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NEWS
November 16, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury has awarded $45 million to a woman who was among four mentally disabled people held captive in a Tacony dungeon where they were starved and beaten. The award, from a Common Pleas Court jury, was granted Thursday to Tamara Breeden, 33, who had been held captive for a decade by Linda Ann Weston. She testified that from fall 2001 to October 2011, she was a captive of Weston, 55; Gregory Thomas Sr., 51; Eddie Wright, 53; and Jean McIntosh, 36. Breeden was awarded $40 million in compensatory damages.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Plaintiffs' lawyers and Howmedica Osteonics Corp., a medical-device maker, have reached a $1 billion-plus settlement over claims that Howmedica hip implants failed in thousands of patients, requiring costly and painful surgery to correct the problem. The settlement involved plaintiffs from around the country, but was fashioned in large measure in Philadelphia by former federal magistrate Diane Welsh, acting as a court-appointed mediator, and members of the plaintiffs' steering committee, including Thomas Anapol and Tobias Millrood, two Philadelphia-based personal-injury lawyers, along with company lawyers.
BUSINESS
August 25, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
After all the hand-wringing and anguish over out-of- state firms flocking to file lawsuits in Philadelphia - the law firms you see advertising on late-night television - is Philadelphia still the notorious plaintiffs' paradise of common lore? It all depends on your idea of civil litigation bliss. A look at medical malpractice awards is revealing. There is no question: Philadelphia remains the most favorable jurisdiction in Pennsylvania for lawyers seeking big payoffs, a maddening fact to the many physicians and hospitals here.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Santai-Gaffney is trying to pick up where Gov. Corbett left off and defend Pennsylvania's previous same-sex marriage ban. In May, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III declared the ban unconstitutional, and gay and lesbian couples across the state began tying the knot. Santai-Gaffney has asked Jones to put his ruling on hold and allow her to intervene in the case. If Jones - or a higher court - grants her request, it could halt to same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, and increase pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a disjointed patchwork of laws nationwide.
SPORTS
June 4, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dan Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and one of the NFL's highest-profile alums, has joined the ranks of former players suing the league over concussion-related injuries. In court filings late last week, Marino, 52, claimed that league officials had long been aware of the long-term effects of repeated hits to the head but chose to ignore those warnings and put players' health at risk. But unlike some of the more than 5,000 ex-players who have filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, Marino did not specify any explicit condition with which he has struggled in his post-football career.
NEWS
May 2, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
T ESS GERRITSEN , the author of the Rizzoli & Isles book series, as well as a number of best-selling suspense novels, filed suit against Warner Bros. on Tuesday, reports TheWrap.com, claiming that the studio based its hit film "Gravity" on her novel. Her book was also called "Gravity" and Warner's New Line subsidiary bought the rights to it in 1999. Gerritsen is seeking 2.5 percent of the film's net profit, according to the New York Times . The author claims that her agreement with Warner promised her a "based upon" credit, if the movie were produced.
NEWS
March 28, 2014
THROUGHOUT history, people have fought the good fight to preserve those things of value and fundamental importance that define the essence of being human. Our Founding Fathers raged against the tyranny of their colonial overlords. African-Americans and their allies rode the freedom train against a virulent tide of bigotry. Women struggled to earn what should have been their birthright - a political voice. Activists like Cesar Chavez labored to bring dignity to the migrant worker. Liberty, equality, respect and a living wage were all things that were won through the sacrifice of people who recognized that certain things in life are neither negotiable, nor free.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a case that has cost tens of millions in legal fees and riveted the attention of legal experts nationwide, a federal judge in New York on Tuesday found that an $18 billion judgment against energy giant Chevron Corp. for polluting a wide swath of the rain forest in Ecuador was procured through fraud, including bribery and doctored experts' reports. In an exhaustive, 485-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan found that lead plaintiffs' lawyer Steven Donziger initiated the fraud in 2006, after it appeared that the case in Ecuador had begun to go against him. Kaplan found that Donziger, who is based in New York, had concealed the fraud from Kohn Swift & Graf, a Philadelphia plaintiffs firm that financed the case until it pulled out in 2009 over concern that Donziger and his team had acted improperly.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHERRY HILL A Superior Court judge on Monday upheld the Cherry Hill Township zoning board's approval of a 152-unit luxury apartment complex to be built at a site most recently occupied by a building materials supplier. In a case that underscored development tensions in one of the state's most heavily built-out municipalities, Judge Lee A. Solomon accepted the board's conclusion that Buckingham Partners L.L.C. of Cherry Hill had met its burden of proof related to variances. He rejected all arguments by the plaintiffs, a group of residents living nearby, who pledged to appeal.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lawyers representing pharmaceuticals saleswomen employed by Merck & Co. have upped the ante in a sexual discrimination lawsuit, adding plaintiffs and setting damages sought at $250 million. "Merck's glass ceiling and maternal walls are indisputable," lawyers for the women wrote in documents filed in federal court in Trenton late Thursday evening. The pleadings say Merck discriminates against saleswomen who "are or have been pregnant or are caregivers to young children" by denying them promotions and failing to compensate them as they do men. Lawyers for the women are seeking class-action status and say the class could include thousands of women.
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