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Costco Fighting Legal Battle in Washington State

Major grocery retailer Costco is facing a legal challenge in its home state of Washington. Residents of Lake Stevens, WA (a town about 45 miles north of their central headquarters) have filed a lawsuit to prevent the chain from opening a new retail location in their town. The group, called Livable Lake Stevens, has a history of fighting against Costco’s expansion into their neighborhood. This lawsuit is one of several similar suits the residents have filed over the past three years with the express purpose of denying Costco the opportunity to build on land that they own. The resident group has also held multiple protests at city council meetings trying to stop development at the site.

This time, the residents filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Army Corps of Engineers. The 40 acre plot was recently allowed to start fill dirt operations, despite the fact that the property contains wetland areas. The plaintiffs believe that the process to gain proper permitting to fill wetlands at the site was rushed. Several experts, however, have remarked that the lawsuit is likely the last attempt that can be made to prevent the store from starting construction.

Many of the residents are concerned about an increase in traffic through their neighborhoods. In fact, one study estimated a nearly 50% increase in traffic on major roads within a one mile radius of the store. Members of Livable Lake Stevens point to this study as the main reason why the store should not be built in their area.

There are, however, many residents in Lake Stevens, Wa who want to see the Costco open in their neighborhood. Costco has a reputation for high wages, and the company’s press releases regarding the expansion are quick to point out their $24 an hour average salaries. These retail positions also come with benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. With a typical store bringing approximately 275 new jobs to an area, there are many people in Lake Stevens who want to see the store open as soon as possible.

For now, everyone will have to wait and see what the courts decide in the federal lawsuit.

The Most Common Injuries at Construction Sites

Construction jobs are fulfilling, but they can also be dangerous. Sadly, there are hundreds of thousands of serious injuries that construction workers sustain every year. A lot of construction workers who are hurt on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation. This compensation can cover lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs stemming directly from the injury. It is critical to work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in construction law. A personal injury claim could be filed on behalf of the individual to seek additional compensation.

There are several examples of injuries that take place on construction sites. For example, falls from great heights can lead to serious injuries. Someone could fall from heavy machinery, scaffolding, or a roof. Proper safety equipment is important for reducing the risk of falls.

Some people slip and fall in a construction zone as well. There are lots of trip hazards at construction sites, including heavy machinery. If someone trips over a heavy object, they could fall, potentially breaking a bone.

Transportation accidents can also take place during construction projects. A lot of people drive trailers, tractors, and trucks from place to place. If an accident takes place, someone could suffer serious injuries. They might even require emergency surgery to repair the issue.

Electrical injuries are also serious concerns in construction sites. Many workers use powerful machinery, electrical wiring, and generators. All of these increase the risk of electrocution injuries, leading to serious burns.

Finally, many people overlook the risk of trench collapses at construction sites. Trenches are important in constructing new buildings. On the other hand, if the trench collapses, it can lead to serious injuries. This could include chest injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Every trench has to have the right safety equipment to minimize the risk of a trench collapse.

Every construction worker has to take the appropriate safety precautions to minimize the chances of suffering an injury. Unfortunately, some construction injuries still take place. It is important for workers to explore their eligibility for workers’ compensation. This could help them cover the costs related to the injury. Then, any construction worker who has been injured should reach out to a personal injury attorney to make sure their rights are protected.

Lawsuit Filed Against the First Long-Term Care Insurance Program in the Country

Long-term care insurance has been a significant issue in the healthcare industry for some time, with significant expenses being incurred at the end of someone’s life. Recently, Washington State created the nation’s first long-term care insurance program. Now, it is heading to court, as a group of workers and employers has filed a lawsuit against the state in an effort to overturn the law.

The lawsuit alleges that the long-term care insurance program violates the United States Constitution, State insurance regulations, and the Employee Income Security Act, also known as ERISA. While the governor was already considering revisions to the plan, this lawsuit is likely to accelerate them.

The main argument of a lawsuit is that the new public long-term care insurance program violates ERISA’s guarantees and protections against non-forfeiture. What this means is that workers cannot be denied benefits after they have paid into a specific benefit program. Under the long-term care insurance program, employees must pay a 0.58 percent payroll tax in return for long-term care insurance; however, the law also requires workers to contribute for 10 years before they can be eligible for benefits from the program. Furthermore, the benefits only apply to individuals who live in Washington State. The lawsuit alleges that because some individuals might pay into the program without receiving benefits, it violates ERISA.

Furthermore, the program alleges that age discrimination is taking place. The program charges higher-income workers higher premiums even though the state shouldn’t have any interest in the rate differences. Older workers tend to make more than younger workers, so the lawsuit claims that the new program violates multiple laws put into place to protect older workers against age discrimination. This falls under the Equal Protection clause, which is the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

As the lawsuit heads to court, a number of important questions will be answered. Is the program subject to regulation by ERISA? Are employers acting as agents of the state if they collect and remit a tax premium related to the program? Does the payment into the program qualify as a premium or a tax? These questions will be answered as the lawsuit plays out in court.

4 Situations That May Need The Assistance Of A Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer can be of assistance during many trying situations, ranging from the difficulties that surround an accident on the road to issues surrounding medical malpractice. In certain circumstances, someone might have a legitimate claim for recourse or compensation against another party. It’s important to understand which avenues must be explored in these types of circumstances.

4 Situations That May Need The Assistance Of A Personal Injury Lawyer

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Whether this entails being hit by a car or another type of vehicle, such as a tractor or trailer, it could be possible to seek compensation for damages. If the accident was caused by negligence on another party’s part, a personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights to ensure you’re compensated for your losses.

Medical Malpractice

Some people have had to deal with medical malpractice. It occurs when a person has been exposed to more risks during treatment because of any act, neglect, or lack of skill by a doctor or another medical professional. A qualified personal injury attorney can help seek compensation for medical bill payments or other costs associated with the incident.

Product Liability

A personal injury lawyer can also help when it is believed that one has been subjected to product-related injury. This can encompass anything from a defective drug to a poorly designed product, whether it is faulty equipment or an item that is deemed dangerous. This could include anything from machinery to household appliances.

Workers Compensation

When working, you need to be aware of what is happening around you and ensure that your safety during your shift will be taken care of. If a person works in a place that involves heavy machinery or equipment, they should be protected at all times to avoid accidents. When an accident happens that causes injury to a worker, they may need to file an injury case with their employer to get fully compensated.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, it is wise to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer who will listen to your story with compassion and understanding before giving you legal advice. They are there for one reason only- to help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve for any losses.

Washington State Coach Nick Rolovich Files Lawsuit Over Termination Related to Vaccination Status

The Coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the world in which we live during the past two years. Recently, a lot of vaccines have been given full approval by the FDA, opening the doors to employers who might want to require their employees to be fully vaccinated. Some employees have even been fired because of their unvaccinated status. One of the recent high-profile examples is Nick Rolovich, who was the head coach of the Washington State football team. He was also one of the highest-paid employees by the state of Washington, as Washington state is a public school.

His situation has received a significant amount of attention during the past few months because of the high-profile nature of PAC-12 football. When Washington State decided to require all of its employees to be vaccinated, many were wondering how coach Rolovich would react. He still decided to remain unvaccinated, and was subsequently fired by the athletic director. The school also announced that he would be fired for cause, meaning that he would no longer be paid by the university.

Now, he is filing a wrongful termination against the school, claiming his firing was unlawful. It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds. The claim the former coach is making in the lawsuit is that he decided not to get vaccinated because of his steadfast Catholic faith. Of note, the Pope has encouraged everyone to get vaccinated as a way to overcome the pandemic. Right now, it is unclear if politics had any role in the coach’s decision to remain unvaccinated, but if he can prove that his vaccination status is directly related to his religious beliefs, he may claim that his firing is a violation of his first amendment rights giving him freedom of religion. The coach would have to prove that his vaccination status is related to his religious beliefs and show how he practices these religious beliefs in his everyday life.

Washington State is also a public institution, which could play a role in the legality of the lawsuit and the school’s regulations as the case moves forward. Of note, several other assistant coaches were also terminated by the university due to their refusal to get vaccinated.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg To Be Added to a Consumer Privacy Violations Lawsuit

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, has been included in a consumer privacy violations lawsuit following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This is the first time the Facebook CEO has been targeted individually by a US regulator, with a previous lawsuit by Attorney General Karl A Racine filed against the social media giant in 2018 on the grounds of unfair and deceptive practices.

According to Racine, internal documents and interviews from former Facebook employees have shown that Zuckerberg was aware of the collection of user data by Cambridge Analytica and knowingly participated in the misrepresentation of data security. Following this, both the company and Zuckerberg could pay millions of dollars in restrictions and damages to victims if found guilty. In addition to this, they could also pay attorney fees and civil penalties.

Racine’s complaint further states that Zuckerberg misled government officials and the public about Facebook’s role in the data breach. With these facts in mind, Zuckerberg should be held accountable for the deceptive trade practices of the company, according to Racine. As a major shareholder with more than half of the voting shares, Zuckerberg’s influence contributes majorly to how the company is run and what activities Facebook participates in. This includes giving third parties access to user data that Cambridge Analytica may have used to target users ahead of the 2016 US election. Following his mention in the lawsuit, Zuckerberg has vowed to take responsibility for the scandal. Facebook’s legal defense has also come out to state that they will continue to defend themselves while focusing on the facts at hand. The company also termed the allegations as meritless, just as they were when the initial lawsuit was filed. While Cambridge Analytica was suspended from Facebook for accessing consumer data, the social media giant still faced a $5 billion settlement in 2019 following the scandal that later stretched out to other security concerns.

As the company continually faces scrutiny over its privacy safeguards and related matters such as public health, democracy, and polarization, it may soon bid farewell to its name as it attempts to rebuild its new ambitions. This may see it get into new markets, with Zuckerberg’s desire to invest in the metaverse signaling a new era of broadened tech dominance.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson at War with Corrupt Chicken Producers, Files Mega Lawsuit

If you’ve ever gone into a grocery store and were shocked at the high prices of chicken, it wasn’t just your imagination or inflation changing the prices. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges in a new lawsuit that chicken producers purposefully engaged in illegal tactics to raise chicken prices- and their profits.

Who is involved in the lawsuit?

The lawsuit, filed on October 25, alleges that some of the most recognized chicken producers, such as Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms, Foster Farms, Peco Foods, and 15 other household name brands have been slowly raising chicken prices for years. These companies allegedly engaged in tactics to lower supply, therefore increasing demand and raising prices at the expense of millions of Americans.

Specific tactics these companies allegedly used include restraining production, manipulating price indices, rigging bids, and exchanging highly sensitive competitive information with one another. They even engaged in culling breeder flocks. The term “culling” means removing animals, in this case chickens, purposefully from a flock because they are no longer needed. However, chicken meat and groceries were desperately needed during the first instance these chicken producers decided to increase costs- during the 2008 market crash.

Who was affected?

While the country was reeling in the effects of the 2008 economic meltdown, Ferguson alleges these 19 companies continued their shady business practices to cut down on supply and increase costs, violating the Washingtons state consumer protection and anti-trust laws (Relating to legislation preventing or controlling trusts or other monopolies, with the intention of promoting competition in business.)

It isn’t just Washington families that suffered from this so-called chicken conspiracy. These companies have already had to pay settlements to other states nationwide. However, Washington was not eligible to receive payments, hence Ferguson’s lawsuit being filed that now seeks restitution for millions of Washington families. In addition, businesses such as schools, private pre-schools, and nearly everyone who ever bought broiler chicken and chicken products within Washington were all victims of the price hikes.

Ferguson said, “This conspiracy cost middle-class and low-income Washington families more money to put food on their table. I will hold these companies accountable for the profits they illegally made off the backs of hardworking Washington families.”

This is How the American Federation of Teachers Settled the Loan Forgiveness Lawsuit

The American Federation of Teachers has settled a lawsuit against the Department of Education over a loan forgiveness lawsuit filed in 2019. In the complaint, the plaintiffs sued the former Secretary of Education over failure to properly manage the student loan forgiveness program as promised. According to the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, and other members of the Federation, they struggled to get relief from their student loans due to gross mismanagement of the program. This was mainly due to incorrect information from the servicing programs, lack of oversight, and inaccurate records of payment information.

Due to the above failures, the Department of Education has agreed to a settlement with the plaintiffs. This will see the plaintiff’s loan debt of up to $400,000 discharged. The lawsuit also marks a victory for public employees, with the Department of Education agreeing to several reforms that help solve the program’s inefficiencies. The first of these will allow borrowers with direct loans that have not been successful in their forgiveness to undergo a reconsideration process. The process will be announced by the department no later than January 31, 2022.

In addition to this, the department will notify borrowers of the remaining payments before they can qualify for loan forgiveness. This will be followed by notifications of the payments that qualify for the program and those that do not. Borrowers will also be notified of the personnel they can contact to get guidance about their loan forgiveness application. These notices will be sent within 90 days of the execution of the agreement. During this period, the department will ensure that borrowers who qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness are notified along with those eligible for the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Other highlights arising from the lawsuit include a review of denied applications, a temporary reconsideration allowing borrowers to request a review of their denied applications, and a review of processing practices by the parties responsible for the loan forgiveness program. To note is that the agreement reached in the lawsuit applies to all borrowers, with the terms also not limited by any specific period. This will allow borrowers to get relief from the once overwhelming debt payments overlooked by the Department of Education.

Facebook Is Asking a US Court To Dismiss the FTC Antitrust Case

Facebook has asked a federal judge to dismiss the antitrust case of the American government that seeks Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. An antitrust case is a case that is used to prevent monopoly within the free market. According to the social media giant, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was not able to provide a plausible factual basis for branding Facebook as an unlawful monopolist. Facebook also added the FTC relied on guesswork rather than real facts.

As a result, a U.S. judge James Boasberg dismissed the FTC’s complaint against Facebook stating that it was legally insufficient. It is important to note that he dismissed the complaint, not the case, which gave the FTC a chance to file a revised complaint, and the FTC did that.

The FTC amended their original complaint by adding more details and asked the judge again to force Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. The FTC claimed that Facebook has been the most dominant and largest personal social network in the US since 2012. Facebook responded to this claim by saying that they are facing enough competition from such social websites as LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. However, the FTC argued that these websites do not fall under the category of “personal social networking”.

Facebook also added that the amended complaint is not valid because of the participation of the new FTC chair, Lina Khan. Facebook said that she should have to recuse herself from this case due to her criticism of big and influential tech companies, including Facebook. According to Facebook, she joined the FTC having already made up her mind against the social media giant.

Facebook also noted that one of the purposes of this lawsuit filed by the FTC is to undo mergers that it had approved. These mergers include Instagram bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014.

By responding to the FTC complaint, Facebook claims that this case does not have any factual or legal support. One of the Facebook spokesmen also added that Facebook cannot be accused of having monopoly power because this power does not exist at all.

Important Steps to Winning Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit, there are several steps you should take in order to maximize your chances of success. You may be suffering from not just physical injuries, but also a loss of work, high medical bills, and other issues. Being prepared is the key to success.

Seek Medical Care Right Away

If you delay seeking medical care, an opposing attorney or insurance company can claim that you were not really injured. You may not even realize that you are hurt, so get any EMTs or other medical personnel available at the place of your injury to check you out. Be sure they fill out reports. Also, go see your doctor. Describe exactly what happened, as a medical professional will know how to look for signs of specific injuries based on what happened.

Gather All of Your Evidence

Get everything that you can on paper, and preserve any emails, text messages and voicemails between you and the other party. Ask the police, medical personnel, and anyone else involved for written statements. If there were any witnesses, get their information in writing immediately. The recollections of people who aren’t a party to the action lend credibility to your claim, particularly when it comes to the negligent actions of others.

Act Quickly

You only have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Beyond these court deadlines, witnesses may move or not remember events clearly over time. It also becomes harder to collect information like medical and police reports if you have to go through additional channels down the road.

Hire An Attorney and Talk Only to Them

The most important thing you can do to guarantee the success of your personal injury lawsuit is to hire an experienced attorney. They can help you navigate a very complicated legal system, and they know how to deal with insurance companies and their attorneys. Make sure you only talk to your attorney about your case. Things that you say to others can be brought to light during your lawsuit, and even completely innocent comments can be portrayed in a negative light.