Legal news affects our everyday lives, whether we notice it or not. Here’s a summary of a few of this month’s major cases.
Kentucky Senate Approves Abortion Restriction Bill
The Kentucky Senate approved a bill that outlaws the use of the dilation and excavation abortion method for patients in their eleventh week of pregnancy or later.
Uber Ends Self-Driving Car Testing After Pedestrian Death
Uber has ceased testing of its self-driving cars after a woman was struck and killed in Arizona. The 49-year-old woman was fatally struck by the self-driving car while crossing a Tempe, Ariz. street on March 18th. Since the recent death, Uber has ceased testing on the cars in San Francisco, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Toronto. The crash is believed to be the first fatality in any testing program involving autonomous vehicles.
Lawsuit: United Airlines Let Man Fall After Taking Wheelchair Away
United Airlines is facing a lawsuit alleging that it took a wheelchair away from a passenger in Orlando who later fell. The lawsuit was filed by the 65-year-old passenger, who fell after his wheelchair was taken away by airline employees. “Almost immediately after plaintiff entered the airplane, he fell in a violent fashion, suffering a fractured spine, along with several other major injuries,” says the lawsuit. The plaintiff says he has sent several letter and email complaints to the airline, but “they have not responded to any of our requests, and have simply ignored us.”
Kobe Steel and Toyota Hid Use of Sub-Standard Metal, Says Lawsuit
Kobe Steel and Toyota are facing a lawsuit alleging that they violated consumer protection laws and engaged in fraud by concealing the use of substandard metal components in vehicles. The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of a nationwide class of consumers who bought allegedly defective Toyota vehicles. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in federal court in San Francisco by two California residents and alleges the defendants violated federal and state consumer protection laws by claiming that the vehicles complied with U.S. quality standards. As alleged in the complaint, Toyota’s Prius, Camry, Land Cruiser and Lexus vehicles were all made with “sub-standard” steel, aluminum and copper.
Transgender Rights Protected by Federal Law, Says U.S. Appeals Court
A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was fired from her job as funeral director after announcing her planned transition. The court ruled that federal law banning sex bias in the workplace prohibits discrimination against transgender workers. The discrimination lawsuit was filed against RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc in Detroit by the former funeral director. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the funeral home failed to establish that the federal workplace law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, substantially burdened the ability of funeral home owner, who is a Christian, to exercise his religious rights.
USA Gymnastics Asks To Be Dismissed From Nassar Abuse Lawsuit
USA Gymnastics is asking that it be dismissed from lawsuits involving sexual abuse by sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar. In a recently filed court brief, the organization says USAG is not legally liable for Nassar’s actions against athletes. To date, 252 individuals have alleged they suffered sexual abuse by Nassar and filed suit against the former doctor. Of those lawsuits, 149 include USAG as a defendant.
ACLU Sues TSA Over Data Searches on Domestic Flights
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asking why they have increasingly begun searching data stored on travelers’ devices. The ACLU says it filed the lawsuit after questions about the data searches were ignored by the TSA. The lawsuit states, “Federal agencies have published their policies regarding searches of electronic devices at international borders, but the federal government’s policies on searching electronic devices of domestic air passengers remains shrouded in secrecy.”
Trump Administration Continues to Face Kids’ Lawsuit Over Climate Change
The Trump administration will continue to face a lawsuit filed by a group of children over climate change. The San Francisco-based Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied to dismiss the case, stating that it would be premature to dismiss the case based on the Trump administration’s claim that it would be overly burdensome to gather documents and question people. “The defendants’ argument fails because the district court has not issued a single discovery order, nor have the plaintiffs filed a single motion seeking to compel discovery. Rather, the parties have employed the usual meet-and-confer process of resolving discovery disputes,” stated the court. The lawsuit seeks to force the administration to do more to fight climate change.
Fox News Facing Lawsuit by Seth Rich’s Parents
Fox News is facing a lawsuit by the parents of deceased Capitol Hill staffer Seth Rich alleging that he was portrayed by the news organization as a traitor. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Rich’s parents who say the negative coverage of their son prevented them from processing his death. The lawsuit seeks damages for “mental anguish and emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and any other physical and mental injuries.”
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