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.”
Friday, March 1st, 2013
San Diego Christian College fired Teri James last fall after it was discovered that James, who was not married, was pregnant. The school cited its policy against premarital sex in the firing, but James has nevertheless filed a lawsuit in San Diego County superior court, as Today.com reports:
She says she was fired because, as the termination letter included in the suit stated: “Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”
Speaking by phone with her lawyer, Gloria Allred, James said she felt humiliated.
“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving,” James said. “I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating. I felt like I was in trouble.”
Also insulting, James said, was that after firing her, the school offered a job to her then-fiancé – they are now married – even though it was known that he, too, engaged in premarital sex. He did not accept the job, she said.
In filing the suit, James joins a group of women who in recent years have sued the religious schools that fired them for getting pregnant out of wedlock. In each case, the school pointed to moral codes, “community covenants” and handbooks that employees must sign, typically every year, promising to abide by school rules.
Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
If a woman is told she can’t breastfeed in a public place in Texas, she may soon be able to sue the organization or person that dismissed her, if a new law passes the state’s legislature. The law comes in the wake of a 2011 incident in which nursing mom Michelle Hickman was asked to leave a Target store despite a company policy that is supposed to allow breastfeeding in any spot in the store. Hickman’s experience inspired a nationwide “nurse-in” at Target stores and other locations. More on the new law from The Dallas Observer:
On Friday, [state Rep. Jessica] Farrar filed a bill that would allow mothers booted from a public place for nursing can sue and collect damages from whomever did the booting, be it an individual, business, government or other entity.
Advocates have already won acknowledgment that breastfeeding is the optimal way for newborns to get nutrition and that the practice is something to be promoted. But breastfeeding isn’t yet fully a right, not legally anyways.
Take the case of Donnica Venters, a Houston woman who said she was fired for asking to pump breast milk while at work. She and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued, only to lose in federal court last February.
“Lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition,” Judge Lynn Hughes wrote in her decision. That means there is no cause of action for “lactation discrimination” under federal law.
That looks unlikely to change anytime soon, but Farrar’s bill would give women like Venters some recourse at the state level.
This issue also came up online in 2012, when a Facebook nurse-in followed the social networking site removing photos of breastfeeding mothers.
Image: Breastfeeding baby, via Shutterstock
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