Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

September 2009 Archives

With barely a pause for breath after the Liskula Cohen-Rosemary Port dustup, Google was once again in court recently being asked to unmask one of its users. And once again, it appears that an anonymous group of users may find itself exposed and sued for libel. The stakes this time are higher, though, implicating questions of free speech and political dissent in the British territory of Turks and Caicos.

The background: the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are a British overseas territory, not far from the Bahamas, where, on August 14, the British government suspended local rule, imposing direct rule by an appointed governor, after revelations of massive corruption. One of the sources reporting on the allegations of bribery was the TCI Journal, which obtained and published an unredacted version of a U.K. government report detailing allegations of bribery. Many Journal contributors operate anonymously.
Former Miss California Carrie Prejean has filed a lawsuit against the operators and producers of the Miss California USA pageant, claiming religious discrimination and defamation.

Prejean, the runner-up in this year's Miss USA pageant after famously declaring her opposition to gay marriage in response to an onstage question, was fired from her job as the reigning Miss California in June, allegedly because she missed out on several required appearances.

But according to FOX news, the suit filed this week by Carrie Prejean's attorney Charles LiMandri  claims that Prejean made all the appearances that were required of her, and that she was in fact fired because of her gay-marriage response, which she characterizes as a statement of her religious belief. Discrimination in employment on the basis of religious belief is, of course, illegal.

For good measure, the suit alleges that the defendants -- pageant co-directors Shanna Moakler and Keith Lewis, and publicist Roger Neal -- engaged in a conspiracy to defame and ultimately fire her after she repeated her anti-gay-marriage stance on the Today show. That conspiracy allegedly involved the assistance of online gossip columnist and Miss USA judge Perez Hilton.

The Pants Lawsuit: Still Not Over

From the where-are-they now file: infamous dry-cleaning litigant Roy Pearson is apparently still at it, fighting for his "cause." Next up, according to Legal Times: a trip to a federal appeals court to see if he can get his wrongful-termination lawsuit reinstated.

To be sure, the original pants lawsuit that Pearson initiated in 2005 is technically over. Neither D.C.'s trial court nor its court of appeals agreed with Pearson's claims that his dry cleaner should be hit with a $54 million judgment for losing a pair of Pearson's pants. Pearson had argued that under D.C. law, the dry cleaner was subject to large daily fines for failing to adhere to a "Same Day Service" sign posted at the business.

Yet despite the international uproar surrounding that case, Pearson is back, this time making employment claims in federal court.
It's a headline straight out of a local news teaser: Could your iPhone explode in your face? But as sensational as it sounds, it has a kernel of truth: more and more reports of exploding iPhones and burning iPods are popping up of late.

The iPhone reports, which have trickled in mostly from the U.K. and Europe, typically allege that the iPhone's screen cracks with explosive force. Some users have reported that they've been injured by flying glass shards as a result. This follows a spate of reports from the U.S. of burning iPods, in which overheating lithium-ion batteries are believed to be to blame.

The connection between the major malfunctions of two flagship Apple products, if any, is not totally clear, but, prodded by a European Union investigation, Apple has reluctantly acknowledged the complaints it is receiving.