lawsuits

Are you a fan of Sriracha? If so, we’d suggest picking up a few extra bottles soon. The town of Irwindale, CA has filed a lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, demanding the company halt operations at its local factory after many residents began complaining of burning eyes, lungs and occasional headaches. The company plans to fight the lawsuit, but founder David Tran says consumers can expect Sriracha prices to increase “a lot” if Irwindale forces the plant to close. According to Tran, Huy Fong Foods is currently producing 200,000 bottles of Sriracha per day, all of which are pre-sold, but the company is still struggling to meet demand as is. A judge is expected to issue a ruling on the matter this Thursday. (Photo via ilovememphis) source

The BP Oil Spill Happened 5 Years Ago Today. We're Still Paying the Price.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster, by the numbers.

U.S. Coast Guard/ZUMA

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago today, killing 11 men and sending nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the sea. After the well was finally plugged, the national media went home, but the story is still very much unfolding everywhere from federal courtrooms to Louisiana backyards.

Let’s have a look back at the nation’s worst-ever oil spill, by the numbers:

Icon credits (via Noun Project unless otherwise noted): Oil barrel—Marco Hernandez; leaky pipe—Evan Udelsman; airplane—Luis Prado; boat—Kevin Chu; cash—Natalie Clay; eviction—Luis Prado; money paper—Alex Tai; pelican—Jennifer Gamboa; birds—Joe Looney; dolphins—Matthew Hall; oil spill—Andrew Hainen; permit—Luis Prado; oil rig—Patrick Trouvé; tourist—Jerald Kohrs; oyster—RedKoala/Shutterstock

The Woman Who Breaks Mega-Dams

Ruth Buendía Mestoquiari has built her career, and staked the fate of her people, on the law.

But she doesn’t have a law degree. In fact, she didn’t even start elementary school until she was a teenager and didn’t finish high school until age 25. While her peers went to class, she spent her childhood in the 1980s and 90s shuttling between her native village of Cutivireni, the town of Satipo, and the city of Lima, as Peru’s two-decade civil war devastated her community and claimed her father, who was killed in the violence when Buendía was only 12.

What Buendía does have is five children, all 18 and younger, and a “wonderful husband.” She has the distinction of being the first female president of CARE, an organization representing roughly 10,000 indigenous Asháninka who live along the banks of the Ene River in the Peruvian Amazon. And she has a knack for blocking massive hydroelectric dams, having thwarted not one but two planned projects that she believed would displace the Asháninka and destroy the ancestral lands they depend on for their livelihoods. It’s a threat she characterizes as “economic terrorism,” in an allusion to the armed terrorism she experienced during the civil war.

Through it all, she’s managed to redeem what we’ve come to consider something of a dark art: the lawsuit.

Read more. [Image: Goldman Environmental Prize]

The executors of Maurice Sendak’s will have not complied with his wishes to bequeath his multimillion-dollar rare-book collection to the Rosenbach Museum and Library and for the revered author and illustrator’s work to continue to be displayed at the Rosenbach.

[…]

The Sendak trustees have turned over fewer than half the hundreds of items in Sendak’s rare-book collection. In fact, the estate has told the Rosenbach it had no intention of transferring ownership of several extremely valuable volumes.

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In another heartbreaking case of a literary estate choosing greed over legacy, the estate of Maurice Sendak is refusing to honor his will. Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum—a wonderful institution that springs from the country’s first free library and operates in the spirit of open public access to art and cultural history —is pushing back.

I’ve done my own micro-liberation of Sendak’s legacy by hunting down and digitizing his rarest art

The Super Bowl Is a Web of Greed, Lawsuits, and Lies

The Super Bowl is a long, exceptionally polished television advertisement for the corporate state we live under that’s watched by over 100 million people. It ostensibly exists because of a football game, but the annual event has grown over the years into a kind of modern variety show that features singing and dancing during the halftime show, comedy sketches during the commercials, and gruesome blood sport during the actual game. America!

That’s the way most people experience the Super Bowl—as something that, like the Academy Awards and war, happens on TV. But the big game is also a kind of traveling circus, only instead of clowns and acrobats, the people arriving in New Jersey and New York are tourists, security experts, the 1-percenter oligarchs who can afford the ridiculous prices for luxury suites at MetLife Stadium, and actual sex slavers. The big game provides an awesome—in the old sense of “inspiring awe”—spectacle, but for anyone who has to deal with its mundane on-the-ground aspects, it’s a nightmare of greed, lies, and broken promises.

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Cash-strapped Chicago has paid half a billion dollars in police brutality settlements since 2004

With 49 elementary schools closing this summer, with pensions being slashed, and with public services being cut all over Chicago, the city now admits it has paid out over $521 million in settlements and legal fees due to police violence, misconduct ,and abuse over the past 10 years alone—with a whopping 500 cases still pending.

What’s more, criminal justice experts say new lawsuits will surely keep filling the pipeline until the city addresses a so-called “code of silence” – where officers refuse to tell on each other for misbehavior – and a flawed disciplinary system that together allow misconduct to prosper.

In all, the BGA found a total of $521.3 million has been spent to handle police misconduct-related lawsuits from 2004 to present day.

The true cost, though, is even higher, as the BGA counted settlements and judgments, legal bills and other fees – but not less tangible expenses related to, say, insurance premiums, in-house lawyers and investigators, and the cost of incarcerating innocents.

Rekia Boyd, shot and killed by Chicago Officer Dante Servin

In the government-sponsored study to track the outrageous costs of police brutality in Chicago, the following examples of what could have and should have been done with half a billion dollars in the city were given:

Could build five high schools like the state-of-the-art building the city recently developed in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The 212,000-square-foot school has space for 1,200 students and includes five computer labs, six science labs, a gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool.

Could pay for the repaving of 500 miles of arterial streets, based on a city spokesman’s estimate of it costing $1 million per road mile.

Could cover the cost of building 33 libraries like the one scheduled to open this summer in the Albany Park neighborhood. The 16,300-square-foot building includes a landscaped reading garden and 38 public computer terminals.

Yet, instead of any of those of wonderful things, the Chicago Police Department and the city’s broken criminal justice system leaves an ugly trail of ruined lives and paid settlements instead.

Maybe, just maybe, if America understood the true cost of police brutality it would take this issue more seriously.

Cry-Baby of the Week

The incident: A guy got fired from his job as a teacher because he turned up to work drunk.

The appropriate response: Accepting it.

The actual response: The teacher is suing the school.

Back in February, Erik Schock was working as a physical-education teacher at Chinook Middle School in Bellevue, Washington. Halfway through the school day, the assistant principal noticed that Erik smelled of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot, and his speech was slow.

He was removed from the school and given a blood alcohol test, which found that his blood alcohol level would have been .15 when he arrived at school 7:30 AM—the legal limit for drivers is .08, which means, toxicology experts say, he would have been “suuuuuuper wasted” in front of his kids.

There was a hearing after the incident, during which Erik did not dispute that he’d been legally drunk while at work (he eventually admitted he had had nine beers the night before), and, unsurprisingly, he was fired.

Terry Lukens, the guy who conducted the hearing, noted that not only did Erik put his students in danger, he was also acting as a poor role model: “It is highly likely that students observed his high level of intoxication, slurred speech, and watery eyes.” Which was a pretty unnecessary thing for him to explain, because nobody on earth would argue that Erik deserved to keep his job.

Except Erik, that is.

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(Post by S)

“So William didn’t complain when it was Kate trotting George about and the press used that to make her look like a very doting mother who spends all the time in the world for her little child, but as soon as it’s his nanny, it’s a gross invasion of privacy and "how dare you follow a little toddler around and snapping pictures of him”

“Another day, another lawsuit from the Cambridges. With every privilege (palaces, luxury, endless money, three kitchens), comes a price (getting your pic taken for the public who pays for said luxuries). Don’t want to pay the price? That’s fine. Quit complaining or give it all up and become normal already.”

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Tinder Suspends Co-Founder In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Tinder CMO Justin Mateen has been suspended by the company he co-founded, after it was sued for sexual harassment and sexual discrimination by its former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe.

The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, makes a litany of claims against Mateen, including that he called Wolfe a “whore” in front of CEO Sean Rad, and that he subjected her to numerous “sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages” during her time at the company. 

The Complaint