9th Circuit Injury & Tort Law News - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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We can't beat Judge Silverman's summary of the case, so we'll stick with the direct quote:

"Some days we are called upon to consider such profound issues as eleventh-hour death penalty appeals, catastrophic threats to the environment, intense and existential questions of civil and human rights, and the most complicated, controversial problems in civil, criminal and administrative law. Today we consider the coating on sunflower seeds."

Yes, this is a class-action lawsuit over the coating on sunflower seeds, and whether the sodium in the coating must be disclosed on the product's nutrition label.

Can't Find a Job? Maybe Spokeo's Misinformation Is to Blame

An unemployed job hunter can proceed with his lawsuit against Spokeo claiming violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Ninth Circuit ruled.

For those of you unfamiliar Spokeo: It's a creepily comprehensive data aggregating website with the slogan, "not your grandmother's phonebook." According to Forbes, it's also notoriously inaccurate. Go ahead, check yourself out -- just don't be surprised if you see yourself listed as the only child of a distant cousin whom you haven't seen in years.

In his suit, Thomas Robins claims the website's inaccurate information about him hurt his job prospects. For the courts, his harm raised classic standing issues.

"As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable."

That's the money quote from Judge Andrew Hurwitz's opinion for the Ninth Circuit panel, which held that bloggers enjoy the same free speech protections as traditional journalists, and under Gertz v. Welch, cannot be liable for defamation absent proof of negligence regarding the truth of the allegedly defamatory material.

That's true even if, as the court explicitly noted, the blogger "apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoff in exchange for retraction."

Fiending for a live stream of oral arguments in landmark cases? As we reported last week, the Ninth Circuit is going to lead the way in transparency by becoming the first Circuit Court of Appeals to stream its en banc proceedings live, online, at the court's website.

What cases are set for arguments? DNA collection, criminal matters, immigration, and a police shooting are all on the docket.

A class-action lawsuit against the makers of the controversial (and seemingly extinct) Lazy Cakes melatonin-laced brownies made a brief appearance in the Ninth Circuit earlier this week. The court, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed the dismissal of the class action lawsuit, yet reversed in part, and remanded with instructions to allow the plaintiff, Lee Cheramie, to amend the complaint.

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The brownies, which attracted the scrutiny of regulators and health professionals due to the cartoon Lazy Larry mascot, which some argued appealed to children, and due to the high melatonin content, disappeared after the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to the company, stating that melatonin was not approved as a food additive.

You'd think having multiple criminal cases dismissed due to a tainted warrant would be enough, but after Jared Armstrong escaped the clutches of the Alaska criminal justice system, the alleged child predator then sued the cops.

His luck just ran out. More than two years after the case reached the Ninth Circuit, the court finally granted the underlying appeal, and immunity to the officers.

We thought there was something funny about the officer's testimony about his fear while being trapped in a rapidly accelerating vehicle, especially considering the glacial pace of a Mazda MPV at top speed. Judge Clifton thought so too, tossing out 0-60 times like he was writing for Car and Driver, rather than a dissent.

Judge Clifton's numbers must've worked, however, as this police shooting case, one of a series of shootings that led to the Anaheim race riots, was just granted an en banc rehearing this morning.

We've heard of long-arm jurisdiction, but this case puts both Wilt Chamberlain's wingspan and Stretch Armstrong to shame.

Gina Fiore and Keith Gipson are professional gamblers. On their way back from rounding in Puerto Rico, they were questioned about the large amount of cash on their persons by a DEA agent. During their subsequent layover in Atlanta, another DEA agent, Anthony Walden, questioned them, and this time, seized their cash.

Despite the agent's best efforts, and an allegedly falsified probable cause affidavit, the pair proved that their money was from legal gambling, not drugs. Seven months after it was seized, their $97,000 was finally returned. They then sued Agent Walden and others in federal court in Nevada.

DaimlerChryster (DCAG) isn't located on these fair shores. The German corporation is as foreign to Northern California as lederhosen and pumpernickel, yet they are being sued in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Nor was the alleged tortfeasing done in California. DCAG's Argentinean subsidiary allegedly committed human rights violations in Argentina in the late 1970s during the "Dirty War," hiring state agents to remove left-wing dissidents from the plant during the aftermath of a military coup. Many of the dissidents were never heard from again.

Sponsored stories: where Facebook publishes a user's "like" of an item without their permission to others, without compensation, notification, or an ability to opt-out.

The short story: a lawsuit ensued, a settlement was reached, that settlement was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg (who also heard the previous Facebook privacy class action), as the proposed amounts were "plucked out of thin air," and then, once again, a settlement was reached. Now, according to Courthouse New Service, the Ninth Circuit will be asked to take a second look.