Appeals Court Gives Go-Ahead on BP Investor Suit

Last year, Judge Ellison permitted the certification of a class of investors who purchased BP stocks from April 26 to May 28, 2010. Ellison, however, ruled that investors who purchased BP securities in the 2 ½-year period before the spill were not permitted to sue as a class. Disappointed, both BP and the plaintiffs’ attorneys appealed the rulings. Writing for the unanimous panel, Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham found that the question of BP executives’ forthrightness during the early days of the spill was “undeniably common to the class, and is susceptible of a class-wide answer.”



NYPD Officers Sue Over Hidden Racial Arrest Quotas

Despite assurances from the NYPD that it stopped using racially-motivated “stop-and-frisk” practices to fill ticket, arrest and summonses quotas, several NYPD officers have recently filed suit over the fact that they are being penalized for speaking out against such practices, which are ongoing. Among the retaliation these whistleblowers have seen: poor performance reviews compared to white colleagues, assignment to dangerous beats without a partner, threats of termination and being called a “fucking bitch.”


Baltimore Settles with Family of Freddie Gray

Gray’s family will receive $2.8 million during the 2015 fiscal year, which began in July, and $3.6 million next year. The settlement must still be approved by mayoral-controlled spending panel, which is expected on Wednesday. Gray died on April 19th while in police custody, a week after being arrested by Baltimore police. Six officers have been indicted and face a pre-trial hearing on Thursday.


Judge Approves Settlement in Silicon Valley Wage Class-Action Case

The lawsuit depicts Jobs as the mastermind behind the agreement. One email cited by the plaintiffs from 2007 involves Jobs writing to Schmidt about poaching, saying “I would be very pleased if your recruiting department would stop doing this.” Schmidt forwarded the request down the chain of command, writing “I believe we have a policy of no recruiting from Apple and this is a direct inbound request. Can you get this stopped and let me know why this is happening? I will need to send a response back to Apple quickly so please let me know as soon as you can.”


Alleged Cover-up Could Blow Roof off of Asbestos Litigation

The appeals ruling involved a class-action suit filed by relatives of alleged asbestos victims who accused BASF and Cahill of a systematic cover-up involving the destruction of key documents involving Engelhard asbestos litigation. Although the case in itself is not injury related, evidence of a cover-up could revive many previously litigated cases and cases in which plaintiffs settled for less than they would have had they attained access to factual information.


Judge Berman Overrules NFL’s Suspension of Tom Brady

The NFL has already announced that they will appeal the ruling; however it means that Brady will be permitted to start the first game of the NFL season, which begins next week. Depending on the success of the NFL’s appeal, it is still possible that Brady will have to serve the suspension at a later time.


California Joins Solitary Confinement Prison Reform Trend

As per terms of the agreement, those who have been in solitary due to gang-affiliations will have to undergo a two-year program that allows for some privileges before entering the general population. The agreement also calls for restructuring of the SHU facilities for those who are deemed too dangerous to return to the general population. These include prisoners with histories of extreme violence including murder, narcotics possession, attempted escape, and those with severe mental health problems.


G-M-No You Didn’t, Chipotle!

California resident Colleen Gallagher filed suit in federal court in San Francisco alleging that Chipotle falsely represents its food as GMO-free. Her allegations are that the restaurant chain knowingly mislead diners into paying premium prices for food they thought was of a higher quality. The company posts disclaimers on its website telling customers that the animal feed used to raise the meat for Chipotle is GMO feed and that many of its drinks also contain GMO ingredients. Ms. Gallagher argues that the average customer will never see these disclaimers and that they will only rely on the company’s advertising.


NY Court Says Chimps Not People

The highest court in New York refused to hear an appeal from the Nonhuman Rights Project regarding the legal personhood of Kiko & Tommy, two captive chimpanzees. Lower courts ruled against the idea that the chimps deserved basic rights, such as freedom from captivity.