Tag Archives | Lawsuits

Defeated Opponent Sues New York’s City Council Head-To-Be Over Alleged Black Magic Curse

010114mural1RMWould you be brave enough to dabble in New York City electorial politics? Via the New York Post:

A rival of Melissa Mark-Viverito filed a million-dollar lawsuit against the front-runner for City Council speaker — claiming she put a Caribbean hex on her while the two were running for the same council seat, in the form of a black-magic mural on her apartment building.

Gwen Goodwin, 52, who spectacularly lost the Democratic primary to Mark-Viverito in September, says her nemesis targeted her East 100th Street building as the canvas for a five-story image of a bodiless rooster atop wooden poles. Mark-Viverito was the head of an urban-art campaign launched last summer called Los Muros Hablan (“the walls speak”).

“I don’t believe [in the Occult], but strange things were happening,” Goodwin claimed. She said that she suddenly got a blood clot in her foot and that a close friend began “acting crazy” right after the mural went up.

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Lawsuit Seeks “Legal Personhood” Rights For Captive Chimps

chimpsDo basic human rights extend to other animals with human-like cognitive abilities?The New York Times reports:

Should a captive chimpanzee have the same rights as a “legal person”? That’s the debate set to unfold after an activist group filed lawsuits on behalf of four chimpanzees, asking the New York Supreme Court to grant them the “right to bodily liberty.”

“We’ll be asking judges to recognize, for the first time, that these cognitively complex, autonomous beings have the basic legal right to not be imprisoned,” said Steven M. Wise, founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

The four chimpanzees are all held in New York state. Tommy, 26, is living in a cage on a trailer lot in Gloversville. Kiko, 26, formerly worked in the entertainment industry and is now living in Niagara Falls on private property, where he is caged. Hercules and Leo, two young males, are used in research in the Anatomy Department at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook.

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Tennessee Man Sues After Pastor Punches Out His Teeth In ‘Surprise Exorcism’

Attending church increasingly resembles backyard wrestling, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports:

A Sevierville man alleges he went to his Pigeon Forge church for a February 2012 meeting and came away with broken and cracked teeth and facial injuries, inflicted by the preacher and a deacon as part of an exorcism. Andrew Byrd filed a lawsuit against the Rev. Joel Arwood, his wife Theresa Arwood and deacon Charles Shields.

According to the lawsuit, Shields and the Arwoods asked Byrd to attend a meeting at Family Chapel Church of God in Pigeon Forge. During the meeting, Theresa Arwood said Byrd had a “demon or spirit that needed to be cast out.”

“Thereafter, Joel Arwood and Charles Shields physically assaulted (Byrd),” states the lawsuit. Byrd alleges the pastor later bragged to the congregation that he had “punched the devil and knocked the devil’s tooth out.”

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Banking Giant HSBC Settles For $1.9 Billion Over Laundering Billions For Mexican Drug Cartels, Saudi Terrorists, And Iran

Is the second-largest bank on the planet also one of the most far-reaching criminal organizations? The New York Times reports:

Federal and state authorities plan to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC on Tuesday, a major victory in the government’s broad crackdown on money laundering at banks.

The settlement with HSBC stems from accusations that the British banking giant transferred billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the American financial system, according to officials briefed on the matter. Prosecutors found that the bank had facilitated money laundering by cartels and had moved tainted money for Saudi Arabian banks tied to terrorist organizations.

Since January 2009, the Justice and Treasury Departments and Manhattan prosecutors have charged six foreign banks, including Credit Suisse and Barclays. In June, ING Bank reached a $619 million settlement to resolve claims that it had transferred billions of dollars in the United States for Cuba and Iran.

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For-Profit Prison Corporation Accused Of Partnering With Violent Gangs To Run Jail

Corrections Corporation of America is accused of using targeted prison gang violence as a cost-saving measure, ThinkProgress reports:

A lawsuit brought by eight inmates of the Idaho Correctional Center alleges that the company is cutting back on personnel costs by partnering with violent prison gangs to help control the facility. Court documents and an investigative report issued by the state’s Department of Corrections show how guards routinely looked the other way when gang members violated basic facility rules, negotiated with gang leaders on the cell placement of new inmates, and may have even helped one group of inmates plan a violent attack on members of a rival gang.

The inmates contend that officials at the prison — the state’s largest, with more than 2,000 beds — use gang violence and the threat of gang violence as an “inexpensive device to gain control over the inmate population,” according to the lawsuit, and foster and develop criminal gangs.”

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Descendants Sue CIA Over Cold War Scientist’s Mysterious Death Following LSD Experiments

Bioweapons expert Frank Olson unwittingly served as a guinea pig in clandestine CIA mind-control experiments involving LSD. But was the purpose all along to assassinate him? Via the Huffington Post:

The sons of a Cold War scientist who plunged to his death in 1953 several days after unwittingly taking LSD in a CIA mind-control experiment sued the government Wednesday. They claimed the CIA murdered their father, Frank Olson, by pushing him from a 13th-story window of a hotel – not, as the CIA says, that he jumped to his death.

Olson was a bioweapons expert at Fort Detrick, the Army’s biological weapons research center in Maryland. The lawsuit claims the CIA killed Olson when he developed misgivings after witnessing extreme interrogations in which they allege the CIA committed murder using biological agents Olson had developed.

Olson consumed a drink laced with LSD by CIA agents on Nov. 19, 1953, the suit says.

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Court Rejects Woman’s Lawsuit Claiming Hadron Collider Could End The World

Doomsayers, including a few physicists, worry that experiments at CERN could unravel the fabric of our existence. But a German court says no, reports Phys.org:

A German woman who feared the Earth would be sucked into oblivion in a black hole failed Tuesday in her court bid to stop the work of the world’s most powerful atom smasher.

The higher administrative court in Muenster, Germany, rejected her claims, ruling there was no evidence the work of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) posed a danger to public safety. The court noted that the CERN’s own safety reports ruled out any danger to life. “Objectively, there is no evidence to doubt the correctness of these safety reports nor was any conclusive evidence presented,” it ruled.

The woman had failed in a previous attempt to stop the work of CERN in Switzerland at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. Other opponents have also sought to stop the experiments, fearing either a black hole whose super gravity would swallow the Earth or a theoretical particle called a strangelet that would in turn liquidise the planet.

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Lawsuits Against Police Are A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ For New York City

 In the era of smartphone video, cities may no longer be able to afford their police forces’ misconduct. The city of New York now budgets a whopping $180 million a year for payouts to victims of police brutality and wrongful arrest, New York World writes:

Lawsuits against the city’s police soared to a record 2,004 cases entering the courts in the year that ended July 1, indicat[ing] that the flood of cases brought against the New York City police — which have seen a 63 percent rise over the last decade — has not subsided.

Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled this week that the city is liable for hundreds of arrests the NYPD made during the Republican National Convention in 2004, opening up the possibility that plaintiffs could sue for false arrest and further exacerbate the problem.

For fiscal year 2013, now underway, the NYPD has budgeted $180 million for payouts.

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Man Forced To Do Prison Labor While Awaiting Trial Sues For ‘Slavery’

It’s always good to see someone pushing back against the grotesqueries of the prison-industrial complex. Via Boing Boing:

In 2008, Finbar McGarry, a grad student at the University of Vermont, was arrested on gun charges. McGarry’s charges were ultimately dropped, and he was released. But while he was awaiting trial, his jailers ordered him to work for $0.25 in the jail laundry or be condemned to solitary confinement. He’s now suing, saying that this amounted to slavery.  If he wins, it will have huge repercussions for America’s jails, where pre-trial prisoners who have not been convicted of any charge are forced into hard labor.

During the course of his work, McGarry says he contracted a serious MRSA lesion on his neck—a potentially deadly bacterial infection. In 2009, he pressed a suit in federal court for $11 million—claiming he was made a slave in violation of his 13th Amendment rights. The judge ruled that McGarry’s constitutional rights had not been violated, but that finding was overturned on appeal last week.

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Not Letting The Facts Get In The Way of Attacks on Candidates and Whistleblowers

ObamaIncreasingly, politics is a game driven by often-invented beliefs and myths that are firmly detached from facts and their interpretation.

The parties and their factions live not only in parallel universes but worlds of information that are driven mostly but what they think will work in pandering to their bases and the public.

Even as progressives complain that Barack Obama has moved right even if he occasionally talks left, the hard-core right-wing see him a black revolutionary shaped by Reverend Wright’s black liberation theology with allusions to Malcolm X and Kenyan communists thrown into the mix to “prove” their case.

Never mind that Obama threw his one time mentor Wright under the bus in 2008, or that his policies rarely speak of the needs of a black community suffering under the burden of high joblessness, foreclosures and growing poverty.

In fact, real black revolutionaries like Cornel West and so many others find the president a sell-out and embarrassment even if their community embraces him more as an identity issue or on the basis of shared pigmentation,

The recent plan by Wall Street trader Ed Ricketts to recycle the alleged Obama-Wright conspiracy into an defamatory political ad campaign spoke more to his ignorance and fears than any truth-based assessment.… Read the rest

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