April 27, 2016 |
Two environmental groups announced Monday that they are suing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation to try to block creation of a 26-acre dredge disposal site on Barnegat Bay. Environment New Jersey, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and a coalition of homeowners near the proposed site said they are challenging the DEP for allowing the transportation agency to develop the property without proper...
April 20, 2016 |
More than four years after Philadelphia police arrested dozens of Occupy Philadelphia protesters, the city has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle claims that officers violated demonstrators' civil rights. The settlement was reached last week. Attorneys are waiting for all 25 plaintiffs to sign off on the deal before it is final. "We feel very strongly that the First Amendment rights of Occupy protesters on the night of the eviction have been vindicated through this settlement," said Paul Hetznecker, one of the attorneys for the protesters.
February 8, 2016 |
Leona Wright, then a feisty 94-year-old Bible school teacher, was beaming. It was November 2013 and Wright and her longtime neighbors had just learned that they would not have to move out of the Mount Holly Gardens, after all. "Yes, yes, I'm getting a new house" in the Gardens, she said that chilly night when the residents packed a Mount Holly Township meeting to hear about a potential settlement. It was just days before the case was to go before the U.S. Supreme Court and the settlement would allow the Burlington County town to demolish the complex of aging rowhouses but give Wright and 19 other families new condominiums in the planned development of several hundred units in the Gardens neighborhood.
January 13, 2016 |
Thousands of women around the country who claim harm from Essure sterilization coils hope a federal judge in Philadelphia will allow five lawsuits to proceed against manufacturer Bayer Healthcare despite the device's protected status. But at a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge John R. Padova sounded unimpressed with some of the legal arguments submitted by lawyers for the five women. Padova directed lead attorney Marcus Susen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to resubmit part of the case with more specifics by Friday.
October 31, 2015 |
A lawyer representing plaintiffs in federal litigation over the 2012 Paulsboro train derailment asserted in a filing Thursday that Conrail misled the court about its training program, leading to an adverse ruling against those suing over the accident and chemical spill. The filing in U.S. District Court in Camden claims an affidavit by a Conrail risk officer provided false testimony, and that the company's training program for conductors - approved by the Federal Railroad Administration months before the Nov. 30, 2012, derailment - was withheld in court.
October 15, 2015 |
A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department's post-9/11 surveillance of Muslim religious and civic groups, comparing the program to other dark moments of race-based government monitoring in America's past. "We have been down similar roads before," Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro wrote for a three-judge panel of the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. "Jewish Americans during the Red Scare, African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese Americans during World War II are examples that readily spring to mind.
September 27, 2015 |
A federal judge in Philadelphia has given final approval to a $50 million settlement to an antitrust class action that pitted Comcast Corp. against plaintiffs' lawyers who were seeking $875 million. The pact will net customers a $15 credit on their bill or service upgrades worth $44, while plaintiffs' lawyers will get $15 million in fees and expenses. About 800,000 Philadelphia-area Comcast subscribers in Pennsylvania will benefit in late 2015 or early 2016 from the settlement. U.S. District Judge John R. Padova of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agreed to the final settlement, which gives Comcast the green light to shell out $33.3 million for the service enhancements and distribute a $16.7 million cash fund for attorneys' fees and payout costs to subscribers who requested them.
June 17, 2015 |
CHANGES COULD BE coming to the way Philadelphia seizes property under its civil-forfeiture program. The program - aimed at stopping drug activity - has caught innocent people in its net, violating their constitutional rights, critics say. Lawyers on both sides of a federal civil lawsuit yesterday told U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that the parties are close to settling the first two of the plaintiffs' six claims in the lawsuit. A status report filed by lawyers for the city and the District Attorney's Office - the defendants in the lawsuit - also said three more claims could be settled.
June 10, 2015 |
It's officially safe to carry signs to School Reform Commission meetings. Three former Philadelphia teachers have settled a civil-rights lawsuit they filed against the SRC, Commissioner Bill Green, the city, and others, splitting $32,500 in what they say were First Amendment violations. At a crowded and contentious February SRC meeting, officials confiscated placards from Lisa Haver, Ilene Poses, and Barbara Dowdall. City police also removed Poses from Philadelphia School District headquarters after she refused to surrender the sign she wore around her neck.
April 23, 2015 |
A lawsuit contending that Pennsylvania's system of school funding is broken will move to the state's top court, attorneys vowed Tuesday after a lower court dismissed the case brought by school districts, parents, and advocates. Lawyers said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court after the Commonwealth Court ruled that education funding was a legislative issue and not a legal matter. "This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," said Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, part of the team that represents petitioners in this case.