CASES:

Police Dept. Failed to Submit Rape Kits

A Chicago woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Harvey, Ill., and the former chief of police for allegedly failing to submit her rape kit to state officials for testing after a 2007 sexual assault. The suit says the department failed to report hundreds of rape kits, denying the victims their constitutional due process rights. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.  Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune 03/22/2012   

Student Kicked Off Student Council Files Lawsuit

A senior at Alpharetta High School in Georgia has filed a lawsuit against school administrators after he was removed as student body president for suggesting the school make prom "more inclusive to gay students." The plaintiff said he proposed modifying the "prom king and queen" tradition to make it more accepting to gay students and was quickly removed from his position for seeking changes to school policies. School officials said the student was removed "because he failed to complete his responsibilities according to set bylaws, nothing more."  Maureen Downey, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  03/23/2012

 

LABOR/EMPLOYMENT

Settlement Reached in Job Denial Lawsuit

Global food supplier Olam Americas will pay $140,000 to a female job applicant who says she had a job offer rescinded after the company learned she was pregnant. The woman claimed Olam violated federal employment discrimination laws by revoking her job offer. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to conduct specialized training on handling discrimination complaints.  Robert Rodriguez, The Fresno Bee  03/15/2012

FedEx has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit over allegations of discrimination against job seekers at FedEx Ground delivery facilities. The suit claimed that evidence showed the company discriminated on the bases of "sex, race and national origin" in its hiring process against more than 21,000 applicants. As part of the settlement, FedEx will extend job offers to 1,700 applicants previously rejected.  Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times  03/21/2012

PRODUCT

Power Mattress Bases Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of more than 25,000 mattress bases and foundations due to increased fire hazard. The motor-powered bases and foundations, manufactured by Leggett & Platt, have motor control boards that can short circuit and overheat. There have been 29 reports of the motors overheating, but no injuries occurred.  Staff Report, PR Newswire  03/22/2012

 

PERSONAL INJURY

Woman Who Fell from Dorm Balcony Files Suit

A former student at Savanna College of Art and Design in Georgia has filed a lawsuit against the school after falling from her sixth-story doorm room balcony. According to the lawsuit, the student was leaning against the railing on her balcony when it suddenly broke, sending her falling to the ground. She has undergone 21 surgeries to her legs, face and chest since the accident, and can no longer run or jump. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.  JOEL LANDAU, Press of Atlantic City  03/23/2012

 

WRONGFUL DEATH

$2 Million Awarded in Wreck Caused by Police Officer

A Georgia jury has awarded $2 million to a the widow of a local man who was hit and killed by a Gwinnett County Police Officer who was responding to a backup call in 2006. According to the lawsuit, the police officer was "traveling between 78 and 80 mph with no emergency flashing lights or sirens" when he slammed into the car driven by the victim. Attorneys for the defendants say they will appeal the ruling.  Andria Simmons , Atlanta Journal-Constitution  03/22/2012