CASES IN THE NEWS
Before reviewing several cases I've recently seen in the news, a quick comment on my Top Ten Hot Legal Commentators Contest...it sucked. Two weeks after the post and not a single comment, much less a vote. Man, what a disappointment. I really thought the idea was quite visionary. Apparently not.
CASES IN THE NEWS...
Hey, the Governator is being sued. By an Illinois lawyer nonetheless. Seems that Susan Loggans, a Chicago personal injury attorney purchased Ahnuld's home in Pacific Palisades for a cool 8 million but is now suing him for failure to fully disclose a number or problems in the home. The complaint, available at The Smoking Gun, claims that Arnold didn't fully disclose damage to the pool, tennis court and screening room. The complaint seeks to have the matter referred to arbitration.
As reported on AOL on December 21, Lavern Bracy is suing Wal-Mart for $25 million, claiming that Wal-Mart was negligent in selling Bracy's daughter, Shayla Stewart, a shotgun. Stewart subsequently used the weapon to kill herself. The lawsuit was filed in Dallas, Texas. Bracy's theory is that had Wal-Mart checked their own security files, or pharmacy department records, they would have discovered that Stewart was a manic-depressive and schizophrenic, who had previously caused disturbances in the store. And Bracy claims that had Wal-Mart done appropriate checking, they never would have sold the gun to Ms. Stewart. Wal-Mart, not suprisingly disagrees, with good reason. First, pharmacy records are confidential, so they couldn't have been accessed. Furthermore, Wal-Mart did indeed do a background check, as required under Texas law. Stewart's name didn't show up in FBI databases, as said databases don't include mental health records from 37 states, including Texas. Furthermore, Stewart had incorrrectly indicated on a form questionnaire provided by Wal-Mart that she had never been committed to an institution or declared dangerously mentally ill.
This sounds like a tough one for the plaintiff. The pharmacy records are confidential, the applicant lied on her form and nothing showed up in the background check. Could get tossed on a motion.
WHY PEOPLE HATE LAWYERS DEPT.
And finally, a college student is now suing her former high school district for barring her from the 2004 prom because she was wearing a dress styled as a Confederate flag. Jacqueline Duty, now 19, sued in federal court in Lexington, Kentucky. She is alleging that Greenup County School District officials and others violated her right to free speech and her right to celebrate her heritage. She is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.
Duty admits that she was advised beforehand not to wear the dress, but she didn't have another one and decided to test the school officials. She was apparently met outside the dance by officers and a school official and not allowed into the dance.
I hope her attorney is talented. It will take some doing to convince a judge or a jury that this case has any merit. First, public officials, including school officials, certainly have discretion to ban offensive clothing that might be disruptive. Schools all over the country have been banning gang colors, hats, and bandanas for years. In this case, school personnel warned her AHEAD OF TIME that she would be barred. But she needed her notoriety so she ignored the warnings and decided to blaze ahead with her Confederate dress. And because she got barred, she has elected to tie up a federal courtroom with this silliness. Your 15 minutes are just about done Ms. Duty.