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BUSINESS
March 16, 2011 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Throughout the bitterly fought legal battle over allegations that Chevron despoiled hundreds of square miles of once-pristine Amazon jungle in eastern Ecuador, rife as it is with charges of fraud and corruption, the plaintiffs consistently have argued their science is sound and the Ecuadoran judicial system is well-equipped to evaluate it. But on March 7, their case was dealt a severe setback. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, ruling in Manhattan, unleashed a withering broadside barring the plaintiffs, at least for the moment, from seeking to enforce an $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadoran judge against Chevron.
NEWS
May 16, 2013 | By Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
Twenty-four plaintiffs, including a dozen police officers who rushed to the scene of a November train derailment in Paulsboro, sued on Monday, alleging that the rail company's negligence caused the derailment, and that it downplayed the dangers of a chemical spill and failed to protect responders. As a result, the suit says, the plaintiffs have suffered ailments such as breathing problems, headaches, neurological disorders, and elevated blood pressure since the tanker carrying 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride derailed Nov. 30. Investigators have determined that the freight train crossed the automated drawbridge over Mantua Creek against a red light after the crew got the go-ahead from a dispatcher.
NEWS
May 7, 2000 | By Susan Q. Stranahan and Larry King, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
On Feb. 2, 1978, a spectacular fire erupted at an illegal chemical dump in Chester. More than 200 emergency workers were unwittingly exposed to toxic industrial wastes. High rates of cancer and other serious illnesses have beset the group ever since. Today, in the conclusion of an eight-day series, the legacy - and the unfinished business - of the Wade dump fire. Lillian Cornish could not stop trembling. Maria Boyle felt cowed and alone. Judy McLaughlin was upset, yet relieved to have it over with.
NEWS
October 14, 2013 | By Reuben Kramer, For The Inquirer
Debra Johnson saw it coming. "Dear God. Not here, where everybody could hear," she thought. She was at a packed college basketball game, sitting alongside her great-niece, who had just learned to count. "And she was holding my hand, which we do all the time," Johnson, 54, recalled in a honeyed, Louisiana drawl. "I could see her counting her fingers, and then she would reach over and . . . count mine. " And then it came. "I have five fingers . . . . You have four?" "Yes, I do. " "Why?"
NEWS
March 28, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision released Wednesday, voted 5-4 along ideological lines in favor of Comcast Corp. in a consumer class-action lawsuit that has been grinding its way through the Philadelphia federal courts since December 2003. The suit claims to represent two million Philadelphia-area Comcast TV customers who it says were harmed by anticompetitive business practices, and seeks $875 million in damages. The courts in Philadelphia certified the consumers as a class to collectively sue, but the Supreme Court overturned their rulings.
NEWS
October 22, 2011 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit by some Lower Merion School District parents, students, and former students who claimed the district discriminated against them and other African American students by disproportionately and inappropriately placing them in special-education programs and in the lowest-level classes. The ruling in Amber Blunt et al v. Lower Merion School District et al was handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle 3d, who wrote that there was "no direct or circumstantial evidence of racial discrimination.
NEWS
June 17, 1998 | By Lisa Sandberg, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A group of Liberian immigrants has sued five present and former Darby Borough police officers, alleging that they broke up a children's birthday party without cause, then assaulted and arrested at least six adults. The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, says the plaintiffs - seven adults and seven children - were "subjected to an extreme and outrageous invasion of privacy" and in some instances suffered serious bodily harm on June 29, 1996. The suit charges that the officers, all of whom are white, acted out of racial and ethnic bias against the plaintiffs, all of whom are black.
NEWS
July 11, 2012
Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, and seven other local plaintiffs filed an appeal Monday opposing the state's latest Republican-drawn redistricting plan. The most recent maps - released June 8 - would divide Montgomery County into eight Senate and 19 House districts, none of which lies entirely within the county, and cut district lines through several townships and boroughs. The plaintiffs called the plan "overtly political" and argued that it violates a state constitutional mandate to keep counties and cities together in one representative district "unless absolutely necessary.
NEWS
August 19, 1997 | By Douglas A. Campbell, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lawyer Clifford L. Van Syoc, who has built a reputation representing female plaintiffs in sexual-harassment suits, is the target of just such a complaint filed in Camden County Superior Court by a lawyer who once worked for him. At the same time, Van Syoc has sued the lawyer, Margaret M. Allen, in U.S. District Court, alleging that she demanded $1 million "in order not to go public with her claims. " In the suit, Allen contends that she was driven to leave Van Syoc's firm because it had become a "hostile working environment" because of an escalating pattern of sexual comments by Van Syoc.
NEWS
May 12, 1989 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of the most complex civil cases in U.S. history moved toward a resolution last night when U.S. District Judge Louis C. Bechtle approved a $100 million settlement in connection with the San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel fire that killed 97 people in 1986. The case has been referred to as a "litigatory monster" because it involves an estimated 2,300 plaintiffs, most of whom are relatives of the victims. The plaintiffs were seeking damages from at least 200 defendants. Three Philadelphia residents were among those killed in the New Year's Eve 1986 blaze in Puerto Rico, and 60 of the plaintiffs are residents of Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
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