Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly #9-26

Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly #9-26
December 28, 2010

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)

A New York lawyer was taking his usual cigarette break, sitting on the windowsill of his second floor apartment, about 12 feet off the ground, and talking on his cell phone. Then the cops arrived.

The police evidently thought he was going to jump. “Are you about to commit suicide?” one cop asked. “If I was going to commit suicide, this would be a pretty dumb place to do it,” the lawyer replied. “If I jumped from here, I’d just sprain my ankle.”

After he refused to come down and meet police on the street, three ambulances and four more patrol cars arrived. The cops broke into his apartment, threw him to the floor of his living room, and cuffed him. One of the ambulances took him to Beth Israel Medical Center, where he was released after a three-minute interview by a psychiatrist.

Now the lawyer’s suing the city for $400,000.

A spokesman for the police department called the man “emotionally disturbed” and said police observed him “talking erratically” while sitting on the window ledge.

“I wasn’t doing anything,” the lawyer said. “Maybe it should be a crime to smoke a cigarette, but at the moment it’s not.”

Source: Kathianne Boniello, “Cops take ‘suicidal’ window ledge smoker to psych ward,” New York Post, December 19, 2010 via above the law.com

Choice Words

The lead plaintiff in the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s class-action lawsuit seeking to force McDonald’s to stop putting toys in Happy Meals is the mother of two children. “I am concerned about the health of my children, she told The Wall Street Journal. “As other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say ‘no’ to our young children so many times, and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do.”

As Cato Institute Senior Fellow Walter Olson pointed out in the New York Daily News, parents buying Happy Meals have choices: milk or soda? French fries or apple dippers? Or share the fries. Most interesting of all, Olson notes, the lead plaintiff is “regional program manager” for the “Network for a Healthy California,” which urges children to eat vegetables.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Class Action Suit Claims Happy Meals Exploit Children, December 15, 2010; Walter Olson, McDonald’s Suit over Happy Meal Toys by California Mom Monet Parham New Low in Responsible Parenting, New York Daily News, December 15, 2010

Holiday Fare

An inmate in Orange County, California went to court claiming the food in the county jail violates his religion--the Festivus holiday popularized by the Seinfeld series. He wants double portions of kosher meals. The judge ruled in his favor.

The county attorney opposed the prisoner’s bid because kosher meals are more expensive than regular fare. He argued the holiday was the brainchild of a Seinfeld writer in celebration of his parents’ first date.

Source: Kimberly Edds, “Festivus for the rest of us, O.C. Jail style,” Orange County Register, December 10, 2010 via Jonathan Turley

Inker Penned

An Oklahoma City teenager was arrested by his teacher for using a permanent marker to write on a piece of paper at his desk.

The “citizen’s arrest” was based on an alleged violation of a city ordinance banning possession of markers, evidently to prevent graffiti. The student was booked at a juvenile detention facility and the marker was placed into evidence.

Source: “Boy, 13, Busted For Illegal Marker Possession, Oklahoma City math teacher in citizen’s arrest of student,” The Smoking Gun, December 22, 2010

Carry the One, Randomly Multiply by Some Large Number, File Lawsuit ...

Pacific Gas and Electric allegedly contaminated a California town’s drinking water, causing increased cancer risk, and paid $333 million to settle a lawsuit made famous in the 2000 movie Erin Brockovich. Now three studies by the California Cancer Registry show the cancer rates in the town are actually lower than demographically expected. The epidemiologist conducting the survey said, “none of the cancers represented a statistical excess.”

Source: Tim Cavanaugh, “‘Erin Brockovich’ Town Shows No Cancer Cluster,” reason.com, December 13, 2010

Wedding Fail

A suburban Chicago woman is suing her ex-fiancé for $100,000 for breach of promise and intentional infliction of emotional distress for jilting her four days before the wedding.

About 225 guests were invited to the wedding. She alleges spending $95,942 on the ceremony, including $30,000 for the banquet hall, $12,000 on flowers, $10,000 for an orchestra, and $5,400 on a wedding dress and veil.

Before the groom called off the wedding, the bride alleges she was told he performed “flirtatious and amorous acts in public” including lap dances at his bachelor party at the Pink Monkey “adult entertainment venue” in Chicago. She wants him to reimburse her for the costs of the wedding.

Source: Carlos Sadovi, “Jilted bride sues ex-fiance for $95K for cancelling wedding,” Chicago breaking news, December 11, 2010 via Jonathan Turley

Facing Justice

The second trial of a mother accused of beating her child to death has ended in a mistrial after the prosecutor in the first trial was accused of making faces at the jury.

The jury complained it was distracted and the defendant said she was intimidated. The jury wrote a note to the judge, saying, “We find him very distracting, and he is making strange faces all the time. We feel very uncomfortable with him.”

“His look intimidated me a lot,” the defendant said. “It made me feel very uncomfortable.”

Source: Dan Robson, “Jurors complained Alexander’s court behaviour made them uncomfortable,” Toronto Star, November 22, 2010 via lowering the bar

Stall Stall

A Manhattan ballroom is being sued by a woman denied access to the ladies’ room even though she was 35 weeks pregnant. She alleges she was told by a supervisor, “There’s a bathroom at the end of the block.” She lost control of her bladder and is suing for humiliation.

Source: Kathianne Boniello, “Pregnant gal sues in potty snub,” New York Post, October 10, 2010

He Said, They Said

An Ohio congressman is suing an anti-abortion group for defamation, blaming his loss in the November 2 election on the group’s statements.

U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-West Price Hill) sued the Susan B. Anthony List, claiming they portrayed him as pro-abortion because he voted for the health care bill. He alleges the group lied about him--he contends the bill bans the use of federal funds for abortions--and sued him for trying to stop them from posting billboards.

Source: Dan Horn, “Driehaus sues anti-abortion group,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 3, 2010


Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly

Published by The Heartland Institute (312/377-4000), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1984.
Phone 312/377-4000, fax 312/377-5000
Back issues are available online at http://www.heartland.org
Publisher: Joseph L. Bast
Author: Maureen Martin
Editors: S.T. Karnick, Diane Carol Bast

Information on lawsuit abuse can be found on these Web sites:
http://www.atra.org
http://www.alec.org
http://business.pacificresearch.org/civil-justice-and-legal-reform
http://www.calatx.com
http://www.halt.org
http://www.iamlawsuitabuse.com
http://www.overlawyered.com
http://www.fed-soc.org
http://www.manhattan-institute.org
http://www.wlf.org
http://www.sickoflawsuits.org

The Heartland Institute
19 South La Salle Street #903
Chicago, Illinois 60603


Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly

Published by The Heartland Institute (312/377-4000), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1984.
Phone 312/377-4000, fax 312/377-5000
Back issues are available online at http://www.heartland.org
Publisher: Joseph L. Bast
Author: Maureen Martin
Editors: S.T. Karnick, Diane Carol Bast

Information on lawsuit abuse can be found on these Web sites:
http://www.atra.org
http://www.alec.org
http://business.pacificresearch.org/civil-justice-and-legal-reform
http://www.calatx.com
http://www.halt.org
http://www.iamlawsuitabuse.com
http://www.overlawyered.com
http://www.fed-soc.org
http://www.manhattan-institute.org
http://www.wlf.org
http://www.sickoflawsuits.org

The Heartland Institute
19 South La Salle Street #903
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)