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Aetna Lawsuit Over HIV Status Settles

Aetna will pay nearly $1 million to California after the company sent almost 2,000 letters exposing patients' HIV status.

The state attorney general announced the $935,000 settlement, which followed a related $17 million settlement against Aetna earlier this year. The state case also requires the health care company to guard against such disclosures in the future.

The problem stemmed from envelopes with windows for addresses. They were so big that anyone could see through the windows the recipients were taking HIV medication.

No-Tipping Restaurants Duck Price-Fixing Conspiracy Lawsuit

Tip-free restaurants may sound like a great idea for customers, but not so much for waiters, waitresses, and unhappy plaintiffs.

In federal court, plaintiff Timothy Brown alleged that tip-free restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City conspired to fix prices. Potential plaintiffs everywhere may have agreed.

But a judge dismissed the proposed class action. It's hard to bake make a price-fixing case against just a handful of restaurants, he suggested.

Lyft Sexual Assault Class Action

One Lyft rider has filed a class action lawsuit against the ride-hailing service, one driver, and several employees, alleging that she was sexually assaulted because of Lyft's many failures.

The rider's story is absolutely horrific. After making the smart decision to go home after getting drunk, she entered a Lyft car, then blacked out. And while she only remembers waking up the next morning in her bed, the surveillance cameras insider her home told a much scarier tale.

When a court says jump, lawyers generally ask how high, especially after exhausting all appeals and being threatened with terminating sanctions.

But, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which is the governing organization for the Jehovah's Witness congregations nationwide, didn't jump when ordered to produce a set of documents. Instead it kept coming back to the merits of the case, insisting that the documents were irrelevant, even after being told to produce the documents multiple times and being threatened with severe terminating sanctions for failing to take the court's last chance offer.

The recent California wildfires, which as of this date are still not contained, have resulted in almost 50 deaths, countless destroyed homes, and acres upon acres of destroyed landscape.

And before the fire is even out or down to embers, victims of the Camp Fire burning in northern California have filed a negligence lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric claiming that sparks from an electrical line started the fire, and that the company knew about the dangers and failed to act to prevent the wildfire from starting. It's alleged that had the utility shut off power, the Camp Fire would not have started.

Scooter Startup Sues Beverly Hills

An electric scooter company is suing the City of Beverly Hills for impounding its scooters and levying fines of more than $100,000.

In Bird Rides v. City of Beverly Hills, the startup says the city has "gone to the extreme" and violated the California Vehicle Code. Not only that, the lawsuit says, the city has violated state open-meeting, public participation, and environmental laws.

It sounds like a scattershot complaint except that a BigLaw firm filed the case, and it doesn't usually wing it. (Bird puns totally intended.)

Catholic Bishops Sued for Sex Abuse in California

Another lawsuit has been filed against Catholic bishops for sex abuse, but this one is of epic proportions.

Thomas Emens, who says a priest molested him for years, wants every bishop in California to answer the complaint. The plaintiff says they have covered up sex abuse in the church for too long.

The problem has plagued Catholics for decades. Even the Pope says something has to change, or another Exodus is coming.

No City Liability for Police-Pursuit Death

Mark Gamar died when police nudged his car into a street pole during a high-speed chase. He was the passenger.

His mother sued the City of Gardena for negligence and wrongful death, but the city won based on a state law that says police are immune if they receive annual training on police pursuits. In Ramirez v. City of Gardena, the California Supreme Court affirmed.

It came down to the difference between police actually being trained and just saying they are.

Limits on California's Game-Changing Privacy Law

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed the new data collection law, it scuttled a ballot initiative that would have left the door wide open for damages against companies violating the law.

The California Consumer Privacy Act, however, limits consumers to $750 for breaches of their non-encrypted personal information. The limit was a compromise between privacy advocates and legislators, who agreed to put a lower ceiling on companies subject to the deal.

Despite the limit on damages, Silicon Valley was troubled that the governor signed the law. But consumers, including more than 365,880 who signed the ballot petition, were happy.

LA to Pay $14 Million to Settle Fatal Venice Beach Case

Venice Beach is a destination vacation for millions of people, but it became a bitter, final destination for traveler Alice Gruppioni.

She died there five years ago when a man drove onto the boardwalk and plowed her down. The City of Los Angeles decided this week to pay her survivors about $12 million to settle their claims.

Ending three lawsuits with the settlement, the city will pay up to $2 million more for others injured in the tragedy.