“Two passengers riding in a stolen car that was involved in a wreck sue the car’s 91-year-old owner” The driver of the wreck was a man defendant George Hinnenkamp had sometimes hired to do odd jobs; the passengers claim he had extended permission for the man to take the car that night, but a district attorney who successfully prosecuted the case says that isn’t so, noting that Hinnenkamp had reported the car stolen well before the accident. [Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard]
A Long Island judge has ruled for the defense in a negligent-security case filed by a patron who was slashed by a surprise assailant dressed as a ninja. [Newsday]
Citing a Title IX complaint, the lawsuit claims that the university’s failure to crack down harder on male behavior was in part responsible for the sensational crime in which a fellow lab worker strangled the pharmacology student and stuffed her body into a wall. [Yale Daily News, Slate "XX Factor" (despite feminist sympathies, doubting basis for suit), New York Daily News] More: Scott Greenfield, Max Kennerly.
Following the horrific murder-suicide of a woman who intentionally drowned herself and three of her four children, the woman’s estranged boyfriend is suing the city of Newburgh, N.Y. and its surrounding county for failing to prevent the crime. Joint and several liability reform would help, if only Albany were more sympathetic to the cause. [Thomas Stebbins, Poughkeepsie Journal; Daily News]
According to the actor, in an op-ed (co-authored with Stephen DeMaura) in today’s WSJ:
Two women get into a fight in the ladies’ restroom at a restaurant. Afterward, they sue the restaurant owner, claiming someone should have been in there to break up the fight. It costs the small-business owner $2,000 to pay each plaintiff to drop the complaint, which was cheaper than fighting the lawsuit would have been.
This completely ridiculous story is true, and the restaurant owner was one of us, Mr. Norris. …
In Los Angeles, a woman “who wants to remain anonymous” has sued Match.com saying that a man she met on the service raped her on their second date and that it has a legal responsibility to screen participants more carefully. The man in the case, who is awaiting trial, has implied through a lawyer that contact was consensual. [NBC Los Angeles via TortsProf, Amy Alkon]
But suing a variety of “nontraditional defendants,” including the City of New York and the owners of the apartment building where the victim’s body was found, may not be a sure-fire formula for doing that. Among the defendants is Facebook, on which a paramedic improperly posted pictures of the victim’s body; while the pics were quickly taken down, the suit demands that Facebook take further remedial steps such as identifying who may have “downloaded” (i.e. viewed?) the images. [CNN]
Think twice before encouraging someone to check [NJLRA]
Crestwood, Mo.: “The Starbucks coffee shop here should have known it was inviting trouble by placing a tip jar on an open counter, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the estate of a customer who died defending it.” Customer Roger Kreutz saw a teenager grab the jar and gave chase on foot; he was killed when the miscreant backed his car over him. Kreutz’s estate has now filed a suit alleging “that Starbucks ‘did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes’ and that it ‘invited the act of perpetration of said crime’ by having a tip jar.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
An Oregon man robbed and shot during a fishing vacation to the state of Sinaloa, Mexico says the tour operator should have warned of the endemic risk of violence [OnPoint News]
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The parents of a man fatally stabbed at the New Life Evangelistic Center homeless shelter in 2008 have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the center, saying the center did not provide adequate security.” Jeremy Dunlap was 21 years old when he was stabbed at the center by Robert Gamble, another homeless man who was convicted of murder. “We are saddened that the family would claim that we were negligent,” a church assistant said. “We are in the business of trying to help people that nobody else will help.”
And the resulting lawsuit by the bomb victim names as defendants the parking garage as well as the family member. A panel of the D.C. Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the garage owners, however, ruling that a car bombing was not reasonably foreseeable at their location on Wisconsin Ave. in the District of Columbia. [Sigmund v. Starwood, Findlaw, via The Briefcase]
Wal-Mart stores in many parts of the country are famous for letting motor-home travelers park overnight in their lots for free. One wonders whether that policy will last: a Florida couple is now suing the retailer over an incident in the parking lot of its Cedar City, Utah store, in which the family shot and killed a man who intruded in their parked home. They say they have suffered emotional distress and medical problems and that “store officials knew the man was loitering in the lot” but failed to act. [Salt Lake Tribune via Consumerist, where commenters haven't been conspicuously sympathetic to the plaintiffs]
“What Jaycee Dugard endured is beyond comprehension, but it should be patently obvious that California taxpayers weren’t responsible for what happened to her. …This is all about money and saving face; nothing about responsibility.” [Bruce Maiman, Sacramento Bee]