MONTGOMERY, Ala. May 23 2013 (CN) – A woman died on a courthouse floor because Alabama sheriff’s deputies refused to give her her medicine – after arresting her for an old traffic ticket, the woman’s daughter claims in court.
Ayunna Johnae London sued St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles, jail administrators Austin Nash and Terry Marcrum, Southern Healthcare Partners, and its employee Jennifer Eisel, in Federal Court.
London claims her mother, Dwana Voncia London-Richardson, died gasping for breath in court after callous and unconstitutional treatment from the defendants.
Richardson suffered from asthma and other serious health problems, but the defendants refused to give her her medication, accused her of faking, and let her die in the courtroom, her daughter claims.
Southern Healthcare Partners, which provided medical care to inmates at the St. Clair County Jail, failed to treat her mother properly, London says.
Her 45-year-old mother died in May 2011 at the St. Clair County Courthouse while in the sheriff’s custody.
Richardson was arrested on May 19, 2011, in Tarrant City, Ala., for failing to pay a 2008 traffic ticket. She was sent to the St. Clair County Jail.
London claims that when she visited her mom in jail two days later, her mother could hardly walk, had trouble breathing and complained of pain in both legs.
London claims the jail staff refused to give her mom her asthma medication and stopped other inmates from helping her.
“Ms. Richardson told Ayunna that she was sick, that both her legs were hurting her so badly that she could not walk to the tray area to pick up her food, and that they would not give her her medicine,” the complaint states.
“Ms. Richardson told Ayunna that several of the inmates were trying to help her out by going to get her tray for her, since she could hardly walk, but the jailers told them that they were ‘babying’ her, and moved Ms. Richardson to a different area in the jail, away from the inmates that were trying to help her.”
Jail staff refused to take Richardson to the hospital, despite her worsening condition, her daughter says.
On May 23, deputies took her mother to court and ignored her need for medical care until it was too late, London says.
“Ayunna headed to the St. Clair County Courthouse early that morning,” the complaint states. “She could not locate where court was being held. She saw deputy (or jailer) John Doe standing at the fire station, talking to a firefighter so she pulled into the station to ask where court was being held.
“When she pulled into the fire station, she saw her mother lying on the ground next to the police car with her legs extended under the police car.
“She asked them what had happened and her mother told her that she did not know, that she had just passed out. Ms. Richardson was sweating and struggling breathing.
“Ayunna had one of her mother’s asthma pumps in her car so she asked if her mother could sit in her car and get some air.
“Ayunna gave her mother the asthma pump but it was not working. Her mother’s breathing continued to get worse.”
London says the deputies still refused to take her mom to the hospital, and said would be locked up if she didn’t keep her court date.
“Ms. Richardson was unable to walk,” the complaint states. “Deputy (or jailer) Doe obtained an office chair from the courthouse and they used it to wheel Ms. Richardson to the courtroom.
“Ayunna set beside deputy (or jailer) Doe and her mother, fanning her mother, whose breathing continued to get worse.
“After sitting in the courtroom waiting for about twenty minutes, Ms. Richardson stated that she ‘could not take anymore,’ and she told deputy/jailer Doe that she needed help.
“Ayunna also pleaded with deputy/jailer Doe to get someone to help her mother.
“Deputy/jailer Doe responded as though he believed Ms. Richardson was just putting on.
“Ms. Richardson then stated ‘I need to lay down.’
“Ms. Richardson laid down on the courtroom floor and her body started to shaking.
“Deputy/jailer Doe took no action to assist Ms. Richardson or to clear the courtroom.
“Everyone in the courtroom watched as Ms. Richardson died in court, on the courtroom floor.
“Ayunna stayed beside her mother trying to do CPR to bring her back for about twenty minutes, but she failed.”
Emergency personnel arrived 45 minutes later and took Richardson, who was unresponsive, to the hospital.
London says her mother was pronounced dead within 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital.
She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, wrongful death and negligence.
She is represented by Charles Tatum Jr. of Jasper, Alabama.
The sheriffs say the new state laws violate Second Amendment protections that guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. Opponents are criticizing the lawsuit as political maneuvering. The filing targets Colorado laws that limit the size of ammunition magazines and expand background checks. The regulations passed the Legislature this spring and are set to take effect July 1. It isn’t yet clear whether the sheriffs’ challenge will delay or jeopardize the laws. The filing, however, guarantees the renewal of a fierce debate over gun control. Colorado lawmakers passed the restrictions in reaction to the shooting rampage at a suburban Denver movie theater last summer, where 12 people were killed and dozens more were wounded, and the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The gun control debate was one of the most emotionally charged of the legislative session, with lengthy debates and national attention. President Barack Obama added to the attention on the Colorado Statehouse, as his administration unsuccessfully pushed Congress to enact similar gun controls. Sheriffs’ attorneys are considering whether to ask the court for a preliminary injunction, which would block the Colorado laws while the lawsuit moves forward. The law enforcement community is divided on the issue. In contrast to the sheriffs, the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, which includes urban departments, supports the laws. The chiefs said the measures were “common-sense approaches” to protect the public “while not taking guns from law-abiding citizens in any way.” Unlike sheriffs, police chiefs are not elected. Democrats maintain the public is on their side, and say legislators carefully crafted the proposals that were signed. “These laws were not constructed haphazardly,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Hodge, the sponsor of the magazine limit. “They were constructed to protect us from massacres like the ones we suffered in Aurora and Newtown.” Relatives of victims of the Colorado shooting criticized the sheriffs for filing the lawsuit and accused them of playing politics. “As a parent who lost my son Alex at the Aurora theater shooting, I ask these people to put themselves in my place,” Tom Sullivan said in a statement. “I do not understand why these politicians are picking guns over people.” Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he and his colleagues were “not the ones playing politics with this.” “We believe that the Legislature were the ones who were playing politics,” he said. Gun control opponents say the language in the regulations is unclear and doesn’t provide safeguards to prevent people from inadvertently breaking the laws. Ammunition magazines, for example, are easily converted to larger sizes, which the bill bans. Gun rights advocates also say the law expanding background checks doesn’t provide enough exemptions for temporary transfers and that people conducting private transactions will have a difficult time getting appropriate checks. Lawmakers allowed several exemptions in the background check legislation, including transfers between immediate family members, shooting events and temporary transfers of up to 72 hours. State officials, including Attorney General John Suthers, have worked to defend the intent of the laws. Suthers, a Republican responsible for defending the law against the legal challenge, issued a statement Friday giving guidance to law enforcement on how the magazine limit should be enforced. He said magazine features “must be judged objectively” and that magazines that hold 15 rounds or fewer can’t be defined as “large capacity” simply because it can be modified to include more. The state has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.
Dayton OH May 22 2013 U.S. workers are filing a record number of federal lawsuits against employers alleging violations of wage and hour laws, such as not being paid overtime and being misclassified as contractors, a recent study shows.
During the 12-month period that ended in March, workers filed 7,764 lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to data released this month by Seyfarth Shaw, a law firm that represents businesses based in Chicago. The number of lawsuits has risen 518 percent since 1990.
Attorneys who represent companies and management said the spike in litigation suggests more lawyers are suing employers because the cases can be lucrative while many business owners continue to struggle to understand and comply with complex wage and hour laws.
But labor advocates said the increase is likely due to more workers recognizing that they are being cheated out of wages they are owed.
Advocates also said the economy is still struggling and some employers try to cut costs through illegal work practices.
“In this economy, there is a strong incentive for some employers — some — to decrease costs and increase productivity, and one of the ways they do this is by classifying employees as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Bob DeRose, attorney with Columbus-based Barkan Meizlish Handelman Goodin DeRose Wentz, LLP.
Under federal law, employers must pay employees at least the federal minimum wage and they must pay overtime that is at least 1.5 times the normal hourly pay.
Some employees, such as independent contractors, are exempt from the law. But it is illegal for employers to classify employees as contractors unless they meet very specific criteria.
Between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, about 7,764 wage and hour claims were filed in U.S. district courts nationwide, Seyfarth Shaw said. It was an increase of 10 percent from the same period the prior year, and it has skyrocketed from 1,257 lawsuits in 1990.
The bulk of the wage and hour lawsuits filed last year alleged violations of misclassification of employees, uncompensated work and miscalculation of overtime pay, said Richard Alfred, chair of Seyfarth’s Wage and Hour litigation practice, in a statement.
The increase in litigation suggests more lawyers are suing new and “unsophisticated” companies, perhaps in the hopes of obtaining large settlements, the firm said.
“With no clear catalyst during the past 12 months, this strong spike and new high for FLSA claims makes them one of the top threats to U.S. employers,” Alfred said.
Wage and hour lawsuits can be very lucrative for attorneys, and the FLSA is a highly technical, outdated statute that many employers find difficult to apply in the modern workplace, said John Stephen, a partner in Porter Wright’s Labor Employment Department in Dayton.
Some employers unintentionally violate the law and underpay their workers because they do not understand what the law dictates, said DeRose, the former president of the Ohio Association for Justice.
But some business owners knowingly deny workers wages they are owed for their own financial benefit, he said.
Businesses can gain an unfair competitive advantage if they underpay their workers by misclassifying them as contractors and denying them overtime pay, he said.
Misclassifying employees also means employers often do not have to provide benefits and pay unemployment insurance and other taxes.
Awareness of “wage theft” has increased because of a string of high-profile cases brought by the labor department and lawsuits filed by workers alleging the activity, said Brennan Grayson, a labor and employment lawyer with Kircher, Suetholz & Grayson in Cincinnati.
Last fall, the labor department filed a complaint seeking $285,000 in backwages for 171 workers at three El Rancho Grande restaurants, including one in Dayton. The complaint alleges the restaurants failed to pay minimum wage and overtime compensation.
The department of labor has filed similar complaints across Ohio against the owners of a Subway franchise, a sushi chain and a cable installation company.
Source-Dayton Daily News
Family of man shot by undercover Baltimore police officer settles with city for $100,000 www.privateofficer.com
BALTIMORE MD May 21 2013 AP — The family of a man shot and killed by an undercover Baltimore police officer in 2009 has settled a lawsuit against the city for $100,000.
The Daily Record of Baltimore (http://bit.ly/16Iry1Y ) reports the Board of Estimates approved the settlement Wednesday
The family of 30-year-old Shawn C. Cannady had alleged that an officer approached his car on the night of March 6, 2009 in northwest Baltimore and shot him without warning or provocation. The shooting drew additional scrutiny because the officer who shot Cannady, Detective Jemell Rayam, was involved in three shootings in 18 months.
The city said Cannady’s shooting was justified. Officials said Rayam had earlier seen Rayam with his hands in his waistband area and that Cannady accelerated his car in the direction of the officers.
Louisville KY May 19 2013 Where do wildly popular fast food ideas come from?
According to Gary Cole: Prison.
That is the contention of Cole, who claims that it was he who invented Taco Bell’s famous Doritos Locos tacos while doing time in maximum security federal prison in Florence Colorado. He is so adamant about it that on May 15 he filed a federal lawsuit in Dallas alleging that Taco Bell, along with Pepsi, Frito Lay and Taco Bell parent Yum Brands, stole his idea.
Cole has been incarcerated since 1997, when he was given a was given a 25-year sentence for “delaying interstate commerce, conspiring to do so, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence,” according to court papers. Fellow inmates include alleged September 11 co-planner Zacarias Moussaoui, shoe bomber Richard Reid and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
Cole claims that in 2006 he sent his lawyer a notarized document with a list of nine products he devised, the Dallas Observer reports.
The majority fall under a brand he called “Divas and Ballers,” which include hot sauce, body oil, clothing line, and shoes and accessories. But second on the list was a “Tacos [sic] shells of all flavors (made of Doritos).”
In his 35-page handwritten complaint, Cole–who is representing himself–alleges that in 2010 he had sent his original list via certified mail to Janice B. Cole and Keonia K. Cole. That letter, he maintains, was “stolen through the United States Postal Service Brand and Submitted to Frito Lays [sic], Taco Bell, Yum Brands.”
He contacted the FBI, and also sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Taco Bell, asking to be sent documents relating to the invention of Doritos Loco Tacos. Private companies are generally not subject to FOI laws, however.
He also wrote to the IRS, that “a check was made out to a person for a large amount by Taco Bell, Frito Lay, and Pepsi Co. Inc. for an idea or invention that was submitted to them by theft and fraud.”
While Cole did not specify a monetary amount in his civil action, he did ask the court to place “a lean [sic] and moratorium” on “Taco Bell, Frito Lays, Pepsi Co, Yum Brands, et al. for the fraudulent and concealment, theft, lying, and covering up, to violate patent and trademark, invention and United States Constitutional Rights, to steal the taco shells made of Doritos of all flavors.” [sic]
In an email statement to ABC News, Taco Bell spokesperson Rob Poetsch said that “Given the unprecedented success of Doritos Locos Tacos, we are not surprised others may seek to claim credit. The reality is, the suit is completely without merit as our product innovation team continuously develops and tests new menu concepts, and as a policy we do not accept unsolicited ideas, period.”
Source- ABC News
Cincinnati OH May 17 2013 A woman accused of taking part in the beating of a 15-year old girl inside a Withrow High School classroom is now suing the Cincinnati Police and the Cincinnati Public School District.
A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Precious Allen on charges of misdemeanor assault and aggravated trespassing. Police had previously charged her with felonies.
Cincinnati Public School officials say Allen, her sister Dawn Brunner and Allen’s 14-year old daughter went into the classroom and started beating the girl. Allen’s mother says the teen she is accused of assaulting actually attacked her.
In a civil suit filed in federal court today Allen claims her daughter is a victim of bullying and that the school intentionally deleted video that would have proved she is innocent.
source – wkrc
Hoover student claims in lawsuit that she was injured, arrested after falling asleep at desk www.privateofficer.com
HOOVER, Alabama May 11 2013 – A Hoover High School student is suing the city of Hoover, the Hoover police department and several school employees in federal court, claiming she was arrested by a school security officer who shoved and handcuffed her after she fell asleep at her desk.
Tieshka Avery, on behalf of her daughter Ashlynn Avery, filed the lawsuit May 2 in U.S. District Court against the City of Hoover, the Hoover Police Department, Officer Christopher Bryant, in-school suspension supervisor Joshua Whited and Hoover High School Principal Don Hulin.
According to the lawsuit, Ashlynn was reading during in-school suspension when she dozed off “as a result of a combination of (her) chronic medical conditions” – diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma.
When Whited noticed Ashlynn was asleep, he walked to her cubicle and hit it, causing it to hit her head and awaken her. She dozed off again, and Whited slammed Ashlynn’s book onto the desk, causing it to bounce and hit her in the chest, the lawsuit states.
After Whited ordered her to leave the room, Ashlynn was “hysterical” while talking to her mother on the phone. As she walked down the hall, the lawsuit states, Bryan slapped her backpack. She said “Leave me alone,” and he shoved her into a file cabinet and handcuffed her.
During the ride to the police station, Ashlynn vomited in the car. According to the lawsuit, she was treated at a hospital, and her right arm was in a cast for a month as a result of her injuries.
Donald Sweeney, the attorney for Hoover City Schools, is representing the Board of Education, Hulin and Whited.
“Hoover High School is one of the premier high schools in America because of its professional staff,” Sweeney said. “School officials at Hoover High School would never engage in conduct as alleged in the complaint and did not do so. The allegations are without factual basis. The Hoover school officials and police officer named in the complaint will adamantly deny the allegations of misconduct.”
Charlie Waldrep, Hoover’s city attorney, also said the suit is without merit.
“If and when the city is served with the suit, it will defer to its insurance carrier, which will put on a vigorous defense,” he said.
The Averys are suing for civil rights violation for the use of excessive force, battery, negligent hiring and training.
They seek compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorneys’ fees and expenses. They are represented by Virginia Applebaum.
Source: AL. com
JACKSON, Miss. May 9 2013 (AP) — The family of a guard killed during a prison riot in Mississippi filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says inadequate staffing and poor treatment created a dangerous environment at the facility.
Correction officer Catlin Carithers was beaten to death during the May 20, 2012, riot at the privately run Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez. It took hours for authorities to control the riot, which grew to involve hundreds of inmates and injured at least 20 people.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Natchez against Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the prison.
In a statement from spokesman Steven Owen, CCA said it “takes the safety and well-being of our staff very seriously, and we work diligently to provide our dedicated correctional officers, chaplains, nurses and teachers the training, security and support systems they need in this very challenging field.”
“In addition to conducting our own thorough review, we have cooperated fully with law enforcement throughout their investigation of the incident, and we support full prosecution of those inmates responsible for this disturbance,” Owen said.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, said CCA “created a dangerous atmosphere for the correction officers by depriving inmates of basic needs and treating them inhumanely,” the lawsuit says.
It also says that prison officials were told by an informant in the days before the riot that the situation was becoming volatile and that the officials failed to warn Carithers that he and other guards were on an inmate “hit list.”
Carithers was off the day of the riot but was called in to help, his family has said.
The prison holds nearly 2,500 inmates convicted of crimes while being in the U.S. illegally.
The FBI has said in court records that the riot was started by a group of Mexican inmates, known as Paisas, who were angry about what they considered poor food and medical care and disrespectful guards. Paisas are a loosely affiliated group within the prison, without ties to organized gangs, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden has said.
Several inmates have been charged with rioting in the case. One of them, Marco Perez-Serrano, has been identified as the first person to attack Carithers when he hit him with a food tray.
A complaint filed by an FBI agent says prisoners took food service carts out of the dining hall and kitchen and stacked them on top of each other to climb onto the roof, where Carithers was working.
Carithers joined CCA in 2009.
His cousin, Jason Clark, told The Associated Press in an interview after the riot that Carithers was engaged to be married and excited about a recent promotion that took him off weekend shifts.
He had been trained in recent years as part of the prison’s special response team and was called to work Sunday to help with the uprising, Clark said at the time.
The prison’s special response team and the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s SWAT team worked to end the riot while state and area law enforcement officers, some from neighboring Louisiana, helped secure the outside.
MOBILE, Alabama May 8 2013– A second lawsuit has been filed against companies involved in a barge explosion on the Mobile River last month.
MOBILE, Alabama May 8 2013– A second lawsuit has been filed against companies involved in a barge explosion on the Mobile River last month.
Mobile County Conservator J. Gregory Carwie, appointed to manage the affairs of injured worker George Erickson, filed the suit last week in Mobile County Circuit Court against four companies. It seeks unspecified damages.
The suit comes on the heels of one by another injured worker, Casey Tyson, who was working one the electronics system of a tugboat that was near the two barges. After treatment at the University of South Alabama, he was transferred to a burn center in Dallas closer to his home.
Doctors at USA Medical Center have upgraded the conditions of Erickson and the third victim, Justin Benoit, to serious.
Representatives from the companies named in the lawsuits have either declined to comment or failed to return phone calls.
According to the most recent civil complaint, Ericson has suffered from second- and third-degree burns over more than 50 percent of his body and “remains under constant sedation and is presently unable to manage his affairs due to the catastrophic nature of his injuries.”
As a result, the Mobile County Probate Court appointed Carwie to make decisions regarding Erickson’s estate. The plaintiff’s attorney, Desi Tobias, said it was the most expedient way to get the suit filed quickly, which he said could preserve certain claims had Erickson died.
“It was just a legal matter,” he said. “We felt it was best to do it that way.”
The conservator is charged with making financial decisions on behalf of orphans or incapacitated people who cannot manage their own affairs. For much of the time since the explosions on April 24, Erickson has been unconscious, Tobias said.
“He has since regained consciousness, just in the last day or two,” he said. “Hopefully, he will continue to improve.”
Tobias said his client was working for Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, which was hired to clean two oil barges at its facility off of Dunlap Drive. Benoit was working of AEP River Operations, a Chesterfield, Missouri, company that was operating the tugboat between the two barges.
Tyson filed a lawsuit last week against several of the companies named in Carwie’s complaint.
In addition to AEP, the suit names D&S Marine Service, a Houma, Louisiana, company that was responsible for towing the barges; Kirby Inland Marine, a Houston company that owned the barges; and OCRA Inc., which owns the land that Oil Recovery Co. leases for its operations.
Tobias said he was not prepared to lay out a theory of what sparked the multiple explosions.
“There’s a tremendous amount of investigation going on,” he said.
Tobias said the pace of the civil case will be determined, somewhat, by the probes under way by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“I think everyone will want to see what the official investigations come up with,” he said.
Eddie Griffin, 47, of Vinita sued the state of Oklahoma and Janice Steidley, the district attorney for Rogers, Mayes and Craig counties.
It is the second federal lawsuit in three months filed against Steidley, who was sued in February by Claremore Police Officer John Singer.
The state Workers Compensation Court found that Griffin, named the “Outstanding Investigator” in 2009 by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease - after suffering a head injury while subduing a man in the Rogers County District Attorney’s Office on Aug. 31, 2010, documents indicate.
Griffin’s speech became noticeably slurred after the altercation, and his disability was “improperly a motivating factor” in Steidley’s decision to fire him Feb. 11, 2011, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa.
The suit also alleges that the prosecutor refused to provide any reasonable accommodations for Griffin, who was hired by the District Attorney’s Office in 1997, in order to allow him to remain in his position.
Steidley said Friday afternoon that she hadn’t had a chance to review the lawsuit.
“We deny there was any wrongful termination and look forward to presenting our evidence in a court of law,” she said in a text message response.
ALS is a rapidly progressive, fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles.
Griffin, who owns a 250-acre cattle ranch, declined to comment on the lawsuit, but he said his strength is greatly diminished.
“I used to fill my feed buckets all the way up, and they would weigh about 35 pounds,” he said Friday via telephone.
“I would put out about six or eight. Now I’m filling them halfway full and taking 10 to 12 buckets. I just can’t lift as much.”
The lawsuit states that in a letter, Steidley said the reason for Griffin’s firing was “several financial issues and cutbacks,” adding that “I am not able to afford a full-time investigator and I do not know if I will ever be able to fund the position.”
The prosecutor later changed her reason for the termination to “incompetence,” records indicate.
Griffin’s complaint states that Steidley didn’t counsel or discipline him for any work-related issues before firing him.
In a precursor to the lawsuit, Griffin filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In the EEOC’s letter of determination on March 9, it called Steidley’s reason for Griffin’s discharge “unsubstantiated and unbelievable,” noting that she continued to hire investigators and hired one to perform duties previously done by Griffin.
On the evening of his Aug. 31, 2010, scuffle, Griffin experienced pain in his head that caused him to fall to his knees, his complaint states.
A physician’s opinion dated Sept. 23, 2011, says the altercation was the major cause of his head injury, which resulted in the “development of headaches, decreased cognitive function and consequential development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”
In an unrelated case, Singer, a longtime Claremore police investigator, filed a federal lawsuit against Steidley and First Assistant District Attorney Bryce Lair in February.
Singer alleges that the prosecutors manufactured evidence that he had lied in sworn statements concerning a criminal investigation and then reported the alleged misconduct to law enforcement officials, courts and criminal defense attorneys. Source- Tulsa World
PORTLAND OR MAY 5 2013
A man who claims he was pepper-sprayed and arrested on accusations of drunken driving by a Portland police officer after she spotted him vomiting in the doorway of his parked car is suing the officer for $20,275.
Ryan Sumpter claims that officer Kristin Watt didn’t have probable cause to arrest him and used excessive force after she spotted him about 2 a.m. on May 2, 2011, sitting in the open driver’s side doorway of his parents’ car. Sumpter, a California resident, had been out at a bar with friends, felt sick and vomited on the street just as Watt drove by in her patrol car, according to the suit filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
The suit claims Sumpter had decided to sleep in his car until he felt better, and that Watt told him he needed to call a cab to go home. When it became clear that Sumpter wouldn’t call a cab, Watt pepper-sprayed the interior of the car — causing Sumpter to gag and cough and leave his car, according to the suit filed by Portland attorney Benjamin Haile.
Watt handcuffed Sumpter and he spent two nights in jail. The district attorney’s office declined to charge him Sumpter with driving under the influence of intoxicants because of lack of evidence, the suit states. Sumpter was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm because the officer found a weapon in his glove box, but a judge later dismissed that charge. Sumpter also was charged with interfering with a police officer, but a jury later acquitted him.
The suit seeks $20,000 for pain, suffering, humiliation and upset. It also seeks $275 for the cost of an alcohol-detection bracelet he was required to wear after his release from jail.
The city attorney’s office declined to comment because of the pending litigation.
Los Angeles County CA May 5 2013 The former chief safety officer of Lawndale High School is suing the Centinela Valley Union High School District for age discrimination, saying he was twice demoted after he turned 60 and was harassed by an immediate supervisor about half his age.
In a complaint filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court, Roberleigh Richester also says the district was dismissive of his physical disabilities — mostly back and foot issues — which he says are the result of being hit by a car while he was directing traffic during school events on two separate occasions several years ago.
Richester started working for the district in 1999 and was given a faculty award at Lawndale High titled “Security of the Year” in 2008. But he alleges the district’s treatment of him went south when he turned 60. Richester retired in last August at age 63 – four years before he intended – because the working conditions there left him with little choice, said his attorney, Gayle Eskridge.
“He had worked there a long time successfully,” she said. “Once he got older and was injured, he started having problems with harassment and getting undesirable assignments. “
The civil case portrays a workplace environment that was generally hostile. It asserts that Richester’s higher-ups – including Dwayne Eatmon, his immediate supervisor, who is named in the suit as a co-defendant with the district – routinely pressured him to retire, singled him out for mistreatment and humiliated him in front of other staff members and students. For example, the complaint says an assistant principal at the school once responded to his reporting of an alleged sexual assault by accusing him of racial profiling in front of students.
On another occasion, the complaint says, Richester’s superiors unfairly punished him for his response to a false rumor about the death of a student.
Attorneys representing the Centinela Valley school district say his claims lack merit.
“Very simply put, the district denies discrimination against Mr. Richester on the basis of either his age or his alleged disability,” said Gary Gibeaut of the law firm Gibeaut, Mahan and Briscoe. “The district also denies retaliating against him. The district is taking the position that Mr. Richester voluntarily resigned from his employment with the district. “
Gibeaut also questioned Richester’s claim of being disabled.
“I’m not sure the opinion of the district is the same on the nature and extent of the disability,” he said.
Richester is seeking monetary damages to not only cover the four years of work he missed, but also compensate for emotional distress he says he suffered as a result of the dispute.
The case is set to go to trial on Oct. 22 at the Torrance courthouse, but Gibeaut says the two sides could meet for mediation in as soon as a month.
“We are hoping things can be worked out amicably,” he said.
The school district asserts that Richester was never demoted, but instead was transferred in July 2011 to another school – Leuzinger High, also in Lawndale – as part of a wider reorganization.
“In his position he does not have a vested right to a position at any particular school within the district,” Gibeaut said. “If the need arises and a vacancy needs to be filled, the district has the right to transfer him from one school to another. “
Indeed, nobody disputes that Richester was transferred from Lawndale High – where he served in a supervisory capacity – to Leuzinger High School. There, he was assigned to a stuffy parking-lot guard shack with no heating or air conditioning.
Richester filed a complaint about the excessive heat in the guard shack with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“He bought shades for the guard shack himself,” Eskridge said.
OSHA fined the district $560 for the guard shack conditions and ordered the district to provide supervisors with heat-illness training. The district made the necessary “corrections,” Gibeaut said.
Richester also claims his bosses often treated him differently than his younger colleagues. (Gibeaut declined to comment on these specifics, citing personnel confidentiality laws.)
In February 2011, for example, Richester says he spotted a male adult on campus with his hand up the skirt of a 16-year-old girl. According to his complaint, he and another officer – Shirley Thorne, who was 41 – questioned the man, and, after determining he was lying, cuffed and detained him. They reported the incident to Associate Principal Dawn Nelson, who said the man was a “nice kid” and ordered that he be let go.
The next day, the complaint says, Nelson scolded Richester in front of a group of students about racial profiling, as the man who’d been cuffed was Vietnamese. During a subsequent mediation meeting with Principal Joseph Guidetti, Nelson characterized the incident as “blatant racism” by Richester.
“Interestingly, Dawn Nelson did not find any fault with 41-year-old Safety Officer Shirley Thorne, who had also been involved in this incident,” the complaint says.
The next month, Eatmon – Richester’s boss – reported a student’s death to Richester and Thorne, according to the complaint. Thorne, who knew the student’s girlfriend, pulled her out of class and took her to the nurse’s office. Richester was there, too. By then, he claims, he’d received confirmation of the death by not only security staff at the school, but also the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Richester “gently broke the bad news to the girlfriend,” the complaint says.
“Shortly thereafter, everyone at the school learned the story was false, and that the student had not died,” the complaint says.
The next day, Richester was placed on administrative leave; no specific explanation was given other than “allegations of possible workplace violations have been made against you. “
“On the other hand, Officer Shirley Thorne … who had no authority to pull the student out of class, did not receive any type of discipline for her actions,” the complaint says.
In May 2011, Eatmon allegedly began encouraging Richester to retire. When he refused, the complaint says, Eatmon “stormed into (Richester’s) office and, raising his voice in a threatening manner, told (Richester) he was going to be demoted and transferred to Leuzinger High.”
Two months later, Richester was transferred to Leuzinger.
KETCHUM, Idaho May 4 2013 — A Blaine County jury has awarded $3.5 million in damages to the family of a 15-year-old Carey boy who died in a crash during his driver’s education class.
The Idaho Mountain Express reports jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday evening before finding Carey School driver education instructor Jeffrey Meacham 100 percent responsible for the Oct. 26, 2010 crash that killed Austin Hennefer.
Dennis and Maryann Hennefer filed a lawsuit alleging Meacham’s decision to hold classes that day and practice three-point turns on an icy highway were “willful and reckless.”
The driver’s education car was struck by an oncoming car.
School District Business Manager Mike Chatterton says the district’s insurance carrier is responsible for paying the damages and that there is no deductible.
Injured worker in Mobile River barge blast files lawsuit against four companies www.privateofficer.com
MOBILE, Alabama May 3 2013 – One of the injured workers from last week’s barge explosion on the Mobile River has filed a lawsuit against the companies involved in cleaning the vessels and operating a nearby tugboat.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Mobile County Circuit Court, seeks unspecified damages and contends that the companies negligently caused the accident that sent plaintiff Casey Tyson and two others to the hospital.
Two of those men remain in critical condition at the University of South Alabama Medical Center. The hospital released Tyson Tuesday, but his attorneys at Cunningham Bounds LLC said he is receiving further treatment at a burn center in Dallas near his home.
The Mobile company that was in charge of cleaning the barge, Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, is named as a defendant along with three others. They are AEP River Operations, of Chesterfield, Missouri, which owns the tugboat “Safety Runner;” D&S Marine Service, of Houma, Louisiana, which was involved in towing the barges; and Kirby Inland Marine, of Houston, which owned the barges.
Citing the ongoing investigation, a representative from D&S Marine Service declined to comment. Representatives from the other companies did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Tyson’s attorney, George “Skip” Finkbohner, said workers were venting oil vapors from the tanks of the barges when an outside ignition source sparked the first explosion. He said he was not prepared to say exactly what happened.
“There are going to be a lot of causes to this,” said Finkbohner, adding that his firm would know more after getting a chance to question witnesses under oath during the pretrial investigation. “I think the responsible thing to do is to dig down like we always do at this law firm.”
Finkbohner said the Tyson family hired his firm on Friday and that it was able to get investigators to examine the barges before workers destroyed them.
Finkbohner said he believes the “Safety Runner” was adjacent to the barges and was not involved in the cleaning or docking of those vessels. He said the tugboat’s engines were running at the time.
“Right now, it looks like the tugboat is involved as a possible ignition source,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say the ignition did not happen down in the tanks.”
When the spark did occur, by all accounts, the results were spectacular. Each barge contained six large fuel tanks, which the U.S. Coast Guard has said were empty. Seven explosions rocked the area on April 24 and into the morning of April 25.
Tyson was working for a communications company and was performing work on the tugboat’s electronics system on the night of the accident, Finkbohner said. He said his client had gotten off the tug and then returned to leave a bill for the captain.
“He had nothing to do with any of this,” he said. “He was an innocent bystander.”
Family sues Army for $124 million in Clarksville Speedway carbon monoxide deaths www.privateofficer.com
Clarksville TN May 3 2013 The family of one of five people who died in 2011 of carbon monoxide poisoning in a trailer at the Clarksville Speedway has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army, saying it failed to put batteries in the trailer’s carbon monoxide detector.
The five — with Bikers Who Care, a local charity that helps needy children — had rented the trailer from a U.S. Army RV rental business in September 16, 2011. The night of the 17th, they ran a generator outside the trailer to power the air conditioning.
They were found dead the next morning.
Those killed were identified as Timothy Bryan Stone, 39; James Franklin Wall II, 38; Jonathan Michael Over, 27; his wife Kathryn Elizabeth Over, 27; and Wall’s girlfriend, Allison Elizabeth Bagwell-Wyatt, 32. They were attending the 30th annual Leslie W. Watson Memorial Toy Run at the Clarksville Speedway. All five were from Clarksville and leave behind 13 children.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the survivors of Kathryn Over.
According to the lawsuit, the Army rental business, called Gear-to-Go, failed to put new batteries in the trailer’s carbon monoxide detector. The family is suing for negligence, asking for $124 million in damages.
The Army has not yet responded in court to the suit.
source- the tennessean
CHICAGO IL May 3 2013 — Attorney Yao Dinizulu of the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. filed a hate crime complaint on May 1 on behalf of plaintiff Falon Carter, 30, who alleges that an apartment security guard beat her with a steel flashlight and used derogatory terms to her relating to her sexual orientation.
The complaint states that security guard, Stanton Robinson, had repeatedly harassed Carter in the past because of her sexual orientation. The Illinois Hate Crime Act, 720 ILCS, states that a “person commits a hate crime when he/she commits a crime based on the actual or perceive: race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or gender .”According to reports, on May 12, 2011, Carter was visiting her girlfriend at Parkway Garden Apartments in Chicago when she was approached by Robinson. After he attacked her, Robinson, who is 5’8″ and weighs between 265-285, told Carter, who is 5’3″ and weighs approximately 110 lbs., that she “looked like a boy.”
Although Robinson already knew that Carter was a frequent visitor at Parkway Garden Apartments, he asked if she lived there and shined a steel flashlight in her face.
According to witnesses, Carter asked Robinson not to shine the flashlight in her eyes. Robinson then proceeded to strike her in her face with his flashlight. As a result, her face became bloody and swollen. Carter suffered a fractured bone in her face at the base of her skull. She had additional injuries to her right hand, which she used to protect herself. She also reportedly suffered from emotional and psychological distress from the incident. According to victims, Robinson has a history of violence and excessive force. He was previously a Cook County Department of Corrections Officer, and was discharged for using excessive force on inmates. He was then hired by Parkway Garden Apartments .The complaint, which was filed at the Richard J. Daley Center, names Robinson, as well as Parkway Gardens Preservation, L.P. and Related Management Company L.P. as defendants.
TAMPA, Fla. May 1 2013 AP— A Nashville family is suing a media company and two others in federal court in Tennessee after they said a Tampa radio show posted an altered photograph of their son with Down syndrome on its website.
In a lawsuit filed April 22, Pamela and Bernard Holland said the use of their son’s photo on WHPT’s “The Cowhead Show” website was malicious and defamatory.
The Hollands said in the lawsuit that the photo of their son was taken in 2004 when Adam Holland was 17 and in an art class. In the original photo, Adam is smiling at the camera and holding up a drawing that included the words “Go Titans,” in reference Tennessee’s professional football team.
In July 2012, according to court documents, the Hollands were contacted by a friend who saw the photo on the radio station website. The photo had been altered to show the words “Retarded News” in place of his original drawing and was on a portion of the website used for weird news stories.
The Hollands said the altered image has caused them “severe mental anguish and emotional distress,” and “humiliation, fear and embarrassment.” They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
The station is owned by Cox Media Group. Spokesman Andy McDill wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that the company is looking into the matter.
“It’s our company policy, however, not to comment on ongoing litigation,” McDill wrote.
Adam Holland’s photo was not on the show’s website Monday.
Larry Crain, the Holland family’s Nashville attorney, said Monday this case highlights the need for strengthening laws involving unauthorized photos.
“Many of the laws protect celebrities and who, for name recognition purposes, have a special interest in protecting their name and privacy,” he said.
“This is a case where an innocent individual has been victimized. The Holland family and this young boy are the picture of innocence, and for him to be the victim of this type of maligning is a case that calls for toughening of the laws in this area.”
Crain said the case has “touched a nerve” with a lot of people and his office has received outraged calls from around the country.
The altered image made its way to a Facebook group called “Spread the Word to End the Word,” which raises awareness about the hurtful and derogatory connotation of the word “retarded.”
The lawsuit said Michael Sharkey, the program director for WHPT, wrote the group regarding Adam’s photo. The lawsuit quoted Sharkey’s email, which said that the “Retarded News” segment is “is designed to highlight odd stories that are seemingly always in the news.”
“These stories are NOT about disabled individuals,” Sharkey wrote. “However, in our investigation, we noted the picture that he was using did denote a person with Down syndrome. We have removed that picture from our page and we are removing any reference to handicapped or disabled individuals.”
Sharkey apologized for “any grief this might have caused.”
The Hollands’ lawsuit also names Dave Brown, the owner of an Oswego, N.Y.-based website called “Sign Generator,” as a defendant.
The website, which charges people to download images, allegedly posted Adam’s photo under the heading “Retarded Handicap Generator.”
On Monday, Adam Holland’s photo was on several different sign generator sites. It’s unclear if those sites were affiliated with the Oswego company.
Another defendant is Russell LaLevee, who posted Adam’s photo on his Flickr account with the caption, “just a stupid photo of the sick retarded kid that lives down my street that my dogs hate,” according to the lawsuit.
Brown and LaLevee could not be located through public records for comment.
NEW ORLEANS LA April 21 2013 – A Jefferson Parish company is being sued for allegedly terminating a worker who was told she was too old for her job.
Elaine Aderholt filed suit against Metro Security Inc. last month in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans.
Aderholt was hired by the defendant in January 2006. She claims that during her employment she was subjected to a pattern of age discrimination which culminated when the owner told her that she was too old to be doing this type of work.
Aderholt claims she was retaliated against and was discharged from Metro Security on Feb. 17, 2012. The lawsuit states Aderholt was over the age of 40 when she began her employment with the defendant.
The defendant is accused of negligence for discrimination based upon age, violation of Louisiana law, intentional infliction of emotional distress, retaliation, and failure to supervise employees.
The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, interest, and court costs.
Aderholt is represented by Myles Steib and Julie Anne Gardner of Gardner & Steib in Metairie.
U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.
Case No. 2:13-cv-00531
Woman sues CVS store for discrimination after degrogatory name found on receipt www.privateofficer.com
BELMAR, N.J. April 19 2013 (AP) — A woman of Korean descent who claims a worker at a CVS in southern New Jersey used a phrase mocking Asians to identify her on a store receipt has filed a federal discrimination suit against the pharmacy chain, according to her lawyer.
Attorney Susan Chana Lask said her client, Hyun Lee, was picking up photos Feb. 7 at a CVS in Egg Harbor City when Lee noticed an employee had identified her as “Ching Chong Lee” on the ticket.
Lee said through her attorney that she complained to CVS customer relations and was allegedly told the worker would be “counseled and trained.”
“Store counseling cannot correct intolerable discrimination,” Lask said in a written statement, adding they were demanding the worker be fired.
CVS Caremark Corp. spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the company does not comment on pending litigation but has a firm non-discrimination policy.
“CVS/pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect,” he said.
The suit, which Lask said was filed April 16 in federal court in Camden, is seeking $1 million.
Lask planned to hold a news conference to announce the suit on Thursday.
White Bear Township MN April 18 2013 A retiree suing over his arrest in a supermarket had been warned before by store managers that he was helping himself to too many free samples, a defendant in the suit says.
Among the things a store manager had scolded Erwin Lingitz about: He had filled produce bags with up to 20 cookies from the “kids’ cookie club tray,” defendant Supervalu Inc. claims in its answer to the Gem Lake man’s federal lawsuit. Lingitz is suing Supervalu, Ramsey County, its sheriff’s office, three deputies and a private security company over an April 2010 incident at a Cub Foods in White Bear Township. The 68-year-old former laboratory machinist claims he was roughed up and his civil rights were violated by a security guard and then sheriff’s deputies after he was confronted and accused of helping himself to too many free samples of lunch meat. But in an answer to Lingitz’s suit, Supervalu attorney Robyn Johnson says the company shouldn’t even be a defendant because it doesn’t own the supermarket in question. The supermarket is owned by Kowalski Cos., which runs it “under the Cub Foods name as a franchisee of Supervalu,” Johnson wrote in the reply. As such, she said, there’s no reason Supervalu should be named as a defendant. Jeff Swanson, a spokesman for Supervalu, said 67 supermarkets carry the Cub Food name and 44 of them are owned by Supervalu. The remainder, including the store in White Bear Township, are franchise stores. Lingitz, 68, sued in U.S. District Court last month, claiming that when he went into the Cub supermarket on Meadowlands Drive to pick up a prescription, he stopped at a display offering free samples of lunch meat and helped himself.
He claims Cub employees told him he could take some to his wife, who was waiting in the couple’s car. As he left, a security guard confronted him; Lingitz protested and the fracas escalated. He eventually was arrested and jailed. After the suit was filed, a spokesman for Supervalu said Lingitz violated “societal norms” by taking more than customers are expected to. In her answer, Johnson inventoried what she claims deputies found in the man’s pockets after he was handcuffed. “Plaintiff had approximately 14-16 packets of soy sauce along with one plastic produce bag containing 0.61 pounds for (sic) summer sausage and another plastic produce bag containing 0.85 pounds of beef stick in his pockets,” she wrote. “Near the end of aisle 10 on the day in question, Cub Foods had two un-hosted sample platters, one containing beef stick and one containing summer sausage.” The lawyer wrote that Frank Patterson, a security guard for Twin City Lawmen Inc., which handles security at the store, saw Lingitz “putting items in his pockets,” followed him out of the store and asked him to remove the items from his pockets. Lingitz refused. The store’s general manager “repeatedly asked plaintiff just to remove the items from his pockets and plaintiff refused,” Johnson wrote. Robert Gardner, the attorney representing Lingitz, did not immediately return a call for comment. In her answer, Johnson wrote that store personnel had spoken to Lingitz “at various times,” and that Steve Martin, a weekend manager, had seen the man “taking excessive amounts of food from various un-hosted sample platters and from the store’s cookie club for kids.” “On these occasions, Mr. Martin observed plaintiff filling plastic produce bags with the samples or with 10-20 cookies from the kids’ cookie club tray, which specifically limits the offer to one free cookie per child,” Supervalu’s response says. “Mr. Martin told plaintiff that the samples were for everyone, that only one or two should be taken, that plaintiff should not fill bags with samples in the future and that the cookie club was for children only,” Johnson wrote. The company also denied “that store personnel regularly solicited plaintiff to take multiple samples.” In its answer, Ramsey County said Deputy Daniel Eggers used appropriate force when he arrived at the store and took Lingitz into custody. Eggers was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked squad car, but identified himself to Lingitz as a deputy and showed his badge, Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Robert Roche wrote in the county’s answer to the suit. Roche said that Eggers handcuffed Lingitz’s left wrist, but that the man became uncooperative when Eggers went to put the cuffs on the other wrist. “As a result, plaintiff had a handcuff secured on his left wrist with the other cuff hanging loose and open, presenting a safety threat,” Roche wrote. Eggers used “reasonable and lawful force to gain control” over the man, he said. In an interview at the time he filed the suit, Gardner said the force used against his client was unnecessary because he wasn’t engaged in a felony. “The situation, even under a worst-case scenario, didn’t rise to the level of a need for this kind of force,” the attorney said. Lingitz claimed in his suit that Eggers and others contrived their stories. He said he feared he was having a heart attack, and he was taken to Regions Hospital for treatment and then booked into the Ramsey County jail. On April 26, 2010, two days after the incident, Lingitz was charged with disorderly conduct, interfering with the officers and shoplifting. A judge continued Lingitz’s criminal case for dismissal in February 2011. Under terms of the agreement, if he remained law-abiding for a year, the charges would be dismissed. They were dismissed last year.
source- twin cities.com
Prince George County MD April 18 2013 A jury awarded $90 million the family of Ashley Davis, who was 13 when she was hit by a car and killed in 2009.
The Davis family sued the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Board of Education after Ashley was hit by a Lincoln Continental crossing the street to get to the bus stop.
The car went on to strike a minivan and a 17-year-old boy.
The lawsuit said the school district was negligent, failing to provide safe transportation to school, NBC Washington reported..
“The policy was they were going to pick up Ashley on her own side of the street,” said Davis family lawyer John Costello. “They never did. They forced her to cross the street. She got killed crossing the street.”
“If she didn’t have to cross the street … she’d be graduating this year,” said Nycole Davis, Ashley’s mother. “She’d be going to prom this year.”
Nycole Davis said she didn’t expect anywhere near the amount awarded by the jury — for damages, medical expenses and funeral costs — but since there are caps on certain cases against school systems and municipalities at $100,000, more legal action is expected before a payout is made.
“I didn’t ask anyone to give me any money or anything like that,” Nycole Davis said. “I just want someone held responsible for what happened to my daughter.
HONOLULU HI April 17 2013 (AP) — A judge has ruled a Hawaii bed and breakfast violated the law when two women were denied a room because they’re gay.
The Hawaii First Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of a Southern California couple who sued Aloha Bed & Breakfast for discrimination in 2011, Lambda Legal announced Monday. In 2007, Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford tried to book a room at the bed and breakfast because it’s in Hawaii Kai, the same east Honolulu neighborhood where the friend they were visiting lived.
When Cervelli specified they would need one bed, the owner asked if they were lesbians. Cervelli responded truthfully and the owner said she was uncomfortable having lesbians in her house because of her religious views, the lawsuit said.
The bed and breakfast violated the state public accommodations law and is ordered to stop discriminating against same-sex couples, according to the ruling dated April 11. The public accommodations law prohibits establishments that provide lodging to transient guests from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, race, color, ancestry, religion, disability and sex —including gender identity or expression.
Jim Hochberg, a Honolulu attorney representing the bed and breakfast’s owner said Monday the ruling doesn’t consider her First Amendment rights. “The public needs to be aware of this decision because it has far-reaching consequences,” he said.
The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission joined the lawsuit.
“The court’s decision is based on Hawaii’s strong state civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination,” commission Executive Director William Hoshijo said. “When visitors or residents are subjected to discrimination, they suffer the sting of indignity, humiliation and outrage, but we are all demeaned and our society diminished by unlawful discrimination.”
Washington DC April 15 2013 The mother of an elementary school student sued the D.C. police department Thursday, alleging in federal court that an officer slammed the boy’s head on a cafeteria table last year at a school in Southeast Washington.
Attorneys for the mother, Chante Price, said that the boy, then 10, had headaches that lasted two weeks and that he might have suffered a concussion. The suit says the boy’s teacher declined to take action because a police officer was involved.
The boy, identified in court documents only as “T.P.,” is described as an avid learner who, since the incident, “has not wanted to attend school and feels insecure in his classroom, even with a teacher present.”
The lawsuit, filed with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, does not specify monetary damages, leaving it to the court to determine compensatory and punitive damages. The suit accuses the officer of assault and battery and using excessive force.
The D.C. attorney general’s office, which defends the District in civil suits, declined to comment on the filing. The officer named in the suit, David E. Bailey Jr., a 14-year member of the force, could not be reached for comment.
The suit says the mother filed a complaint with D.C. Office of Police Complaints, an independent agency that investigates allegations of police misconduct. According to the lawsuit, the agency board referred the case to the U.S. attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute and sent the case back for administrative review.
Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, confirmed that account. He said prosecutors did not file criminal charges “because of insufficient evidence to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.”
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier declined to discuss the allegations, but she said in a statement that “police officers should be afforded due process just like anyone else, before judgment is passed. It should also be noted that criminal charges were declined in this matter.”
Attorneys for the mother say the incident occurred last April 19 at Wilkinson Elementary School, where Moten Elementary students, including the boy, were going to class temporarily because of renovations. The suit says the student’s music teacher sent him to the cafeteria for disciplinary reasons.
According to the suit, as the boy and a classmate were “quietly reading” a book, Bailey stopped by the table and lectured them on how to behave. The officer was assigned to the neighborhood and was visiting the school on his rounds.
The suit says Bailey, apparently upset that the boy was talking during his lecture, told the boy, “Stop playing with me.” The boy responded that he was “not playing,” according to the suit. The lawsuit alleges that the officer “grabbed T.P. by the back of his head and slammed T.P.’s head forward into the table. Officer Bailey then grabbed T.P. by the shirt and forcefully lifted him off the chair.”
The suit says Bailey told the child, “Play with me again, I’ll take you to 7D,” referring to a nearby police station.
According to attorneys, Price reported that the boy was taken to a hospital emergency room because he had headaches and felt sleepy. The attorneys declined to arrange interviews with the mother or the boy.
Source: Washington Post
The lawsuit, filed last week in Fulton County State Court, accuses Hinesly of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional stress.
NY Attorney General Sues NYC Security Guard Training Company That Scammed Unemployed Consumers www.privateofficer.com
NEW YORK April 12 2013- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that he filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against a company and its owner for using phony job listings and false promises of employment to con consumers into paying for expensive security guard training courses. The New York City-based 1st Security Preparation & Placement, Inc. and its owner, Allen Haft, may have scammed more than 15,000 consumers since 2008.
The Attorney General’s office also secured a temporary restraining order freezing any assets the company or Haft may have and temporarily barring them from advertising job openings or selling security guard training courses.
“My office will not tolerate companies that break the law to take advantage of vulnerable, unemployed consumers,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Posting phony job listings during an economic crisis is a particularly cynical effort to prey on the hopes of struggling workers and families. We will seek the maximum penalties against 1st Security as well as restitution for defrauded consumers.”
The lawsuit, filed yesterday, seeks full restitution for consumers defrauded in the scheme since at least 2008. As many as 15,000 people, many of them New York City residents, signed up for classes. The suit also seeks injunctive relief prohibiting the company from continuing to operate this scam. The company faces penalties of up to $5,000 per customer defrauded.
After reviewing about 200 consumer complaints, the Attorney General’s Office conducted an undercover investigation of the company revealing that it has posted hundreds of fake security guard job listings on Craigslist and in newspapers, including amNewYork, the Daily News, the New York Post and Metro. The advertisements make it seem like the company is hiring employees at high hourly wages when in fact the company is selling its courses.
When consumers respond to the ads, 1st Security falsely promises them that they have been selected for a position. The company tells applicants that before they can start working, they must complete a series of security guard training courses, typically at a cost of $449 to $667.
1st Security holds classes at 250 West 40th Street that last approximately four days and issues students certificates for those classes.
After consumers pay for and complete 1st Security’s training courses, they meet with 1st Security’s placement office and are given worthless “referrals” to security guard companies — instead of the promised jobs. When consumers follow up on the referrals, they are not hired for any position usually because the companies are either not hiring or not interested in hiring individuals with no experience. They find that the companies that they were referred to have no knowledge of 1st Security and are not expecting the consumer for an interview.
In addition to making false promises of employment, 1st Security also falsely represents that consumers must complete their entire package of courses to be eligible to work as a security guard. In fact, only one of the three courses in the series — the eight hour pre-assignment training course — is required to begin working as a security guard. In addition, 1st Security’s training courses are poor in quality, overpriced and do not comply with New York requirements for security guard training courses, including minimum hours of instruction and required topics.
If you were a victim of 1st Security’s scheme, please file a complaint with the OAG. Complaint forms are available at: http://www.ag.ny.gov/bureaus/consumer_frauds/filing_a_consumer_complaint.html.
Consumers seeking to work as a security guard should be wary of any security guard training school that poses as an employer of security guards or promises to place students in security guard positions. Consumers should read any contract with the security guard company carefully and, before signing any contract, check to see if the school is approved by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Consumers should also keep in mind that low-cost and even free security guard training courses may be available. For example, the State University of New York’s Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center offers free security guard training courses for individuals who meet certain income guidelines and many community colleges offer low-cost security guard training courses.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Lee and Investigator Andres Rodriguez. It’s being supervised by the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection’s Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine, Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez.
Houston TX April 12 2013 A lawsuit filed against a northeast Houston game room, where a security guard was shot over the weekend, asks the owners to stop a gambling operation.
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan filed the lawsuit on March 14 against Treasure Island Club at the 13700 block of Homestead Road. The lawsuit claims that the owners Billy and Minh Hammond have been warned by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to stop gambling previously.
This Sunday, a man in a ski mask, who was with two others, fired several shots and wounded a security guard at Treasure Island Club.
The lawsuit states that the game room has been the subject of at least three gambling investigations because of machines called eight liners. The machines pay out ten times the amount charged to play the game or $5 whichever is less, according to a statement from Ryan.
Ryan said illegal game rooms attract criminal activity, such as the recent security guard shooting. He said they generate large amounts of cash, which can result in robberies, assaults and homicides.
“These places are not safe for customers or neighbors,” Ryan said.
A hearing in the case will be on May 17.