Monday, June 30th, 2014
The bizarre story of a live-in nanny who reportedly refused to leave a California family’s home for weeks after she was fired appears to have concluded, as news sources are reporting that Diane Stretton has left the home.
Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte of Upland, California say they fired Stretton a few weeks after they hired her, claiming she was refusing to work because of health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The story took its strange turn at that point, when the Bracamontes allege that Stretton refused to accept her firing, remaining in her room in the family’s home and only coming out to eat. When the Bracamontes presented her with a letter requiring she leave their home within 30 days, they say Stretton, who is 64 years old, responded that she would sue the family for elder abuse and wrongful firing. A call to the police by the family proved fruitless, as police declined to get involved in a “civil matter.”
The Bracamontes have three children, who are ages 11, 4, and 1. Their agreement with Stretton was reportedly that she would care for the children and do some housework in exchange for room and board.
According to ABC News, the story took yet another bizarre turn when Stretton went to a local police station after leaving the Bracamontes and said she was being followed (she was–by a photographer). She left the station but allegedly hid in her car outside the station for hours before leaving.
More from ABC on the story, including emerging details about Stretton’s history of filing lawsuits that are later deemed to be frivolous (she is on California’s Vexatious Litigant List):
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Lt. John Moore of the Upland Police Department confirmed to ABC News that there is no immediate action that can be taken against Stretton, saying “generally, once somebody has established residency, you have to go through a formal eviction process.”
While Stretton initially refused to leave the Bracamonte home, Marcella Bracamonte confirmed to ABC News that Stretton disappeared from the home early Thursday morning.
“She left around 7 a.m. yesterday morning and she never came back,” Bracamonte told ABC News on Friday.
The former nanny was not seen until Friday, when she was spotted by the press as she arrived at a local police station according to KABC-TV.
It was unclear whether Stretton would return for her belongings or file suit against the Bracamonte family as they claimed she threatened to do.
Court documents obtained by ABC News revealed that Stretton was involved in at least six lawsuits in Riverside, Calif., since 2005, four in which she was the plaintiff, one in which she was the defendant and one in which she was the petitioner.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
A Canadian mother is alleging that her daughter’s Catholic school is discriminating against her daughter by failing to accommodate her severe food allergy. More from The Huffington Post:
Lynne Glover recently filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School for allegedly discriminating against her daughter. The girl, Elodie, is severely allergic to dairy and eggs, and her mom says the school has failed to accommodate the child’s “disability,” according to Canadian outlet The Spec.
Glover pulled Elodie out of school earlier this year, but she wants the school to create an environment that would allow the 6-year-old to re-enroll, the outlet notes. Elodie has gone into anaphylactic shock nine times after being exposed to eggs and dairy.
“I want to ensure all children have access to a barrier free education, that anaphylaxis is more readily recognized as the disability it is. I would love to see board officials be required to undergo mandatory human rights training, there is a lack of understanding, compassion and empathy toward those with anaphylaxis,” Glover said, according to the outlet.
The mom has previously tried to work with the school’s board to create a safe environment for her daughter, but she says she does not think the school implemented enough precautions, CBC News reports.
A spokeswoman for the school board told the outlet she could not comment on the case. CBC News notes the board’s policy requires schools to take “every reasonable effort” to accommodate children with allergies, although it “cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment.”
The mother’s case seeks to ban dairy and egg products from the school, the National Post reports.
“They left me no choice but to file a claim to get them to the table because I wasn’t getting anywhere,” Glover told The National Post. “I’m not looking for a guaranteed allergy-free environment because I know it’s not possible. But reasonable accommodations that fall in line with our doctor’s diagnosis is just plain common sense.”
Image: School cafeteria tray, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, November 21st, 2013
A 10-year-old girl from near Detroit, Michigan is suing her mother’s ex-boyfriend, alleging that the man is unfairly refusing to return her dog to her. More from the Associated Press:
Hannah Wise says that Mitchell Rechter wouldn’t return a poodle named Mystery after the Farmington Hills girl and her mother moved out of his home last spring.
Hannah is the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in Oakland County with the consent of her mother, Adrienne Lenhoff, according to The Oakland Press of Pontiac.
According to the lawsuit, Rechter agreed to take care of the dog only while they got settled in a new home.
Hannah said Mystery was a gift from her grandmother three years ago.
“He was a part of me,” the girl said. “He would come in my bed and snuggle up to me.”
Rechter “wouldn’t give me my dog back,” she said. “And he knew that I cared about that dog so much. It was really heartbreaking for me.”
On Friday, Hannah spoke about her experience to about 500 people during a storytelling event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. The crowd cheered for the girl.
Rechter’s lawyer, Jonathan Jones, responded to the girl’s complaint, according to the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, saying, “The plaintiff abandoned the dog, gave it to the defendant to take care of, knowing he wanted to care for the dog, and took another dog with her when she left.”
A trial is scheduled for July 2014.
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Paula Morris, the mother of a teenager who died of cardiac arrhythmia last year, is the latest to file a lawsuit against the makers of Monster energy drinks, saying she blames her son’s death on his habit of drinking the beverage every day. More from The Associated Press:
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Alex Morris, 19, went into cardiac arrest during the early morning hours of July 1 and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court alleges Morris would not have died if he did not drink two cans of Monster’s energy drink every day for the three years before his death, including the day he died.
Morris’ mother, Paula Morris, is listed as a plaintiff in the case.
The lawsuit comes after the family of 14-year-old Anais Fournier, of Maryland, also sued the company last year after she consumed two 24-ounce cans of Monster and died.
“Our allegations in the lawsuits are the same and that’s the peoples deaths were caused by these energy drinks and, more specifically, the defendants failure to warn about the dangers,” said Alexander Wheeler, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in both cases.
Monster representatives did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who created the “Elmo” character during his years working for Sesame Workshop, is facing new accusations of sexual relations with a minor, as well as charges that he used the illegal drug known as crystal meth. Clash resigned from Sesame Street in November of last year after two accusers alleged sexual misconduct.
More on the new lawsuit from NBC News:
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The man behind the iconic “Sesame Street” character is named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Sheldon Stephens, who was the first individual to accuse Clash of abuse in 2012.
Stephens claims in a new complaint filed Monday in Middle District Court of Pennsylvania that he and Clash met in 2004 through a social networking event for models and actors. According to a press release sent by Stephens’ attorney Jeff Herman, the complaint includes accusations that Clash and Stephens began having sexual intercourse when Stephens was 16. It details an occasion when Stephens was still 16 and Clash hosted a “crystal meth sex party” at his apartment. The complaint also accuses Clash of doing meth at that party, giving the drugs to Stephens, and engaging in sexual contact with the then-teenager.
Michael Berger, an attorney for Clash, issued a statement Tuesday calling the lawsuit “meritless” and “barred by the statute of limitations.” In the statement, Berger writes that Stephens has “already admitted in writing that he had ‘an adult consensual relationship’ with Mr. Clash. Mr Clash continues to deny any wrongdoing, and we intend to defend this case forcefully.”