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NEWS
January 15, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal judges in Philadelphia raised questions Tuesday about a New York Police Department surveillance program that critics say unfairly targeted Muslim communities after 9/11. The 11 plaintiffs in the case - including an Army sergeant, a former schoolteacher, and an imam - have argued that the surveillance intimidated people from attending Muslim businesses and places of worship. Julio Fuentes, one of three appeals court judges hearing the appeal, said he would not want to attend a mosque if it was being watched, and compared the effect to a business losing money.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
A group of 45 Philadelphia taxi companies filed suit in federal court Tuesday alleging that Uber, the app-based taxi enterprise, is waging unfair competition against medallion owners who must operate under state laws and regulations. Lead litigant Checker Cab Philadelphia and the other cab operators accused Uber of racketeering. "Not since the days of bootlegging has there been a criminal enterprise so brazen and open as to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from investment bankers and to operate in blatant violation of federal and state law as Uber," reads the complaint.
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.
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