August 2012 News - The New York Personal Injury Law Blog

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August 2012 Archives

Policing the Police: Mobster Whacked Because of Prosecutors?

Embezzlement. Kickbacks. Leaked information resulting in a murder. RICO investigations. That sure sounds like the mob, right?

The problem was, according to the Courthouse News Service, the ones allegedly committing the crimes were the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

That of course begs the eternal question, "who polices the police?"

New Balance 'Shapes Up' a $2.3M Settlement Over Toning Shoes

Yep, great pun, wrong brand. Then again, same crap, different badge.

A settlement pending judicial approval has been reached in a New Balance class action lawsuit alleging false advertising about the company's toning shoes. NB logged $145 million in toning-shoe sales in 2009 and $252 million in sales in 2010. That's a lot of cash for an exercise tool that doesn't work.

The shoe manufacturer will set aside $2.3 million to cover reimbursements for purchasers of its faulty footwear, reports Courthouse News Service.

9 Stray Bullets: Why the Empire State Cops Aren't Clearly Liable

Over the weekend, word spread that the nine wounded bystanders at the Empire State Building shooting were victims of friendly fire from police officers. The shooter, Jeffrey T. Johnson, didn’t get a single shot off after he pointed his gun at the two pursuing officers, reports the New York Times.

Immediately, the thought in many peoples’ minds was how could the cops be so careless?

Judge Raffaele, Is It Time To Reconsider an Excessive Force Lawsuit?

Do you remember this case? A judge calls 9-1-1 to protect the cops from an unruly crowd and gets karate-chopped in the throat by the on-scene cops as a reward? Yeah, that was a bad day for him.

At the time, Judge Thomas D. Raffaele stated:

"I do feel that it's important for this person to be disciplined. I don't know if he should be an officer or not -- what he was doing was so violent."

Yep. Sorry, Judge. But that's not happening, according to The New York Times.

Little League Tragedy Leads to $14.5 Mill Settlement, Safer Games

To some, it would seem to be a freak accident, unlikely to be repeated. Steven Domalewski released the pitch. The batter made contact. The ball struck Domalewski in his chest, right above his heart, at a millisecond between heartbeats. He went into cardiac arrest and his brain was deprived of oxygen for 15 to 20 minutes. More than six years later, he's still unable to perform any of the functions of daily life on his own, reports The Associated Press.

What were the odds of the ball hitting him at that precise millisecond, right near his heart? Probably pretty slim. Nonetheless, it has been the catalyst of change throughout youth baseball leagues, especially in New Jersey.

NYC's Stop and Frisk Defense Expert Not An Expert

New York City’s defense in the class-action lawsuit over Stop and Frisk just got a lot harder, reports the Courthouse News Service. The planned expert witness, New York University public policy professor Dennis Smith had the majority of his planned testimony excised by the judge, leaving only the theory of “minorities commit more crimes” to counteract the plaintiffs’ claims that the policy targets minorities disproportionately and unconstitutionally.

For those unfamiliar with the policy, Stop and Frisk is an NYPD policy that allows officers to stop and frisk anyone that they deem suspicious and likely to be armed. No crime or offense is necessary as a prerequisite to the search. Suspects are then placed under arrest for any drugs, weapons, or other illegal contraband that are found in their possession, or for resisting the search or subsequent arrest.

NYPD Faces More than Politics After Excessive Force Against City Official

The cops behind the claim of excessive force used on the former “director of public affairs for the office of public advocate” (what a title) apparently understood badges about as well as this guy. According to the New York Daily News, the cops’ alleged overly violent arrest is about to become the subject of a lawsuit against the city. The officers involved were previously disciplined by the department after an internal affairs investigation verified the excessive force complaints.

According to the Daily News, the former city aide, Kirsten John Foy, and a city councilman, Jumaane D. Williams, were participants in last year’s West Indian parade. An officer along the parade route gave them permission to cross a “frozen zone”. Unfortunately, that permission was not communicated to other officers in the area.

Broken Bottles and Bloody Eye: W.i.P. Nightclub Sues Drake, Brown

Well, this had to happen sooner or later. For those whose memories have lapsed, back in June, there was a fight between Drake and Chris Brown's posses in the middle of the W.i.P. nightclub in Manhattan. Bottles were tossed, lacerations were suffered by many, and of course, lawsuits were filed by the patrons, including NBA All-Star Tony Parker, who had a shard of glass penetrate his eye.

Though accounts still vary widely as to the cause and catalysts of the fight, the club lost their liquor license and is now suing Chris Brown and Drake for their part in the pandemonium, reports NBC New York.

Boss Peed on His Clothes, Now Enforcing a Non-Compete Clause

Yes people, the Devil sells real estate.  

A very bitter ex-employee, Albert Sultan, is suing his ex-employer, Jack Terzi, for a number of egregious acts that allegedly occurred during his three year tenure as a real estate sales agent, reports the New York Post. In addition to constant verbal abuse, he also had scissors thrown at him, was bitten, intentionally sneezed upon, and has his clothes peed on.

There were no vacations and no sick days. There was a $15 per minute fine for being late, $30 per minute fine for leaving early, and a $1,000 fine for missing a Sunday shift. There's more, but you get the point.

Cops Shoot a Ninja With an IKEA Knife, Confiscate a Camera

An odd encounter on Seventh Street near Times Square resulted in police officers shooting 51-year-old Darrius H. Kennedy, reports The New York Times. Kennedy was allegedly skipping backwards in front of a Chipotle, waving around an IKEA kitchen knife.

After police boxed him in, away from bystanders, Kennedy reportedly lunged at the cops. They fired twelve times, nine from one officer’s gun and three from the other. According to the NYPD, multiple attempts at subduing Kennedy with pepper spray failed before the officers discharged their firearms.

NCAA, Pro Sports Answer Christie's Call, Fight Sports Betting

"We intend to go forward and allow sports gambling to happen, and if someone wants to stop us, then they'll have to take action to try to stop us."

Well Governor Chris Christie, ask and you shall receive. The NCAA, MLB, NBA, NFL, and the NHL (for those unfamiliar, those are the governing organizations of collegiate athletics, baseball, basketball, football, and hockey) filed suit to halt New Jersey's attempt to legalize sports gambling at the state's casinos in Atlantic City and at racetracks throughout the state, reports the Courthouse News Service.

Speeding Bicyclists vs. Careless Pedestrians (No One Wins)

The Daily News reports that their own earth-shattering investigation revealed that … gasp … bicyclists in spandex shorts are speeding! Not only are they breaking the posted speed limits in Central Park, but it puts pedestrians at risk. The intrepid investigative reporters clocked 16 cyclists breaking the 25 mph limit in a 35 minute period. One cyclist even reached a mind-numbing 30 mph.

In all seriousness though, this does sound like a series of severe accidents waiting to happen. Combine those that are Lance Armstronging with those that are visually and mentally fixated on their Apple iOS Crack and you have a dangerous potential for oblivious pedestrian meeting careless cyclist.

'Hippy Dippy Chick' Sues 'Fair and Balanced' Fox News

The best lawsuits, from a blogger’s perspective, are the ridiculous ones. These are the ones that make you think, “what were they thinking when they filed this waste of a tree?” Despite the widespread belief that the court system is ridden with these frivolous lawsuits, the vast majority of lawsuits have some sort of merit. From some perspective, even a slanted perspective, there might possibly be a case.

We don’t see it here.

New Yorker Aviva Nash, the owner of Drum Cafe, filed a defamation lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, Juliet Huddy, and their employer, Fox News two days ago, reports the Courthouse News Service. The defamation claims stem from “news” reports made on Fox News about a government agency’s waste of taxpayer money on Drum Cafe’s “team-building” exercises.

NY Times Photog Stolarik Abused for Third Time by NYPD

The third time's a scraped arm (and face and legs) for New York Times photographer Robert Stolarik. This time, the oft-abused photographer was capturing images of the NYPD arresting a teenage girl after a street fight in the Concourse neighborhood. A police officer asked him to cease his photography. Stolarik showed his press credentials and continued.

What happened next his debated between the photographer and the NYPD. Stolarik claims that an officer approached him and slammed his camera into his face. He then requested the officers' badge numbers. They responded by slamming him to the ground and arresting him. He suffered bruises and scrapes to his face, arms and legs. Another photographer videotaped Stolarik being held down by six police officers.

New Law Puts Severe Restrictions on Westboro Baptist Funeral Protests

Some might say that the Westboro Baptist Church protestors are a pack of attention-seeking, nutjobs whose anti-American, anti-homosexual message has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Others might say they are spreading the word of God.

Whether or not the you agree with their chants of "God Hates Fags!", their right to protest is guaranteed by our Constitution. However, that glorious right to speak one's mind isn't without limitations. If there is a compelling reason to restrict that speech, reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of the WBC's homophobic protests can be put into place.

And they have been.

What's the Deal With That $6 Billion 9/11 Verdict?

What were your first thoughts when you heard that a $6 billion verdict was ordered in favor of the victims of 9/11? What about when you heard the list of defendants?

Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah … those names are not much of a surprise. They’re all terrorists. What about the Nation of Iran? Iran was also found at fault in the verdict.

Legally, the case wasn’t much of a battle. The defendants never showed up. There was little done beyond a few legal pleadings. The verdict was ordered due to a default judgment, which is a legal way of saying that you lose because you didn’t play. To be clear: