In February 2018 in Brooklyn New York USA, a developer was slugged with an $8.5 million ($US6.7 million) judgment for whitewashing the “formidable” work of 21 graffiti artists on the iconic 5 Pointz warehouse in Queens. Brooklyn federal court Judge Frederic Block angrily ordered developer Gerald Wolkoff, who erased about 45 works overnight in the middle of both sides’ court case in 2013, to cough up the millions.
"The shame of it all is that since 5 Pointz was a prominent tourist attraction, the public would undoubtedly have thronged to say its goodbyes during those 10 months and gaze at the formidable works of aerosol art for the last time," Block wrote in his decision. "It would have been a wonderful tribute for the artists that they richly deserved."
The jurist noted that Wolkoff's rash decision to ignore the legal proceeding and take matters into his own hands had sealed his fate and prompted the whopping judgment. The artists sued him under a 1990 law, the Visual Rights Act, which protects works that are considered notable.
"If not for Wolkoff's insolence, these damages would not have been assessed," Block said. "If he did not destroy 5 Pointz until he received his permits and demolished it 10 months later, the Court would not have found that he had acted wilfully." Block lauded the artists for comporting themselves with dignity during the pendency of the case.
This decision follows a three-week trial in November, in which lawyers for Wolkoff unsuccessfully argued that the graffiti artists should have known better than to paint the site, given its slated fate. 5 Pointz was torn down in 2014 and the land that once housed the famed painted warehouse is now home to two luxury high-rise residential towers.
This has to be one of the most ludicrously stupid judgements to ever emanate from a US judge and one has to wonder at this clown's sanity. It is obvious that the judge was very pissed off at the fact that Wolkoff had the temerity to clean up a building that he owned and remove graffiti. To even imagine that graffiti is somehow sacrosanct in any way is insane. Graffiti is nothing more than vandalism and one has to wonder what this idiotic judge would say if graffitists vandalised his house and then sued to prevent him from cleaning up the mess.
The judge described the graffiti as "formidable works of aerosol art". Maybe this crap had some artistic merit, but the issue is that the graffitists sprayed their so-called "art" on a building that did not belong to them and without permission to do so. Therefore they should not only have been able to sue Wolkoff, but should have been charged for vandalism by their own admissions.
The 1990 Visual Rights Act protects works that are considered notable is fair enough, if it is used to protect sculptures and artworks that are in public places. However, as allegedly artistic as some graffiti may be, it is still graffiti and painting it onto property that the graffitists do not own without permission from the owners should not fall under the protection of this Act. Graffiti is vandalism and a criminal act and there is certainly nothing notable about vandalism.
Lawyers for Wolkoff unsuccessfully argued that the graffiti artists should have known better than to paint the site. This was the wrong argument. Wolkoff's lawyers should have demanded the immediate arrest of those vandals, by the fact that painting graffiti on property without the express permission of the owner is a crime. That would have knocked this case on the head immediately.
Judge Frederic Block should have been fired immediately after making his insanely stupid ruling. Wolkoff did not demolish his property until he did get a permit to demolish. All he did was whitewash the building to remove the vandalism and he had every legal right to do so without having to obtain a permit to clean his own property of graffiti. This judgement needs to be overturned.
An American couple, whose daughter was killed by a driver using FaceTime on his iPhone, launched a lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit alleged that the firm should have introduced a feature that disabled use of the video-chat application while driving. It pointed to a patent for a such feature for drivers filed by Apple in 2008.
The accident happened on a Texan road on Christmas Eve 2014. Five-year-old Moriah Modisette subsequently died. The lawsuit stated that the parents, James and Bethany Modisette, were seeking damages for "the defendant's wrongful failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in December 2008". The patent, which was issued by the US patent office in April 2014 aimed to lock out users while they were driving.
The driver involved in the crash, Garrett Wilhelm, drove his SUV into the back of the Modisette family's vehicle while travelling at high speeds. He told police that he was using FaceTime at the time of the crash and that the application was still active when police found his phone at the scene.
This is another one of those ridiculous lawsuits that tries to blame a third party that is completely unconnected with the event that caused a loss, such as the death of Moriah Modisette. The driver was stupid in using Facetime while driving, but that's not Apple's fault and it is not Apple's role to ensure that its applications can be used safely. What if Facetime was being used by a crane operator who dropped a load and killed 10 pedestrians? Even if Apple had implemented a lockout function for driving, that would not have been of any assistance in that scenario.
What if Garrett Wilhelm had been combing his hair and crashed and killed Moriah? Would the Morisettes be suing the comb manufacturer? What if Wilhelm had been eating an apple at the time of this accident? Would the Morisettes launch a lawsuit against the apple grower - if that apple grower could even be found? Or a lawsuit against God, if those idiots believed in such an imaginary friend who allegedly created that apple?
That is the utter insanity of such lawsuits, like the infamous one that blamed a gun manufacturer for a murder. Guns do not commit murders, people commit murders. Facetime and other smartphone applications do not cause accidents, people cause accidents. The fact is that it is entirely up to a person to operate any sort of equipment in a safe manner, whether it is a smartphone, a car, a crane, an aircraft, a gun or anything else. These are inanimate objects that cannot cause harm to anybody. The quicker that such completely unjustified lawsuits are banned from even reaching a court, the better.
In the USA, Michael John McLeod of Fairfield, Connecticut, lost money gambling on the popular computer game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a game that was never intended for gambling. He has sued manufacturer Valve, even though it is illegal as well as forbidden by the game's terms of service. So in much the same way that the playing card manufacturer is responsible when you lose money in an illegal back-alley poker game (in other words, not at all), McLeod felt that Valve was somehow criminally and/or civilly liable for his losses.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a popular on-line multi-player game played on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or similar platforms. It is not about gambling. It’s an action-packed, military-based game involving shooting and explosions. In the game and in a multitude of other popular online computer games, players can earn virtual rewards – called “skins” – either through gameplay or by buying them directly from the manufacturer. Those rewards can include pieces of armour, weapons or other upgrades that the players can use in future gameplay, possibly giving them an advantage over other players.
Though these “skins” only exist in the virtual world, they can be highly sought-after and fetch outrageous prices. As such, they make a valuable commodity that, like cash, can be used to gamble. Valve does not facilitate online gambling of skins – or any gambling at all, for that matter. Instead, third-party gambling websites allow those skins to be used as virtual “chips” that can then be bet just as at a casino. Players can bet them on the outcome of a professional sports game or the outcome of a hand of blackjack or poker. If they win, they can redeem the skins for cash through yet another series of websites. And if players lose, well, tough for them.
This complicated series of transactions via third- and fourth-parties allow players to skirt gambling laws, and it keeps the game manufacturers out of the mix. Or at least, it that’s the goal. McLeod’s lawsuit accuses Valve of, at the very least, turning a blind eye to the billion-dollar gambling industry attached to its game. Further, the lawsuit accuses Valve of providing money and technical support to websites facilitating the gambling of skins and websites facilitating the trading of skins for cash.
Beyond the technical and legal implications of the skins gambling industry, however, there is a larger moral question: if you lose money doing something illegal, do the parties who facilitated the illegal transaction bear any responsibility for your loss? The answer is, "of course not" and hopefully, any judge in his or her right mind will throw this lawsuit out and hopefully awards massive costs against this idiotic fool McLeod.
Christal McGee was behind the wheel of her father's white Mercedes, 18-years-old and on her way home from work on a Thursday night in September 2015, when she pulled out her phone and opened the Snapchat application. Snapchat has a filter that allows users to record their speed of travel and she wanted to see how fast she could go. So McGee accelerated, then accelerated some more, reaching 113 miles per hour on a suburban road outside Atlanta where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.
She didn't see Maynard Wentworth, an Uber driver just starting his shift that night, until it was too late. She hit him at 107 miles per hour. Wentworth suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalised for months. He and his wife commenced a lawsuit against McGee and Snapchat for negligence. The narrative of that night was outlined in a civil complaint filed in April 2016, which alleged that Snapchat was equally responsible for the cause of the crash because the company did not delete the "miles per hour" filter from the application after it was cited in similar accidents prior to the September 2015 crash.
The complaint and a statement from Wentworth's lawyer, Michael L Neff, explained that night like this: McGee was driving several of her friends home from work at a local restaurant in Hampton, a suburb of Atlanta. One of the friends was pregnant, according to the statement from Neff's office. Over the pregnant passenger's objections, McGee urged the Mercedes faster and faster. She argued, according to the statement, that she was trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour so she could post it on Snapchat. McGee's passengers saw the filter hit 113 miles per hour. The teen was just about to post the Snapchat, the statement says, when she crashed into Wentworth's Mitsubishi.
The collision caused Wentworth "permanent brain damage," the complaint said, rendering him unable to work and causing him to lose 22.7 kilograms since the wreck. McGee hit her head on the windshield of the Mercedes, then Snapchatted a photo of herself backboarded in a neck brace, blood trickling down her forehead, according to the statement. The caption on the Snapchat read: "Lucky to be alive."
Wentworth's lawyers argued that McGee's behaviour could have been prevented, had Snapchat taken greater precautions with its miles per hour filter. "On and before September 10, 2015, Snapchat knew that wrecks had occurred due to the use of Snapchat's app while driving at high speed," the complaint said. "Despite Snapchat's actual knowledge of the danger from using its product's speed filter while driving at excessive speeds, Snapchat did not remove or restrict access to the speed filter." A Snapchat spokesman stated that he could not speak about pending lawsuits, but added that a warning not to Snapchat while driving has always been included in the application.
Of course blaming Snapchat for a feature of its software allegedly causing an accident is like blaming every smartphone manufacturer and operating system maker for accidents caused by people driving and texting at the same time and there are plenty of examples of this. This accident could have also been prevented if Mercedes Benz had not manufactured the car in which McGee drove on that night. The accident would not have happened if the state administration had not provided the road on which McGee drove. The accident would not have occurred if McGee's parents had used contraception and she had never been born. These are the sort of ludicrous pretexts that are no different from blaming Snapchat for this accident.
The truth is that this accident had nothing whatsoever to do with Snapchat or anything else to do with a phone. It had everything to do with the utter stupidity and negligence of Christal McGee, who had to know that driving at double the speed limit while fiddling with a phone application was incredibly dangerous.
This is yet another example of an American litigant trying to extort money out of a company that had nothing to do with the problem. Quite a few years ago, somebody tried to sue the Colt Firearms Corporation because people were being shot and killed by Colt pistols. Would they have sued Wiltshire Cutlery because somebody was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife? Or would they have sued the Acme Hammer Company (fictitious, courtesy of Wiley Coyote) for somebody being bashed to death with an Acme hammer? Of course not.
So the same goes for Snapchat. It is no more responsible for idiots misusing its application than a tool manufacturer's hammer being used to kill somebody. The entire fault for any accident or death caused by a person misusing anything lies with the person, not the implement and this is why this lawsuit against Snapchat should be thrown out on its ear. That ambulance-chasing lawyer Michael L Neff should be severly reprimanded for trying to extort money from Snapchat or even blaming the company for the stupidity and negligence of his client. The entire US legal system needs to be overhauled to prevent this sort of nonsense from being perpetrated in the future.
Dale Anthony Charles Austin, who sued Western Power after trespassing on a disused Perth Hills quarry and receiving a 22,000 volt jolt that caused his lower legs to be amputated, had his case thrown out of the Western Australian District Court. One night in July 2002, Austin and three associates entered the quarry near Cobbler Pool. The quarry was owned by Boral and shut down in 1998.
According to a decision published by Judge Philip Eaton, the entry occurred after one of the associates had secured exclusive access to the quarry by removing a padlock on a gate and replacing it with one of his own. The four young men were seeking electric cable, comprised mainly of valuable copper, which had earlier been noticed at the quarry.
Austin climbed onto an old electricity transformer at the quarry and with metal wire-cutters in hand, leaned toward a wire which, unbeknown to him, carried 22,000 volts. Before he was able to make contact with the wire, the current leapt to his wire cutters and passed through him. Austin later had both legs amputated below the knees before being fitted with prosthetic legs.
Austin then sued Western Power for damages because it had not disconnected the electricity to the quarry, among other purported reasons. In response, Western Power argued that the line had been live so that any interference with it by a fallen tree for example could be monitored remotely. There was also ample signage indicating the danger of high-voltage electricity.
Western Power pleaded that Austin was not owed a duty of care because he was a trespasser at the quarry who intended to commit, or was committing the offence of stealing, attempted stealing or attempted criminal damage.
Judge Eaton agreed. "It was the plaintiff's criminal conduct that led him to be exposed to the risk," Judge Eaton noted. “But for the criminal conduct, the plaintiff and his companions would not have been at the quarry on the night in question. I conclude that the only persons who were likely to be exposed to the risk that the plaintiff exposed himself to on the night in question would be those engaged in the same activity as the plaintiff and his companions, that being criminal conduct.” Judge Eaton dismissed Austin's claim for damages.
And rightly so. No criminal should ever be rewarded for misdeeds or illegal acts. Austin and his mates were stupid idiots for breaking into that quarry to steal copper wire and Austin almost paid the supreme penalty and a spot in the Darwin Awards. Unfortunately he survived and unless the electric shock hopefully fried his testicles too, he will probably pass on his Stupid Gene to an unfortunate offspring.
Former Nova 96.9 radio weekend breakfast presenter and novice paraglider Mathew McHugh, 33, had his left leg amputated below the knee after he hit a rock face at "free-fal"” speed while paragliding at Cook Terrace, Mona Vale Headland in 2014. He is suing a northern beaches council and the sport's governing body for more than $2 million, saying that they failed to warn him that the site was dangerous. McHugh was not insured, had only 30 hours flying experience and had never flown at Cook Terrace when he crashed into the rock face. He fractured his spine in four places, shattered his pelvis, broke his right ankle and foot and waited two hours for a rescue team to untangle him from a tree branch.
McHugh claims that the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) website should have classed the headland as a site for intermediate and advanced paragliders and warned that novices should not try to fly there. He also claimed Pittwater Council should have placed a sign at the site warning of past paragliding accidents. Insurers for the council and the federation both plan to strongly defend the claim. The HGFA has hit back by launching its own investigation, claiming that McHugh was flying "illegally" because he was not being supervised by a senior safety officer or a duty pilot.
McHugh's lawyer John Kambas said that they were not denying paragliding was dangerous. "What we are saying is that if he had a warning sign, if the website said this is an intermediate site, not a novice site, he would not have gone."
This is another one of those completely unjustified lawsuits, where a person who was allegedly a responsible adult, took a very obvious risk by jumping off a cliff while hanging from a piece of canvas, severely injured himself and is now blaming his foolhardiness on somebody else. Even an imbecile would realise that paragliding comes with risks and there are no guarantees of safety whatsoever. Even the most experienced paragliders in the world have been killed while engaging in this activity and McHugh would have known this. It's a dangerous pastime.
But McHugh is suing the HGFA and Pittwater Council for his own negligence. Why the hell should Pittwater Council erect a sign saying something like "Jumping Off This Cliff Is Dangerous" and why should the HGFA somehow take responsibility for McHugh's foolishness? HGFA had absolutely no requirement to class any places as dangerous or safe - this is entirely up to the fool who is thinking of jumping off those places to assess the risk. And does McHugh expect every place and every thing to carry warnings? Does he expect every razor blade to carry a placard stating that it is sharp? Does he expect a meal in a restaurant to have a sign stating that the food was dangerous because he tries to eat it, he might inadvertently choke on it and die?
However, the HGFA is very wrong in claiming that McHugh was flying "illegally" because he was not being supervised by a senior safety officer or a duty pilot. The HGFA is nothing more than a private association and it has no jurisdiction over anybody and has no rule-making authority. What McHugh did was completely legal. However, McHugh is doing what Hotheads calls "Extortion By Lawsuit", where somebody commits a stupidity and is injured, then tries to extort money from others by claiming that it was their fault. This sort of lawsuit should not only be immediately disallowed and all costs awarded against the plaintiff, but in fact the plaintiff should be charged with attempted extortion.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank walked away from a multimillion-dollar court action against Crown Casino. Since 2009, the bank attempted to claw back more than $3 million stolen by former bank employee Kate Jamieson and gambled away at the casino. Just as the case was headed for trial, the bank agreed to dismiss the proceedings.
It was a big win for Crown, because a successful outcome for the bank could have exposed the casino operator to other claims from victims of crime, where the stolen money was later gambled away at the casino. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank did not comment on its reason for dismissing a case the bank had rigorously pursued for six years.
As recently as October 2014, the bank had lodged an amended statement of claim in the case, increasing the amount it was claiming from Crown from $1,508,546 to $3,060,077. The amended statement of claim said former bank employee Kate Jamieson stole or embezzled an amount of at least $3,221,134 between July 2001 and May 2004 from the bank. According to the statement of claim, 95% of the stolen money ended up at Crown.
"Between about July 2001 and May 2004, Jamieson paid at least $3,060,077 of the stolen funds to Crown," the statement of claim said. The money was lost "principally, if not exclusively, on poker machines" the bank claimed. The bank said that Crown "wilfully shut its eyes to the obvious fact that Jamieson had stolen all or most of the moneys wagered or bet by her at the casino". It added that Crown "wilfully and recklessly failed to make such inquiries as an honest and reasonable person would make as to the source of the funds wagered or bet by Jamieson at the casino".
The statement said Jamieson would lose up to $20,000 per visit to the casino, with most of the money paid in cash. "In recognition of her expenditure on gambling at the casino, Crown extended Jamieson other privileges including free meals and drinks; accommodation; tickets for herself and friends to events including the Australian Open Tennis, AFL Football, the Australian Grand Prix, The Melbourne Cup and limousine travel," the statement of claim said.
Jamieson's spending meant she was made a "Crown casino VIP Slots member". The claim said that Jamieson "must have appeared to Crown to be a person of ordinary circumstances and means" and the casino operator "failed to make any inquiry into Jamieson's employment or financial situation". Victoria's Gambling Regulation Act 2003 says: "If money is stolen or embezzled and paid to a person as or on account of a wager or bet, the person from whom it was stolen or embezzled may recover it, or a sum not exceeding its amount, in a court of competent jurisdiction from the person to whom it was paid".
Why the hell should any business, casino or otherwise, be responsible for enquiring as to where people get their money? It is simply none of their business, whether the venue is a casino, milk bar or supermarket. Imagine if a person went to a Mercedes showroom and asked to purchase a new vehicle costing $200,000. Does anybody in their right mind imagine that the Mercedes dealer would interrogate this potential client as to where he got the money? Of course not.
Casinos are not the police and should not be forced to play that role. If somebody shows up to gamble at a legal gambling premises, where they get the funds to do so is not the concern of the gambling premises. The Victorian law on the proceeds of a theft or embezzlement being used to gamble is extremely unfair. An embezzlement or theft is the business of the entity who stole the funds and the entity whose funds were stolen. It's nothing to do with a third party who receives some of those funds in any form of payment, whether it be as a gambling debt or the price of a car or indeed anything.
This is yet another example where the law tries to make somebody responsible for the acts of others., Crown Casino had nothing to do with the embezzlement of money by Jamieson and this idiotic lawsuit by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank should have never been allowed to proceed at all.
The victim of a brutal 2009 chimpanzee attack has told a US legislative committee that state regulators knew that Travis the chimp was dangerous but failed to protect her from him. Charla Nash, whose face and hands were ripped off by the animal, made her case before the General Assembly’s judiciary committee at a public hearing on whether she has the right to sue the state of Connecticut for $US150 million ($A166.27 million).
She is seeking damages from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, claiming the agency failed in its regulatory duty to protect the public from dangerous animals. State Claims Commissioner J Paul Vance Jr dismissed Nash’s multimillion-dollar claim in 2013, but the General Assembly has the power to pass legislation that would reverse Vance’s decision.
Permanently blind and disfigured from the mauling, Nash was led into the hearing by her daughter, 22-year-old Briana Nash. "I'm hoping I can have a lawsuit that will allow me the means to pay my medical bills and allow me the chance to live a comfortable life," said Nash, speaking slowly during her testimony. "Just as importantly, I want to make sure that what happens to myself never happens to anyone else again."
Attorney General George Jepsen urged lawmakers to dismiss the claim. The office’s lawyers argue that the state has a duty to protect the general public in regulatory matters but not any specific individual who might be injured by a person who is not complying with state regulations. Jepsen said that granting Nash the right to sue the state would open the floodgates to future regulatory claims and set dangerous precedent that would subject taxpayers to costly litigation.
Nash's lawyer Charles Willinger slammed Jepsen's floodgate argument. He said the facts of Nash's case were so horrendously unique that it could never be used to establish precedent. Willinger cited a memo from a department biologist three months before the attack that described Travis as an accident waiting to happen. The October 2008 memo was authored by Elaine Hinsch, who warned other officials at the environmental agency that Travis had grown too powerful and dangerous to remain with his owner, Sandra Herold of Stamford, who was Nash's friend and employer.
This is yet another case of a person trying to sue the wrong party. The injuries suffered by Nash are horrendous, but the chimpanzee was a pet owned by her employer, who was responsible for the acts of this animal. Nash should be suing her, not the government. In any case, any person who decides to have a jungle animal for a pet is crazy. There is an issue of personal responsibility of the chimp's owner to safeguard others from any danger posed by the animal, so again, the chimp's owner is liable for the injuries suffered by Nash.
Quite rightly, State Claims Commissioner J Paul Vance Jr dismissed Nash’s multimillion-dollar claim in 2013 and this attempt by Nash to hold the state of Connecticut liable for something it did not do should be thrown out. It's a very sad case, but when lawsuits should always be aimed at the entities who are responsible for the damages.
A self-proclaimed online dating rube from New York slapped online dating site OkCupid with a lawsuit after a man he met on the singles site swindled him out of more than $70,000. Hopeless romantic Michael Picciano blamed OkCupid and its parent company, IAC, for failing to conduct even minimal screening of its subscribers and therefore deceptively creating the impression that their dating service was safe, when in fact it was a trap for the unwary, he claimed in his Manhattan civil suit.
Picciano, 65, first received a message from “genuineguy62” on 11 February 2013. He said that he felt safe and trusted his online match, purportedly a man named Bruce Thompson, simply because he had a profile on OkCupid, which bills itself as the best free dating site. By March 2013, the two had spoken on the phone, over Skype and through their personal email accounts. He even agreed to Thompson’s suggestion to delete their online accounts since "they had found each other", according to court papers.
Picciano says he felt comfortable with his new beau and readily agreed to wire Thompson $24,000 for allegedly unexpected fees that he incurred in his dealings setting up a new computer parts business, even though the instructions required him to send the money to a Dennis E. Racer in Addison, Texas and an Edmond Thebeau in Canada. Then in April, Picciano, perhaps blinded by his new-found love, sent yet another payment of $46,420 at Thompson’s request to MacBenson and Associates in Britain through his Capital One bank account, the suit stated.
That same month, Picciano got wise to the ruse and a friend helped him track down Thompson on a site called malescammers.com. "It was apparent that Mr Thompson had used the same Cleveland, Ohio based phone number and the same email address with Mr Picciano that he had used to perpetrate other frauds," the suit says. Picciano went to police and a detective told him to stay in touch with Thompson. Eventually the fraudster sent him a forged check and a loan note, but the crime lab found no fingerprints and could not trace the software used to create the phony cheque.
Picciano finally stopped communicating with his ill-fated love interest in June 2013, but he says the con man is still trolling for victims on OkCupid under the screen name "bigheartedbt". He wants to recoup the money he lost in the swindle. He is also suing his bank, Capital One, for "failing to comply with proper procedures for the transmission of wire funds".
So this stupid schmuck met a scammer on a dating website, took absolutely no steps to ascertain whether this great love of his was genuine, then proceeded to send piles of money to this guy, even when every indication pointed to it being a scam. So he decided to blame everybody but himself for his own stupidity and gullibility by suing the dating website and his bank, even though he quite voluntarily sent money to the scammer via his bank account. The bank didn't send the money - Picciano did.
Dating websites are notorious for being the playground of scammers, who make fortunes from the gullibility of idiots like Picciano. But why is he suing the website? Because the website didn't screen the people on it? Hell, that's the job of the people who hook up with prospective romantic applicants. It's up to them to figure out whether these people are genuine or not. Why should a dating website be held responsible because Picciano didn't exercise due diligence when he hooked up with this scammer?
As for suing the bank, that's even more stupid and unjustified. Picciano had total control of his funds and if he decided to transfer those funds to somebody, that was entirely up to him. His bank isn't there to nursemaid him with every transaction he makes and check up on the people to whom he is transferring money. It's just a bank, not a detective agency. Picciano should be ashamed of himself for even trying this disgusting and unjustified attempt at extorting money from the dating website and his bank.
However, a lot of these stupid lawsuits, like those cases where gamblers sue casinos when they lose fortunes through their own stupidity, should result in the targets of those lawsuits filing cross-claims and suing the crap out of the complainants. Why should this dating website and the bank be forced to spend a fortune on legal fees to fight this case when Picciano would most likely claim that he had no money to pay those costs when he loses the case, as he surely will? All these types of cases should never be allowed to proceed unless the plaintiffs lodge substantial amounts of money as sureties to cover the costs of the defendants when they lose those idiotic lawsuits.
American student Rachel Canning, already legally an adult at the age of 18 years, who sued to get her parents to support her after she moved out of their home has reunited with them. The lawyer representing Rachel Canning's parents said in a statement that her return is not contingent on any financial or other considerations. A judge denied Canning's request for child support and to have her parents pay her remaining high school tuition. But the judge scheduled an April 2014 court date to consider the overarching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter.
State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard sounded sceptical of some of the claims in the lawsuit, saying it could lead to teens thumbing their noses at their parents, leaving home and then demanding financial support. "Are we going to open the gates for 12-year-olds to sue for an Xbox? For 13-year-olds to sue for an iPhone?" he asked. "We should be mindful of a potentially slippery slope."
Canning had left her parents' house on 30 October 2013, two days before she turned 18 after a tumultuous stretch during which her parents separated and reconciled and she began getting into uncharacteristic trouble at school. In court filings, Canning's parents, retired Lincoln Park police chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she didn't want to abide by reasonable household rules.
These included being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence. They say that shortly before she turned 18, she told her parents that she would be an adult and could do whatever she wanted. She said in her lawsuit that her parents were abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship. They say they were supportive, helped her through the eating disorder and paid for her to go to a private school where she would not get as much playing time in basketball as she would have at a public school. Canning had been living in Rockaway Township with the family of her best friend. The friend's father, John Inglesino, was paying for the lawsuit.
Sean and Elizabeth Canning should have told their daughter to get lost, never allowed her to move back into their home with them and simply written her off as a big mistake. At the age of 18 years, Rachel Canning is an adult and is fully responsible for herself and has no right to leech off her parents or demand anything from them. Just as children are not responsible for the crimes of their parents, it is the same in reverse, that parents are not responsible for the crimes or stupidity of their children.
Sometimes parents have to deal with idiotic offspring in harsh ways, but as in this case, if Rachel Canning went to to the extent of suing her parents because she is a spoiled brat with a misguided sense of entitlement, Sean and Elizabeth Canning should just remove this stupid and ungrateful bitch from their lives and get on with enjoying their remaining years together. Rachel Canning should not get one red cent from her parents under any circumstances and should be booted out of their house forever and never be permitted to make contact with them again.
As for the judge who is going to consider whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter, this should not even be happening. No person should ever be held responsible for supporting another adult, whether that person is an offspring, sibling or any other relative or not related at all. Slavery was abolished a long time ago and forcing somebody to support another adult is a form of slavery and should never ever be countenanced.
A US businessman who lost $500,000 at a Las Vegas casino says he should not have to pay, because he was too drunk. Californian Mark Johnston sued the Downtown Grand for serving him drinks and lending him money while he says he was clearly intoxicated. The 52-year-old arrived at the casino on 30 January 2014 and played at the tables for 17 hours. Under Nevada law, patrons who are visibly drunk are not meant to gamble. The casino, which has not commented, reportedly intends to legally pursue Johnston for the debt.
Johnston said that the Downtown Grand served him 20 alcoholic beverages during his gambling session, on top of about 10 drinks he had consumed before even arriving at the casino. "Look, I had some drinks at the airport," he admitted. "I had a drink on the plane. You know, at some point that's my responsibility, OK. But the unfortunate part about it for them is that they have a more, bigger responsibility than I do. Just picture a drunk walking down the street and somebody goes up and just pickpockets him. That's how I characterise it."
His lawyer, Sean Lyttle, said that it was an extraordinary case. "Someone was blackout intoxicated where they couldn't read their cards and yet a casino continued to serve them drinks and issue them more markers." Lyttle said that his client had put a stop-payment order on the markers issued by the Downtown Grand, and was also seeking damages from the casino for sullying his name. The Nevada gaming control board is investigating the matter.
Here is yet another case where a moron decides to sue a casino because he lost a fortune through his own negligence and stupidity. He didn't have to accept any alcoholic drinks. Nobody held a gun to his head and forced him to get drunk. In fact he had been drinking alcohol before he even got to the casino. So why does he expect the casino to be his nursemaid?
The one common factor in all these unjustified lawsuits against casinos is that if the idiots who lost a fortune for whatever reason had actually won a fortune, they would never dream of returning the money. This irresponsible cretin Mark Johnson would not be saying a word if he had won $500,000 while gambling when he was drunk. It's only when these bastards lose that they try and get out of paying their debts by blaming the casinos and trying to make them responsible for their stupidity.
The worst thing is that in most places, laws have been passed to force casinos to be nursemaids and nannies to their patrons and keep an eye on them and make sure that they didn't get drunk, drugged or somehow incapacitated through their own negligence. Every casino should be indemnified against idiots like Mark Johnson and have signs stating, "If you get drunk or stoned or incapacitated by your own choice and you lose money in this casino, we take no responsibility for your idiocy and we will pursue you for every cent you owe us."
In February 2014, it was reported that a US man was suing McDonald’s for US$1.5 million after a restaurant in California gave him only one serviette with his meal. Webster Lucas said that staff at the McDonalds in Pacoima only gave him one serviette with his Quarter Pounder deluxe and when he asked for extra ones, the manager refused, saying he’d already been given one.
In an email to the store’s general manager, Lucas claimed that the fallout from the serviette incident has left him unable to work because of "undue mental anguish and the intentional infliction of emotional distress". Lucas then said, "I should have went to eat at the Jack-in-the-Box because I didn’t come here to argue over napkins. I came here to eat." Lucas, an American negro, alleged that the manager was then racist towards him, mumbling something that sounded like "you people". He is seeking US$1.5 million in damages from McDonald’s.
This has to be one of the most stupidly vexatious and worthless lawsuits of all time. By filing such an action, Lucas should be arrested and charged with attempted extortion. McDonalds is under no legal or moral obligation to give that dickhead any serviettes, but if Lucas claimed that denying him an extra serviette caused him undue mental anguish and the intentional infliction of emotional distress, heaven only knows how he would react to something serious or life-threatening. He would probably die of fright, which might be a damn good thing and rid this moron from the face of the planet.
The problem with the legal systems in the USA, Britain and Australia is that cases like this actually are allowed to be filed. When Lucas went to put in his lawsuit, the court registrar should have taken one look at it and told him to fuck off before he called the police to arrest him for extortion. Unfortunately, bastards like Lucas are permitted to file the most vexatious and worthless lawsuits and cost their victims a lot of money.
Of course it can be safely assumed that Lucas is broke and could never pay the costs that McDonalds will be forced to expend to defend this worthless piece of shit. If Lucas had tangible assets that would be placed at risk if he had to pay the legal costs of McDonalds when he lost this idiotic lawsuit, he would never contemplate running such a worthless case in the first place. It's usually only insolvent bastards who try and extort money from large corporations with ridiculous claims like this and they need to be stopped in their tracks.
A pimp is suing Nike for $US100 million after being convicted of brutally stomping a man while wearing a pair of Air Jordans. Sirgiorgiro Clardy, 26, claims that the shoe manufacturer should have placed a label on the sneakers warning consumers that they could be used as a dangerous weapon. The US man was handed a 100-year prison sentence for repeatedly stomping the face of a customer who was trying to leave a Portland hotel without paying Clardy's prostitute in June 2012. The man required plastic surgery and stitches. The jury also found Clardy guilty of robbing the john and beating the 18-year-old prostitute so badly that she bled from her ears.
Clardy, who is representing himself, claims that Nike, Chairman Phil Knight and other executives failed in their duty of care by not warning customers about their "dangerous" product. "Under product liability, there is a certain standard of care that is required to be up-held by potentially dangerous product," Clardy said in his handwritten filing. "Due to the fact that these defendants named in this Tort claim failed to warn of risk or to provide an adequate warning or instruction, it has caused personal injury in the likes of mental suffering." During his two-week trial, a psychologist declared Clardy an anti-social psychopath who was 100 per cent likely to commit violent crimes again.
The simple truth is that literally anything can become "dangerous" and can be used to maim or kill people. Clardy could have wrapped his underpants around the neck of his victim and strangled him to death and then sued the underwear manufacturer for not putting a label on this garment that stated "These knickers are deadly - use with extreme caution."
Clardy is not only a dangerous and violent bastard who should never be let out of jail, but he's an idiot as well. There is no way that he will get a penny out of Nike with his preposterous and totally unjustified lawsuit. However, Nike will have to spend time and money dealing with this ridiculous claim and this is why there really needs to be some sort of review process to stop cases like this from actually proceeding and wasting a courts time and resources.
A lawyer filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice to overturn the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Kenyan lawyer Dola Indidis argues that the trial was unlawful and is demanding that Israel and Italy be held responsible. Indidis, a Roman Catholic and former spokesperson for the Kenyan Judiciary, filed the lawsuit regarding Jesus's death with the International Court of Justice, based at The Hague in the Netherlands.
He filed the lawsuit against Pontius Pilate, several Jewish elders, King Herod, Emperor Tiberius of Rome, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel. "I filed the case because it's my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth," Indidis stated. "His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice."
The International Court of Justice created a preliminary panel to consider Indidis's case, but there was a small problem. "The ICJ has no jurisdiction for such a case," an ICJ spokesperson stated. "The ICJ settles disputes between states. It is not even theoretically possible for us to consider this case."
Indidis has tried to file this case before. In 2007, he submitted his case to the Kenyan High Court in Nairobi, but it was rejected for not having enough legal standing, especially since parties Indidis wishes to prosecute have been dead for 2,000 years.
One has to wonder how this idiot became a lawyer in the first place. Firstly, people who have been dead fo millennia, not just centuries, cannot be prosecuted. Secondly, Italy and Israel as they are known today, did not exist at the time of the alleged death of Jesus. Thirdly, this fool would have to prove that Jesus even existed, as there is not a shred of credible evidence to show this. In fact there is not one writing from the year 1AD to the year 33AD, the alleged lifetime of Jesus, that even mentions him, so there is a good chance that the whole Jesus story is nothing but fiction.
The first thing that needs to be done is to examine Indidis and see if he is a fit and proper person to be a lawyer, because nobody in their right mind would try and run a case like this. In any event, even if this idiotic case managed to get off the ground and Indidis won, what then? Neither Italy or Israel would even give this dope the time of day, no matter what the ICJ ruled. So all Indidis has done so far is waste the time and resources of the Kenyan High Court and the IJC, who should have told him to get lost right away.
An American man who was robbed at home of more than $US35,000 in gambling winnings sued the casino where he won the money, arguing a cashier should have issued him a cheque instead of cash. David Hayes was robbed at gunpoint of the stack of $100 bills when two armed men woke him at home hours after he left the Hollywood Casino Columbus in Ohio with his winnings.
Hayes filed suit against the casino's operator, contending that he asked for a cheque when he cashed out his blackjack winnings but was given cash instead. He claimed that the clerk wrote down his identification information, including his address, on a piece of paper, and held it up for him to confirm, making it visible to anyone in the vicinity. However, the casino said that Hayes's losses were due to his own negligence and unforeseeable misconduct by third parties over whom the casino had no control.
Hayes said that the cashier gave him 358 $100 bills in a manila folder that she stapled shut, telling him that he should take future winnings in the form of a cheque. He claimed that when he said he wanted a cheque, she told him it was too late. A casino security guard then escorted him to his car. Hayes was robbed hours later by two armed men who entered his house through an unlocked back door. In the lawsuit, Hayes stated that the men asked for "the money you won tonight.'' Two men were arrested and charged after one of them began bragging about the robbery.
If Hayes was so apprehensive about taking cash instead of a cheque, he could have taken responsible measures to safeguard the money, such as asking the casino to put the manila envelope with the cash in the casino's safe until he could collect it the next day and take it to the bank, hopefully escorted by somebody to deter being robbed. Hayes could have even changed that money back for casino chips,then redeemed them for a cheque. Obviously he didn't have the brains to work this out.
However, Hayes did nothing, took the cash home and was robbed, then blamed the casino for his own negligence, especially the stupidity of leaving his back door unlocked when he had a large amount of cash in his house. He only had himself to blame, but like so many losers, he tried to blame somebody else for his stupidity and misfortune and one can only hope that his worthless lawsuit fails and he has to recompense the casino for its costs and damages.
After threatening to sue a US television station, Asiana Airlines has decided not to file a lawsuit against US television station KTVU news Channel 2 in Oakland that aired what it claimed were false and offensive names for the pilots involved in the fatal San Francisco plane crash on 06 July 2013. The South Korean airline had earlier said it was planning a defamation lawsuit against the station over its coverage of the crash.
The TV station identified the pilots of the Asiana Boeing 777 as Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. KTVU cited the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as its source, but quickly realised the mistake and apologised. Asiana also said it would sue the NTSB but backtracked and withdrew the same threat against KTVU.
Even though the aircraft crash was a tragedy, Asiana could not see the satire in the TV station concocting the names of the pilots - Sum Ting Wong (Something Wrong), Wi Tu Lo (We Too Low), Ho Lee Fuk (Holy Fuck) and Bang Ding Ow (Bang Ding Ow), very obviously a play on the accident. But it was idiotic for Asiana to claim that the names of the pilots were false and offensive, when somebody at the TV station merely exercised his sense of humour.
The point is that nobody has the right to be offended and Asiana may not have liked the fact that somebody satirised the accident, but it was obviously and very transparently a joke. That is why Asiana probably came to its senses and withdrew the threat of its stupid lawsuit because its lawyers probably told the airline that it would lose badly.
American lawyer Chris Sevier is suing Apple, claiming the tech giant wrecked his marriage after he became addicted to pornography while using one of its devices. He stated that he accessed a wide range of pornography, to which he became addicted, after accidentally typing Fuckbook instead of Facebook into Apple Safari's web browser.
In the 50-page complaint filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court, Sevier claimed that Apple should have installed a porn filter after he was able to access it unrestricted on the Internet. He also said that since Apple is concerned with American values and "our nation's children", it should sell all its devices in "safe mode" with software preset to filter out pornographic content.
Sevier said that his problem began when he made the typograpical error that enabled him to access the site which appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male and led to an unwanted addiction with adverse consequences. He also alleged that the addiction led to unfair competition between porn stars and his wife. Sevier stated that filters would not only help people with addictions, but would also help "mom and pop'" bricks and mortar porn shops because it would be harder for websites to survive.
Here is yet another instance of somebody trying to extort money from somebody else for his own errors and problems. He is the one who made the typographical error. He is the one who was weak enough to become addicted to pornography websites to the extent that it wrecked his marriage. Apple did absolutely nothing to cause these problems - they are entirely Sevier's fault.
The thing is that Sevier could have done the same thing on his desktop computer using browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and some others. Does that mean that if he wound up on pornography sites because he used those browsers that it is the fault of the companies that made them available? It is certain that he surfed pornography sites from desktop computers too, so is he going to sue those browser makers for his stupid porn addiction too?
It is not the responsibility of Internet browser makers to police the activities of users, nor is it their responsibility to pre-install filters that restrict users from visiting any websites they choose. In fact if this happened, there would be a massive outcry from most people, who treasure the freedom of the Internet and do not see that it is any business of browser makers to tell them where they can visit.
Sevier's case should be thrown out on its ear, because his problems are all of his own making. But the court should award massive punitive damages to Apple for having to suffer this idiotic and unjustified lawsuit, hopefully sending Sevier to the poorhouse. Sevier has no right to blame anybody else for his addiction and he has no right to try and extort money from anybody in this way. What he does is his own personal responsibility and he and others like him should never be allowed to get away with such flagrant attempts at blaming others for problems of their own making.
A Qantas flight crew who endured a near-disastrous engine explosion are leading a class action over the trauma they suffered in the mid-air incident. The 17 crew from NSW are the first to sign up to the negligence lawsuit against global engine giant Rolls Royce, claiming psychological injury as a result of the engine failure over Indonesia on 04 November 2010.
The suit was lodged by LHD Lawyers in the Supreme Court on 06 February 2013 and the lead plaintiff is 31-year-old flight attendant Sandy Lam from Eastwood, who has worked for Qantas for five years. Lam, who was working in premium economy on the day of the engine explosion, allegedly suffers from a fear of flying and can no longer fill her car with petrol. She stated that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The class action lawyers succeeded in forcing Qantas to hand over the passenger manifest for flight QF32, which had departed from Singapore and was bound for Sydney. The lawyers hope to use the list of names to ask passengers if they have suffered psychological injury and wish to join the action for compensation. There were 469 people on the flight - including 24 cabin crew and 440 passengers - when the explosion tore through Airbus A380's second engine as it flew over Batam Island in Indonesia.
Rolls Royce was being blamed for the loss and damage suffered by the 17 crew because it was responsible.The failure was allegedly triggered by a fatigue cracking in a stub pipe, which was designed, manufactured and installed by Rolls Royce. The 17 crew have been psychologically examined and are still working for Qantas. LHD Lawyers are representing them in the action on a no-win no-fee basis.
Barrister John Rowe said: "Our clients suffer from varying degrees of psychiatric trauma and some can no longer fly." Following the incident, Rolls Royce did an engine recall to fix any problems. The claim does not make any allegations against Qantas. Qantas and Rolls Royce declined to comment. The case returns to court on 02 July 2013.
The problem with lawsuits such as this one is that it completely ignores the fact that there is an element of risk in aviation and every crew member of every airline knows this before they accept such a job. Furthermore, cabin crew are thoroughly trained in all sorts of emergency procedures, so they know all about the risks of flying before they even are assigned as cabin crew.
Therefore, if they know that those risks exist and they continue to work as cabin crew, then they have no grounds to blame anybody if the risks are realised and they are injured, suffer trauma or are even killed. That's part of the job description and they accept it when they take the job in the first place.
Modern aircraft are very complex machines, with literally millions of components, all of which are subject to failure, either in flight or on the ground, occasionally causing catastrophic consequences. Anybody who flies on such airliners would have to be complete imbeciles if they did not understand this, so if they proceed, they have to accept the risk and the consequences. But for any cabin crew to sue one of those aircraft component makers for trauma is simply ludicrous, because they knew about the risks of flying and they accepted this by taking jobs as cabin crew.
Of course the ambulance chasers are very visible in this scenario, as law firm LHD are not only representing these 17 cabin crew members on a no-win no-fee basis, but they have been given access to the passenger manifest of that flight, so that they can contact the passengers and enrol them into the class action, increasing the amount sought as compensation from Rolls Royce and naturally, their fat fee if they win.
As for cabin attendant Sandy Lam, if she was so easily traumatised by an incident such as engine failure, she should have never accepted any sort of job that involved her being in an aircraft in the first place and she has only herself to blame for her condition.
A Port Macquarie breast surgeon who sued Google for defamation over an auto-complete search suggestion that he believed had cost him clients has withdrawn his case. The suit, filed by Dr Guy Hingston in the US District Court in California, claimed that when you type "Guy Hin ..." into Google, the words "Guy Hingston bankrupt" appear in the auto-complete. He claimed this was defamatory as he was not bankrupt.
Hingston has since withdrawn his case. "I decided it was better to focus on my primary role as an oncoplastic breast surgeon," he stated. He withdrew the case on 07 March 2013. Hingston was seeking at least $US75,000 in damages plus court costs for the "significant harm and economic loss" caused by the matter. Although Hingston was bankrupted in August 2009, this has since been declared invalid.
A Google Australia spokesman said he had no comment to offer on Hingston's withdrawal. Google has been involved in several lawsuits around the world in the past year around its autocomplete suggestions, and has increasingly been held responsible for content on its search pages.
This stupid lawsuit should have never even been allowed to proceed. Google is a search engine and really has no content of its own. It facilitates searches by using an auto-complete function to assist people in finding material that Google has indexed. The fact that Hingston had been declared bankrupt in 2009 obviously was indexed by Google and appeared in its auto-complete function, no differently than if somebody had searched for Hotheads on Google and the auto-complete had suggested Muslim terrorist because Hotheads has commented on Muslim terrorists.
Google states on its website that auto-complete results are a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google. And that shows that Google does not actually produce defamatory material itself, but merely indexes the searches of users and the content of websites and intelligently provides ways for people o find relevant material on the Internet.
Google should never be held responsible for merely trying to assist users in finding what they want. It is the leading search engine by far, simply because it has those functions. People like Hingston need to get a life, instead of trying to persecute Google for doing nothing more than correlating facts and putting them to good use.
Publicans and bouncers can be held liable for injuries suffered by their patrons if they fail to stop thuggish violence before it occurs, a court has ruled. In a landmark decision for pubs and clubs, Supreme Court judge Ian Harrison said bouncers had a duty to anticipate and prevent violence. The decision is also a warning to venue owners that, even if the violence takes place outside their properties, they could face compensation payouts if their staff fail to act.
Justice Harrison awarded forklift driver John Orcher $1.4 million in September 2012 after he was assaulted by Tamiano Paseka, a glass collector at Rozelle's Bridge Hotel, outside the premises. In his decision, Justice Harrison said that alert and vigilant security guards had 2½ minutes to intervene before Paseka king hit Orcher but instead, just watched on from across the road. "It was an incident that unfolded before the very eyes of the onlooking security guards," Justice Harrison said.
The 33-year-old victim suffered a serious brain injury when he fell backwards and hit his head on the footpath. "It was a breach of duty to do nothing at all," Justice Harrison said of the bouncers. He found the security guard who was patrolling outside could and should have intervened before it escalated to the point of Paseka's attack upon Orcher.
This is complete and utter insanity on the part of this judge and proves yet again that the law is an ass. Firstly, nobody is clairvoyant. A bouncer or publican has no way of stopping a patron being king-hit or glassed, as this sort of assault happens within milliseconds. And how could a bouncer stop thuggish violence before it happens? If the thuggish behaviour has not happened yet, then there is nothing for a bouncer to do. What is he supposed to do? Walk up to patrons and throw them out on the grounds that he anticipates that they may be involved in thuggish violence before they do anything?
Secondly, bouncers and publicans should not be liable for any activities, incidents or injuries that occur outside their premises. As soon as patrons leave their premises, they should not be the responsibility of anybody but themselves. Why should a business owner be held liable for injuries that somebody else causes that are not on his premises? Even if such injuries occur in the street outside the door of the premises, the owner or his employees should not have to assume responsibility for the incidents. Why should the bouncers working for the Bridge Hotel have crossed the road to stop a brawl? It was none of their business.
This completely stupid ruling by Justice Harrison could extend to any premises. For instance, the owner of a milk bar could be held liable for injuries suffered in a brawl over the road from his shop. This is akin to what happened over the road from the Bridge Hotel in the case before Harrison. This judge has enshrined the idiotic victim mentality, where everybody else is somehow responsible for the acts of fools and thugs.
In this particular case, what would have been the consequences if the bouncers had intervened and grabbed the attacker and by attempting to restrain him, injured him, let's say, made him a quadriplegic? Would those bouncers be facing a multi-million dollar compensation lawsuit? It's time to stop this garbage, starting off with a legal appeal against the ridiculous verdict of Judge Harrison.
In October 2012, six Italian scientists and an ex-government official were sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L'Aquila. A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter. Among those convicted were some of Italy's most prominent and internationally respected seismologists and geological experts.
Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the earthquake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major earthquakes. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the city and killed 309 people. Many smaller tremors had rattled the area in the months before the quake that destroyed much of the historic centre.
The seven members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks were accused of having provided inexact, incomplete and contradictory information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 earthquake.
The case has alarmed many in the scientific community, who feel science itself has been put on trial. Some scientists have warned that the case might set a damaging precedent, deterring experts from sharing their knowledge with the public for fear of being targeted in lawsuits.
This is the sort of preposterous rubbish that brings the entire legal system into disrepute. It is no different than prosecuting weather forecasters for predicting a nice day at the beach and then a tsunami appears out of nowhere and kills hundreds of swimmers. Note that this case relies on what the scientists stated BEFORE the earthquake struck, not during or afterwards.
The Italian scientists may have considered that a slight tremor was nothing to worry about and this was just an opinion, most probably based on Previous experience. Unfortunately, the earthquake appeared out of nowhere and the scientists are being persecuted for not warning people about something that they could not possibly have known about.
One can only speculate what would have happened to those scientists if they would have warned that a major earthquake was about to occur and everybody should evacuate the area and nothing happened. Would those scientists have been prosecuted for erring on the side of caution and costing the community a fortune by getting them to evacuate at enormous cost?
In light of such incredibly stupid laws that would prosecute scientists on the grounds that they were not clairvoyant, all scientists in Italy should refuse to make any statements about the possibility of any natural phenomena on the grounds that they would place themselves at risk of prosecution. So if the scientists form an opinion that an earthquake is about to strike and they say nothing and hundreds or thousands of people die, then too bad.
A former student of one of Australia's most prestigious private schools launched a lawsuit against the academic institution after she failed to get into the law course of her choice. Rose Ashton-Weir, 18, claimed that the elite Geelong Grammar School did not provide her with adequate support.
As a result, her final high school score was insufficiently high enough to gain admittance to law at the University of Sydney, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard. Ashton-Weir was currently pursuing an arts and sciences degree at the University of Sydney. She had attended Geelong Grammar in 2008 and 2009, but left to continue her high school education in Sydney.
Ashton-Weir stated that the school had failed her. "It was incredibly detrimental to my academic skill and development," she said. Ashton-Weir, who was a boarder at the school, reportedly struggled with mathematics and scored 8out of 68 in one test. Despite this, she was placed in a regular class. The school's representative, Darren Ferrari, said every effort had been made to help the teen.
Ashton-Weir's mother, Elizabeth Weir, also sued Geelong Grammar School. Weir wanted $39,000 compensation for rent she paid when they moved to a new home after her daughter relocated from Geelong to Sydney. Weir also claims that Ashton-Weir's move resulted in her giving up her cookie business which would have raked in $450,000 over a three-year period.
Ferrari told the tribunal that Ashton-Weir had been suspended several times at Geelong Grammar, was absent from classes often and had failed to complete required school work. The hearing was scheduled to resume in August 2012.
Of all the asinine and worthless lawsuits on record, this one really takes the cake. If by some miracle Rose Ashton-Weir wins this lawsuit, it will mean that every student, no matter how lazy or academically rotten, will be able to sue a school for getting lousy marks and not being admitted to the university and degree course of their choice.
A school is not there to guarantee entry to a university. It is there to offer an education curriculum and it is entirely up to students to put in the necessary work to learn it and pass the final exams with high enough marks to be accepted by the universities of their choice. If students do not achieve those high marks, then it is entirely their fault that a university will not offer them a place. Obviously Ashton-Weir failed badly, getting a rotten 8 out of 68 in one test and skipping classes and not completing school work.
The quickest way that Geelong Grammar School could shoot down the preposterous claims of Ashton-Weir is to show that most of her peers did achieve high marks and were accepted for the degree courses of their choice, which will prove beyond doubt that the school was not negligent in its teaching methods or curriculum.
However, this case highlights why there should be a panel to quickly assess the merit of every lawsuit before it goes to an expensive hearing. Any rational and sensible person on such a panel examining Ashton-Weir's claim would just laugh at it before throwing it into the garbage. Unfortunately, VCAT has brought down some of the most stupid and worthless verdicts in Australian history, so this case could go any way.
A couple and their insurer have been ordered to pay $55,000 after an elderly aunt slipped on a gumnut while visiting their house. Florence Agnes Welch was 76 when she fell over while walking down the stairs at Tim and Jane Graham's Brisbane home in 2006. The Brisbane District Court heard late last week that Ms Welch slipped on a gumnut that had fallen onto the step from a nearby tree.
Ms Welch, who is Mrs Graham's aunt, sued the couple and NRMA Insurance over claims they breached their duty of care by not ensuring the path was kept clear.
Judge Bill Everson found in Ms Welch's favour, ruling that the Grahams were negligent in failing to provide and maintain a safe access to the house via the stairs by taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the stairs remained free of gumnuts. He awarded Ms Welch $55,000 in damages.
Without knowing all the intricacies of this matter, there are a few issues that seem to make this a stupid and unworthy lawsuit. Firstly, it is up to every person to watch where they walk. Florence Welch had the prime obligation to ensure her safety and look where she was walking, including on steps, to see if there was no hazard on them.
Secondly, that offending gumnut may have fallen on the step about three seconds before Florence Welch stepped on in, so it would be most unreasonable for the Grahams to have anticipated such an occurrence. But the bottom line in all these cases is - look before you leap - and the the reason that Florence Welch broke her leg was that she failed to look where she was going and that alone should have made her fully liable for her injuries.
There should be a fundamental change in the law, making it the entire responsibility of every individual to ensure their own safety, instead of foisting this onto others, like householders. A sign saying "Shallow Water" is not necessary in a swimming pool - it is up to any swimmer that uses that pool to ascertain if the depth is suitable for diving and if they are stupid enough to dive into shallow water, break their necks and become quadriplegics, that is not the fault of the swimming pool owner.
The Welch-Graham case is the sort of lawsuit that brings the law into disrepute. So many unworthy cases are not only allowed to waste the time of the court system, but often these cases without any merit whatsoever seem to succeed. So now Australia has a culture of ambulance-chasing lawyers and judges who award large amounts of money to people who don't deserve it, because the judges perceive that insurance companies actually do the paying, so they think that the defendants really don't get hurt if they award a lot of money to a plaintiff.
A 13-year-old schoolgirl is being sued by a classmate over a tennis court mishap at one of Queensland's top private schools in the latest blow to playground fun. The legal claim, over a bruised eye, has raised concerns that litigation-crazy parents could threaten the future of school sport by forcing up insurance costs.
This may also force parents to take out third-party accident insurance for their children. Several Queensland schools have already banned activities including tiggy, red rover and cartwheels because of injury fears.
The legal battle has embroiled the daughters of a leading Gold Coast cardiologist and an architect and the prestigious Somerset College. Cardiologist Guy Wright-Smith said he was gobsmacked to receive the damages claim, addressed to his 13-year-old daughter Julia, at his rooms.
The claim alleges that Julia had hit classmate Finley Enright-Burns in the eye with a tennis ball during a tennis lesson at the Mudgeeraba school last October. It alleges Julia was smashing balls back to Finley on the baseline when the incident happened. Finley did not go to hospital but is alleged to have suffered an eye injury which needed medical treatment.
The claim, filed on behalf of Finley by her architect father Paul Burns, also names Somerset College and its Jay Deacon's Tennis School as defendants. The claim says the tennis school failed to provide adequate supervision or protective eyewear and allowed Julia and Finley to stand too close together and Julia to hit two balls at once. Somerset College also breached its duty of care, the claim alleges.
Lawyer Bill Potts, who is not acting for the Wright-Smiths, said such lawsuits threatened the future of school sport by forcing up insurance costs. "While the girl's injuries are regrettable, there is also a sense with claims like this that we've gone too far and are becoming a litigious-crazy society like the USA," he said. "We can't wrap our kids in cotton wool. Are they going to start stopping kids from climbing trees and kicking balls? These great Australian pastimes are under threat if claims like this are successful."
There is a presumption that when playing any sport, there is a risk of injury. The only way to avoid being injured in sporting activity is to refrain from engaging in it. In this particular and really ridiculous case, imagine how ferocious Paul Burns would have been if he had been informed that his precious daughter Finley was banned from playing tennis because of the perceived danger? He would most probably have have gone ballistic, screamed about discrimination and most probably taken legal action against the school.
Kids have been playing tennis forever and have never needed protective eyewear. As for the claim of Burns that the school failed to provide adequate supervision, well what would he have had the supervising teacher do - stand next to Finley thoughout the tennis game and throw himself between her and the ball if it came close to her?
Paul Burns's case stinks to high heaven and not only should it be thrown out by the court, he should be forced to pay costs and damages to the school and to the defendant. Not only that, his daughter should be immediately expelled from the school on the grounds that because of her father, she poses an unacceptable risk to the business. As it is a private school, it is well within its rights to protect itself from litigation-happy people.
This absolutely ridiculous lawsuit is so completely without merit, that it should be the trigger for setting up a tribunal composed of people with pragmatic commonsense that would examine every matter prior to them proceeding further. Tf they are found to be stupid, then they would not be allowed to waste valuable time in a court.
In January 2012, the mother of Darcey Freeman, the child thrown from Melbourne's West Gate Bridge by her father, is suing the Victorian roads authority, saying barriers could have saved her child's life. Peta Barnes said VicRoads continually ignored advice to install anti-jump fencing. Darcey, 4, fell 50m after being tossed off the bridge by her father in 2009. Two days short of the third anniversary of Darcey's death, Barnes has begun Supreme Court action, claiming negligent death and nervous shock.
Details of her claim are being kept confidential after an application to the court by Barnes' lawyers. The court caps personal injury payouts but it is believed claims like Barnes' can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. She has since suffered post traumatic stress disorder and supports her two sons, who witnessed their sister's death.
Barriers on the bridge were first recommended by a coroner in 2004, when there were an average of eight suicides from the bridge a year. But the government initially accepted VicRoads advice that $10 million was too high a price for barriers. Immediately after Darcey's death, the government announced it would fast-track a $20 million plan to erect suicide-prevention fences. Since they were installed, there has been an 85 per cent decline in bridge suicides.
One cannot help but feel very sorry for Peta Barnes and her tragic loss, however this lawsuit is certainly not justified in any way. Firstly, no amount of money will bring her child Darcey back to Barnes, so suing the bridge operators is in essence a money-making attempt. Secondly, it is not the fault of the bridge that Darcey Freeman was killed. She was murdered by her father, who could have committed this heinous act anywhere.
What if Arthur Freeman had taken Darcey to a high-rise apartment block and thrown her from a 20th storey balcony? There is no requirement for anti-suicide barriers on apartment balconies. What if Freeman had taken Darcey on a cruise and thrown her off the side of an ocean liner? Would Barnes sue the shipping line? What if Freeman had merely killed Darcey with a kitchen knife? Could Barnes then sue the cutlery manufacturer? In all these examples, no way.
The claim by Barnes is flawed, because she says that anti-suicide barriers could have saved her child's life. That is wrong, because if Freeman was intent on killing Darcey and he could not do it using the bridge, then he would have done it in another way at another place. The only person responsible for this tragedy is Arthur Phillip Freeman and whether anti-suicide barriers were present or not, the bridge operators cannot be held responsible.
In November 2011, a retired sailor who blames the Royal Australian Navy for his drinking problem is one of four ex-servicemen suing the government because they drink, eat and smoke too much or suffer from erectile dysfunction. The four men have fronted the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia in separate attempts to force the nation's taxpayers to compensate them for their vices or erectile dysfunction.
Geoff Leitch, who lives in Tasmania, is one of three retired naval officers, all veterans of either the Korean or Vietnam wars, who blame their alcohol, tobacco and food demons on the stress of serving their country and a navy culture of excess. The tribunal heard that Leitch went from having a couple of cans of beer a fortnight when he enlisted in the navy in 1969 to at least six a night soon after experiencing the trauma of the Vietnam conflict. But the tribunal upheld an earlier decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs not to award him a pension usually reserved for serviceman suffering from war-related injuries or illness.
Leitch, 59, said he already received an ex-serviceman pension and disability pension for osteoarthritis in one of his knees, a fractured leg injury, and a hearing deficiency. But Leitch said he felt entitled to extra, as a result of his drinking problem, which he claims he developed in the navy. "I went from the junior ranks to the senior ranks in 1977 and when you get into the senior ranks the mess fridge was there and you could have a beer at 4:00pm," he said. "You could drink as much as you like and nobody complained as long as you showed up for your duties the next morning."
This is another classic case of blaming somebody else for your own stupidity and weakness. Plenty of servicemen managed to survive wars, severe trauma and other tribulations without becoming alcoholics, heavy smokers and remained sexually active too. These four ex-sailors don't seem to understand that they have a personal responsibility for their own actions.
The RAN did not force them to go to the bar fridge and drink copious amounts of beer because it was there. The RAN did not force them to smoke cigarettes. As for their erectile dysfunction, this is something that happens to a large percentage of males, but to blame their lack of sexual ability on the navy is just ludicrous. These men ought to be prosecuted for wasting a court's time at great expense on their claim, which has no merit whatsoever.
In November 2011 in one of the most head-spinning lawsuits to hit the US courts, a fugitive facing a murder charge who took a Kansas couple hostage is now suing his victims for not hiding him from police. Jesse Dimmick is seeking $235,000 from Jared and Lindsay Rowley in a breach of contract suit involving his 2009 invasion of their home.
Dimmick claims that the couple, newlyweds at the time, agreed to hide him for an unspecified amount of money. "Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities," Dimmick wrote in a notarised legal document. "As a result of the plaintiff's breach of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me," he wrote. "The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay."
The Rowleys are awaiting a ruling on their motion to have the suit dismissed, saying they never accepted Dimmick's offer of money and even if they had, their consent would have been given under duress. Dimmick, who was being pursued by police, entered the Rowley home and confronted them at knifepoint. A neighbour said the couple gained his trust by eating snacks and drinking soft drinks with him while watching the movie Patch Adams, then fled when he fell asleep.
Can a lawsuit be any more worthless than this idiotic attempt by a convicted kidnapper? Threatening somebody with a knife to gain their cooperation is not exactly the requirements for a legal and binding agreement. One can only marvel at the fact that the US legal system actually allowed this insane extortion attempt to proceed to the point where the victims had to file a motion to have it dismissed, at expense to them.
In New Zealand, a prisoner who took offence when he found a government department had incorrectly listed him as having a domestic violence conviction has won a compensation payout for breach of privacy and hurt feelings. The man, who has convictions for attacking a police officer, unlawful possession of firearms, aggravated robbery, theft, burglary and trying to escape from custody, complained to the Privacy Commissioner and then to the Human Rights Review Tribunal about a Ministry of Social Development's (MSD) file note.
"I have never been convicted of domestic violence," he told MSD officials. "Indeed, the only violent offense I have ever been convicted of was for aggravated assault on a police constable." After hearing evidence the tribunal ruled the inmate's privacy had been breached, he had suffered emotional harm and that he was entitled to NZ$3,500 in compensation. Despite the ruling sparking outrage from police and lawmakers, MSD chief executive Peter Hughes said although he disagreed with the decision he would comply with the ruling.
Here is another insane ruling from New Zealand. It was not long ago that a prisoner who tried to escape by climbing the prison wall and broke his leg when he fell from it, received compensation for his self-inflicted injury. But to give compensation to a violent inmate merely because of a clerical error by a government department shows, that the Kiwis have lost their senses again.
One has to wonder on what planet these Human Rights Tribunal people live, because wherever there is a politically correct outfit that claims to promote human rights, it invariably means the promotion of racism, bigotry, discrimination and utterly stupid rulings such as this example.
A woman who saw a three-year-old boy fall to his death from a roller coaster is suing the amusement park where the accident happened for causing her emotional distress and anxiety. Marion Grant said that she and her children were waiting to ride the Python Pit ride at the Go Bananas park in Norridge, Illinois, when she witnessed Jayson Dansby's death on 02 April 2011. Jayson freed himself from a safety bar, became wedged between two roller coaster cars and then fell about 1.2 metre from the moving ride.
Ms Grant is seeking more than $US50,000 and claims Go Bananas did not have an attendant monitoring the roller coaster at all times and that it was running too fast. The lawsuit also alleges the Python Pit did not have proper harnesses or an emergency stop mechanism.
If this woman is so sensitive to such events, would she sue TV networks for showing footage of deaths and accidents every day? Does she sue people for daring to have cart accidents in her presence? Does she not live in the real world? Of course she does and this is nothing but a blatant money grab.
In April 2011, a Hollywood executive is suing Match.com after a man she met through the on-line dating website allegedly followed her home and brutally raped her. The woman's lawsuit alleges she met Alan Paul Wurtzel through the site and that he followed her home and attacked her after their second date in West Hollywood.
The woman carried out an Internet search afterward and discovered that Wurtzel had six different convictions for sexual battery, said attorney Mark Webb, who is representing the unidentified victim, known only as "Jane Doe".
"This horrific ordeal completely blindsided me because I had considered myself savvy about online dating safety," the woman said. "Things quickly turned into a nightmare, beyond my control."
The civil suit is asking for a temporary restraining order to stop more people signing up for Match.com until the website finds a way to screen and exclude sexual predators. The woman wants Match.com to cross-check its members' names against sex offender registries.
Firstly, this lawsuit against the dating website is completely unjustified. The dating site is merely a meeting place for people, just like a nightclub or disco. Would this woman be suing a nightclub if one of the patrons followed her home from there and raped her? Would this woman sue the local municipality if somebody followed her home and raped her after just seeing her in the street?
So what's the difference between the dating website and those other situations? Well, the difference is that the woman wouldn't stand a chance of success in suing a nightclub or a local municipality in such circumstances, but an on-line dating website sounds like a better prospect for extorting money. It is the same principle as Hollywood movie studios have used to try and stop on-line piracy of their movies by suing ISPs for being conduits for this activity, but they wouldn't stand a chance of suing the telephone companies for allowing their cables to transmit that pirated material.
The woman conducted an on-line search after the alleged rape and discovered that the perpetrator had convictions for sexual offences. So why didn't she do the obvious thing before she met this man and ascertained exactly who he was and that he was a danger? Why blame the dating site for her negligence?
This is yet another of those stupid lawsuits that tries to blame an innocent party for the stupidity of a victim. The on-line dating site is merely a forum for people to meet, but what they do and who they are should not be an issue for the on-line site. Of course there seems to be no bounds for people's attempts to extort money from others on the most preposterous grounds, but what is worse is that innocent people and services are blamed for the criminal actions of others and that should never be countenanced.
A McDonald's manager has successfully sued the company over $17,500, claiming that the food he ate made him fat. The man gained nearly 30kg while working there in Brazil. He says the free lunches he was given, as well as sampling the food for quality contributed to his weight gain.
McDonald's says that they will appeal the court’s decision, asserting that they serve healthy choices that the manager could have eaten if he wanted to.
How ridiculous is that? This idiot didn't have to eat that food entirely - he could have had the occasional mouthful or small taste. He took the free lunches voluntarily and he didn't have to do that. This is another case of a completely worthless lawsuit succeeding and highlights the stupidity of the court that saw fit to rule for the plaintiff.
Robert Lee Brock, a prisoner in Virginia in 1995 wished to be removed from prison and placed in a mental institution. In order to achieve his goal, he decided to sue himself. He claimed that his crime was committed whilst he was drunk, which was a violation of his religious beliefs. He claimed that he had violated his own civil liberties. He sued himself for $5 million but to make matters worse, he claimed that the state should pay as he was behind bars and without an income. Thankfully the case was dismissed and Brock didn’t get his transfer.
In 1999, Daniel Dukes, a 27 year old moron from Florida hatched a clever plot so that he could have his lifelong dream of swimming with a whale fulfilled. He hid from the security guards at Sea World and managed to stay in the park after closing. Shortly after, he dived into the tank containing a killer whale - fulfilling his dream. Daniel was killed by the whale. His parents proceeded to sue Sea World because they did not display public warnings that the whale (Tillikum) could kill people. They also claim that the whale is wrongly portrayed as friendly because of the stuffed toys sold there. Tillikum is pictured above at Sea World, where the trainers will not enter the pool with him due to the fact that he has now been involved in two deaths.
A 27 year old New Yorker is suing Subway because he took a bite of a sandwich and found a 7 inch knife baked into the bread. The knife did not cut him and he did not swallow it. The reason he is suing is because he was violently ill with “severe stomach issues” for three hours and he claims that he caught food poisoning from the handle of the knife which was plastic and, according to the man, filthy. He is suing for $1,000,000.
This is a true case of believe it or not. Christopher Roller, a resident of Minnesota sued David Blaine and David Copperfield - demanding that they reveal their secret magic tricks to him. He demanded 10% of their total income for life. The reason for the suit is that Roller believes that the magicians are defying the laws of physics, and thereby using godly powers. But it gets worse. Roller is suing not just because the magicians are using God’s powers - he is suing because he thinks he is God and therefore it is his powers they are stealing.
Marcy Noriega, a California police officer decided to tase a suspect in the back of her car when he became uncontrollable and started kicking at the windows. Noriega drew her taser from her belt and fired it at the man. Unfortunately for the crook, the officer had accidentally drawn her gun instead, and she shot him in the chest - killing him. The city is now suing the taser company, arguing that any reasonable officer could mistakenly draw and shoot their gun instead of their taser. They are suing for the full costs of the wrongful death lawsuit which the man’s family has filed against the city.
A 52 year old traffic officer from Los Angeles sued Victoria’s Secret for damage to her eye. The damage was caused, claims the cop, Macrida Patterson, when she was trying on a new thong. The tight fit caused a metal clip to fly off hitting her in the eye. The case was filed on June 9, 2008 and Officer Patterson is seeking unspecified damages. The courts have not yet informed the officer that as a traffic cop, she doesn’t need fancy underwear as she is unlikely to ever have a date anyway.
PETA, the often-insane animal-loving organization held an anti-hunt protest in 2001 - defending the rights of deer to live. On the way home from the protest, two members hit a deer which had run on to the highway. The members informed the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife that they intended to sue for damages and injuries. In their letter they stated that the Division were responsible for the damages “as a result of their deer management program, which includes, in certain circumstances, an affirmative effort to increase deer population.”
For a while in the 1990s, Anheuser-Busch, the producers of Budweiser, ran a series of ads in which two beautiful women come to life in front of two truck drivers. A Michigan man bought a case of the beer, drank it, and failed to see two women materialise. Cue the lawsuit. He sued the company for false advertising, asking for a sum in excess of $10,000. Thankfully the court dismissed the suit and the man remained penniless and dateless.
We all know that the weather reports are frequently wrong and we take that into account when planning our days, but this was not the case for an Israeli woman who sued a TV station for making an inaccurate prediction. The station predicted good weather but it rained. The woman claimed that the forecast caused her to dress lightly - resulting in her catching the flu, missing a week of work, and spending money on medication. She further claimed that the whole incident caused her stress. She sued for $1,000 - and won.
In August 2010, a US federal judge ruled that a man who said he was psychologically dependent and addicted to an online video game could proceed with some of his lawsuit against the game's South Korean manufacturer.
Craig Smallwood said that "Lineage II"' left him unable to function independently in daily activities, such as getting dressed, bathing or communicating with family and friends. Smallwood said he had spent more than 20,000 hours playing the multiplayer online role-playing game since 2004.
Smallwood stated that NCSoft Corp. never warned him about the danger of game addiction. A Honolulu law firm that represents the company urged that the case be dismissed, but US District Judge Alan Kay allowed half of the eight counts to continue.
This whole case is insane. How on earth can this fool be allowed to take legal proceedings against anybody for his own failings? Nobody held a gun to his head and forced him to play some lousy computer game. And why should the maker of this game warn anybody about anything? In fact, any activity can be addictive. Should there be warnings about addiction on soccer balls, yoyos, TV sets, computers, coffee or anything else? Of course not, because this would be utter stupidity.
But what is really stupid about this matter is not the idiot who is suing the Korean game maker for his lack of self-discipline, but the cretinous US judge that didn't throw his moronic lawsuit in the garbage on the spot, but allowed it to proceed. One can say "only in America" but unfortunately the litigation disease has infected Australia as well
In June 2010, a German teacher is suing a student for teasing her about an alleged phobia of rabbits and drawing one on her blackboard. The teacher, named only as Marion V, fled in tears when she saw the chalk drawing at a school in the northern German town of Vechta, German newspaper De Spiegel reported. Her 16-year-old tormentor had told classmates that Marion V. was terrified of rabbits and would "flip out" is she saw one, according to court documents.
The victim, who teaches German and geography, has refused to say whether she is afraid of the animals but is suing the youngster for defamation and for "infringing her rights." She has been off work since the incident. "The plaintiff, a teacher, teaches the accused pupil at a high school in Vechta and claims the pupil drew rabbits on the blackboard of the classroom and told fellow pupils the teacher was afraid of rabbits and 'flips out' when she sees a rabbit," a court document said. "The teacher demands that the accused refrains in future from drawing rabbits on the blackboard and claiming that she, the teacher, is afraid of rabbits and flips out at the sight of them."
The defendant, named only as Kim, has already made one court appearance, accompanied by her mother. She told the court: "I didn't draw the rabbit. I know the teacher from my previous school where she also gave lessons. "All I did was tell another pupil that she used to run out of the classroom whenever she saw a drawing of a rabbit."
Kim's mother told reporters: "The teacher didn't talk to me before she filed the complaint. "My daughter has had rabbit stress all year because of this." A spokeswoman for the court said the judge will announce his verdict on July 20. If found guilty, Kim will land a €5000 ($7400) fine if she ever draws another rabbit or repeats her claims.
Who could have believed that a pupil could be sued by a teacher for drawing a rabbit because the teacher had a rabbit phobia? How could such a completely stupid matter even make it to a courtroom? If the teacher has a phobia, that's her problem and she can't sue everybody who depicts a rabbit wherever she goes.
If a billboard on the street had a picture of a rabbit and this teacher saw it, would she sue the advertiser for her mental problem? Of course not - she would never get away with this, but some asinine court has seen fit to pander to her because a student knew about her phobia and decided to draw a rabbit on the blackboard to see what happened.
In her court document, this teacher did not admit to being scared of rabbits, but has demanded that the student refrain from drawing rabbits on the blackboard, which is itself an admission that the teacher has a problem with rabbits. However, this teacher has now made her problem with rabbits the student's problem too. This is political correctness of the most stupid kind by a court.
01 June 2010 - A Los Angeles woman is suing web giant Google for giving her "unsafe" directions while travelling interstate. While in Park City, Utah, Lauren Rosenberg used her BlackBerry to ask Google Maps for walking directions to Prospector Avenue from Daly Street. The directions led her onto a busy highway where she was hit by a car. Now she is suing Google and the car's driver over the incident.
Ms Rosenberg claims the driver, Patrick Hardwood, failed to keep a proper eye out for pedestrians, failed to keep control of the car and was speeding. But, she claimed in a lawsuit filed late last week, Google was also responsible for leading her onto the highway in the first place.
"As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google's careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle," the lawsuit said.
When accessed from a computer, Google Maps displays a warning next to the walking directions to Prospector Avenue from Daly Street. "Use caution - This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths," the warning reads. However it is not clear if the warning is displayed to users who access the directions from a BlackBerry. The warning does not appear on an iPhone.
How stupid is this woman Laura Rosenberg? There she was, walking along and she comes across a busy highway. Any normal person would see cars whizzing by and take necessary precautions, but not our intrepid Ms Rosenberg. She decided to take the advice of Google Maps over that of her eyes and senses and got hit by a car as a result.
But of course, in the litigious society that the USA has become, this woman decided to blame everybody else for her own stupidity - the driver of the car who hit her when she stepped out onto the busy highway without looking and Google, which merely provided an electronic map. This lawsuit is a complete abrogation of this woman's responsibility for her own actions and hopefully it will be thrown out on its ear and all costs awarded against her.