Decided - The FindLaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog

September 2016 Archives

Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court, stating that they properly denied the preliminary injunction requested by the plaintiffs in the case of Defense Distributed v. Department of State. This is the case involving the infamous Liberator, a 3D printable hand gun that cannot be detected in a metal detector. The design schematics have already been distributed over the internet and downloaded countless times.

The decision itself, while fascinating in its own right, does not even touch the most important and highly contentious questions that the district court must now decide.

Last week, California teachers across 13 districts breathed a collective sigh of relief as a court ruled that standardized test scores of students should not be factored into teacher evaluations. Judge Goode explained that legislative purposes behind the standardized tests are to evaluate students, schools, and even whole local education agencies, and that using the tests to evaluate individual teachers was not envisioned by the legislature.

While the proponents for evaluating teachers based on standardized test results, a group called Students Matter, can still appeal this ruling, the ruling against them clearly explains that the law does not say what they want it to say. This lawsuit was strongly opposed by the California teachers union.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that 21st Century Fox (Fox News) will pay Gretchen Carlson $20,000,000 in settlement for the sexual harassment and retaliation she suffered at the hands of Roger Ailes. While the large dollar amount Fox paid may shock many, legal professionals are more shocked about the public apology 21st Century Fox made Tuesday morning. Also, CNN reported other victims of Ailes agreed to settle their claims.

It is exceedingly rare that a single plaintiff sexual harassment suit gets an eight figure settlement, and even rarer to see a defendant issue a public apology to the plaintiff. While Ailes denies the allegations, an award that large speaks volumes, and the apology amplifies that a hundred fold.