pitcher Is Awarded $2.3 Million After Hurting Hand Punching Naked Man High On LSD

1521715719895.jpgThere is an interesting verdict out of California where a former MLB pitcher, Greg Reynolds, was awarded $2.3 million against a man who appeared at his house naked and high on LSD.  In an effort to keep Dominic Pintarelli (left) out of his house, Reynolds severely damaged his hand and effectively ended his promising baseball career.  Reynolds was also allowed to recover from the hosts of the party where Pintarelli became high.  The liability of the hosts is particularly interesting.  The damages included $300,000 for the pain and suffering of Reynolds’ wife.

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Rich Family Sues Fox Over “Sham Story”

150px-Foxnewslogo.svgThe family of the late Democratic National Committee Staffer Seth Rich has sued Fox News for intentional infliction of emotional distress and related torts in the airing of allegations of a conspiracy involving Rich and Wikileaks.  Despite my great sympathy for this family in the loss of Seth Rich, the complaint (below) is in my view without serious merit.  The causal connections are too attenuated and liability would undermine first amendment protections for the free press.

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The Not-So-Friendly Skies: United Airlines Under Fire After Dog Dies In Overhead Bin

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250px-United_Airlines.svgUnited Airlines is under fire after a flight attendant ordered a pet dog to be placed in a passenger’s overhead bin on a flight from Houston.  When United Flight 1284 arrived in New York, the French Bulldog “Kokito” was found dead.  The horrific scene could well result in a tort action for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims.  As a common carrier, United is subject to a high standard of care in the treatment of passengers.

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High School Teacher In California Injures Student After Accidentally Discharging Weapon In Class

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Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office via Wikimedia Commons

In a story that is likely to resonate in the national debate over President Donald Trump’s push to get teacher’s armed in school, a teacher at Seaside High School in Sand City, Ca. injured a student when his gun discharged in a class.  Even more embarrassing is that the class was on gun safety.

 

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Prominent Egyptian Television Host Arrested For Disrespecting The Police

441px-Coat_of_arms_of_Egypt_(Official).svgThe rollback on civil liberties and press freedoms continues in Egypt where our close ally is arresting journalists for insulting the government or police.  Now even pro-government media figures are being arrested.  The arrest of prominent television host Khairy Ramadan is an example of how, once censorship and the criminalization of speech starts, the appetite for speech control becomes insatiable.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks