July 14, 2011
A technology company has filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor claiming several features of its vaunted in-car communication system, Sync, violated the company’s patents, the Associated Press reports.
Eagle Harbor Holdings and subsidiary MediusTech claim that Ford has used the companies’ patented technology in not only the Sync system, but on other features such as Active Park Assist, Blind-Spot Identification System with Cross Traffic Alert, Integrated Control System for Stability Control and MyKey. The lawsuit appears to center on those systems’ abilities to comprehend voice commands.
Jeff Harmes, Eagle Harbor’s general counsel, estimated that, should the company prevail in its claim, compensation could be in the millions.
Sync allows people to integrate their smartphones and other personal electronic devices seamlessly into the car. Users can have their e-mail read to them or pick songs for the stereo by voice command.
The AP says Ford declined to comment on the lawsuit because it hasn’t reviewed it yet.
Article: USA TODAY
A Manhattan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a former New York City firefighter who is trying to stop the construction of an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan.
The former firefighter, Timothy Brown, sought to overturn a decision by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny landmark status for a 150-year-old building on Park Place that would be demolished to make way for the center.
The building, which once housed a Burlington Coat Factory store, was damaged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack that destroyed the World Trade Center two blocks away. Developers of the center, known as Park51, hope to erect a new building that would include a swimming pool, an auditorium and a mosque.
In a decision issued on Friday, Justice Paul G. Feinman of State Supreme Court in Manhattan wrote that Mr. Brown was “an individual with a strong interest in preservation of the building” but added that Mr. Brown lacked any special legal standing on its fate.
Article: The New York Times
July 8, 2011
A memo from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington says state laws allowing medical marijuana opened the door to abuses and calls for legally targeting “large-scale, privately operated industrial marijuana cultivation centers” as well as distribution operations known as dispensaries.
The memo — which arrived June 29 in the email inboxes of U.S. attorneys nationwide, — says that no patient or other user is shielded from federal prosecution by state laws. The memo comes after Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette unleashed a salvo last week, saying there was widespread lawbreaking linked to medical marijuana in Michigan.
The federal memo has medical marijuana advocates feeling betrayed by the Obama administration, which had been linked with hopes for leniency in the war on drugs.
Article: USA TODAY
UCLA Health System has agreed to pay $865,500 as part of a settlement with federal regulators Wednesday after two celebrity patients alleged hospital employees broke the law and reviewed their medical records without authorization.
Federal and hospital officials declined to identify the celebrities involved. The complaints cover 2005 to 2009, a time during which hospital employees were repeatedly caught and fired for peeping at the medical records of dozens of celebrities, including Britney Spears, Farrah Fawcett and former California First Lady Maria Shriver.
The security breaches were first reported in The Times in 2008.
The violations led state lawmakers to pass a law imposing escalating fines on hospitals for patient privacy lapses.
After the law took effect on Jan. 1, 2009, state regulators fined Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center $95,000 in connection with privacy breaches that year that sources said involved the medical records of Michael Jackson, who died at the hospital in June 2009.
Article: Los Angeles Times
The D.C. Court of Appeals today disbarred a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who pleaded guilty in Washington federal district court to a conflict of interest violation stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Robert Coughlin II, who served as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division, consented to disbarment from the District of Columbia bar, the appeals court said in an order (PDF) published today.
Coughlin had been under interim suspension since June 2008. He pleaded guilty in April 2008 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of conflict of interest. Coughlin was not immediately reached for comment this morning.
Article: The Blog of Legal Times
An attempt by investors to recoup losses from their investments in Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme by suing JPMorgan Chase under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act has been rebuffed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
MLSMK Investment Co., which lost $12.8 million in the scandal, claimed that JPMorgan Chase had suspicions about Mr. Madoff’s activities but failed to freeze his bank accounts because it wanted to continue receiving substantial fees from his market making and banking activity.
Yesterday, in deciding an issue of first impression, the Second Circuit held that MLSMK’s RICO claim was precluded by §107 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §1964, as the court adopted a restrictive analysis on the bar against RICO actions in securities cases.
Article: New York Law Journal
Washington (CNN) — Global energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. will be forced to face a lawsuit over alleged murder and torture committed by company agents in remote Indonesia, after a federal appeals court said Friday that corporations cannot claim immunity from liability.
A divided 2-1 panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reinstated a massive lawsuit filed by 15 Indonesian villagers from the oil-rich province of Aceh. They claim government security forces working for Exxon Mobil committed brutal oppression while guarding a natural gas facility in 2000-01.
At issue is whether foreign nationals can go into U.S. courts to press civil claims stemming from actions overseas by non-American citizens in a time of martial law. The decision will have widespread implications for multinational corporations doing business in other countries.
A federal lawsuit filed today claims a Chicago police officer was caught on tape punching a man who questioned the use of force against his neighbors in 2009.
The complaint alleges LaMonte Simmons’ constitutional rights were violated on Aug. 3, 2009 when he was stopped from engaging in First Amendment-protected speech and assembly. It also claims the officers retaliated against Simmons, 22, by battering him, arresting him and causing him to be charged with crimes all without probable cause to do so.
The suit is filed against the police officer who is accused of punching Simmons in the face, several other officers and the City of Chicago. The suit does not provide full identifications of the officers, providing only the last names of four officers as Bolin, Fryerson, Couch and Percy and adding “unknown officers.”
A representative for the city Law Department was not immediately available for comment.
Jon Loevy, an attorney representing Simmons, held a news conference today to announce the suit and release copies of the video, which was taken by a neighbor of the residence on the 12000 block of South Stewart Avenue in theWest Pullman neighborhood.
Simmons was visiting his neighbors about 7 p.m. that night when he saw a police vehicle arrive, and a 16-year-old resident of the home walked out to the porch and was placed in a choke-hold by a police officer, according to the complaint.
Article: Chicago Tribune
A six-week trial in Hamilton County Court ended yesterday afternoon with the award of a $14.5 million jury verdict for Joseph Radcliff and his restoration company, CPM Construction of Indiana, against State Farm Insurance (State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Joseph Martin Radcliff, et al., Cause No. 29D01-0810-CT-1281 – Hamilton Co. Superior Court No. 1).
State Farm had filed suit for insurance fraud and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) claims against Radcliff and CPM. The case arose out of work done by Radcliff and CPM following the April 2006 hailstorm. Radcliff and CPM’s allegations were that after State Farm received negative publicity in the Indianapolis media for denying hail damage claims, State Farm made unfounded claims of fraud against Radcliff and instigated the filing of felony charges against him. Those charges were dismissed by the Marion County Prosecutor, but the negative publicity resulted in Radcliff’s personal reputation and business being destroyed.
Not only did the jury find that State Farm’s claims against Radcliff were baseless, but they also found that the Radcliff’s allegations of being defamed by State Farm were true. The jury ordered State Farm to pay Radcliff $14.5 million.
Article: PR WEB
(CNN) — Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican national convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in 1994, was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening in Texas.
The case’s flurry of legal appeals and pleas for clemency were prompted by an international dispute over the rights of the foreign-born on American death rows.
The Supreme Court earlier denied a stay of execution for the convicted killer, despite opposition from the Obama administration and the Mexican government.
Leal was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. CT (7:21 p.m. ET), according to a corrections spokeswoman.
“I am sorry for everything I have done,” Leal said at the Huntsville facility before he was executed. “I have hurt a lot of people. Let this be final and be done. I take the full blame for this.”
Article: CNN« Older Posts — Newer Posts »