Australia: “Lawyer argues Kevin Spratt may have been screaming in ‘joy’ while being tasered by police: A lawyer for two police officers says the court cannot rule out the possibility that a man was screaming with joy when he was being repeatedly tasered at the Perth Watch House more than five years ago.” [ABC] One never knows what will work in these cases: a jury in Orange County, Calif. recently acquitted two officers in the death of homeless schizophrenic Kelly Thomas, though it is not clear whether they accepted the suggestion of a defense lawyer that Thomas beat himself to death in police custody.
“A government worker injured during motel sex on a business trip is not entitled to workers’ compensation, Australia’s highest court has ruled.” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, earlier on Australian workers' comp]
Someone needs to organize one pronto, to judge by stories like this one from Ohio, where parents say they need pro bono help against a Child Protective Services attempt to seize custody of their six year old daughter for “neglect” that appears to include letting her walk around the neighborhood [Free-Range Kids, Shackford]
P.S.: Another story from Australia last year; and a happier one from Canada.
Worker’s comp is intended to provide relatively liberal coverage in some ways — that goes with the territory of a “no-fault” compensation scheme — but a few of these outcomes might still raise an eyebrow, particularly when it comes to generous definitions of what’s “work-related.” [Cracked] More: Coyote (“Our problem tends to be that we get a whole heck of a lot of “injuries” in the 3-4 hours between when we fire someone and when they leave the property.”)
“After achieving a university entry rank of 99.95, winning fifth place in the state for chemistry and a place at the University of Sydney studying medicine, the former Abbotsleigh student Sarah Hui Xin Wong believed she could have done better in the [Higher School Certificate].” A New South Wales administrative tribunal has now turned down her complaint that she suffered disability discrimination by not being allowed further accommodations on the test, specifically a computer and extra time. But Australia does have loser-pays: “Ms. Wong has been ordered to pay some of the Board of Studies’ costs, including a proportion of the fees of the leading Sydney barrister Chris Ronalds, SC.” [Sydney Morning Herald]
In other Australia schools litigation news, a “former student who is suing Geelong Grammar School says she decided to seek damages after she failed to qualify for her preferred university course. Rose Ashton-Weir, 18, alleges Geelong Grammar gave her inadequate academic support, particularly in maths.” [Melbourne Age] More in update at The Age (“was perpetually disorganised and failed to attend classes, a tribunal has heard.”)
Expanding, as is so often the case, at the expense of the rights of contract and property: “Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court’s ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from. The ruling has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises. … Prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.” [Telegraph, U.K.]
Discussion: Catallaxy Files (“Australia’s leading libertarian and centre-right blog”).
Anti-antipodean harassment? “An Australian community warden whose colleagues greeted him with ‘G’day Sport’ is taking his racial abuse case to the European Court of Human Rights.” [Telegraph; Dymchurch, Kent, U.K.]
Twitter has been sued in Australia for defamation, based on a user’s allegedly defamatory tweet [WSJ Law Blog]