Airbnb Sued over Religious Discrimination for Delisting West Bank Homes

Airbnb, the popular site that allows homeowners to list their homes and travelers to stay in homes, rooms, or apartments while traveling instead of conventional hotels, is being sued for discrimination on religious grounds. Eighteen Americans are suing the company over its removing listings from the West Bank region occupied by Israel. The Americans that are suing are mostly dual Israeli citizens who live in the area.

The lawsuit says that Airbnb’s delisting of the properties affects renters who are Israeli, Jewish or both. Both the lawsuit and Airbnb did not provide a breakdown by religion or nationality of the affected listings and users. It’s unknown if any non-Jewish Israelis or Palestinians rent out their property there. The lawsuit asks the court to declare that the actions by Airbnb violate the Fair Housing Act. It also acts to provide compensation for lost revenue and cover legal fees, in addition to blocking any future discrimination against Israelis and Jews.

A spokesperson for the company said that he believes the lawsuit will fail in court because the company has over 20,000 hosts in Israel. The spokesperson also noted that many multinational US-based hotels don’t offer any accommodations in these areas.

This lawsuit was filed on November 28 in Delaware in federal court, but there was also another lawsuit filed in an Israeli court on November 23 that initially named a single home renter in the area. The Israeli government encouraged those who are renting out homes to sue Airbnb following the announcement that occurred on November 19 about Airbnb reevaluating its policies and pulling the listings. During the announcement, Airbnb said that it was reevaluating policies about allowing hosts to list properties in areas where the listings could contribute to human suffering and send a political message by being offered. Hosts are those who use the service to list out rentals. Many critics have called this announcement hypocritical since the West Bank was the first, and so far the only region where it has withdrawn listings under these new guidelines. Previously, the company did remove listings in Crimea because of international sanctions.

About 200 listings are going to be removed and 11 plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they have rented out their properties with Airbnb before and want to continue to do so. The other plaintiffs say they want to rent in the West Bank in the future. The United Nations views settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and the US has criticized Israel for allowing and encouraging these settlements in the past.

 

Lawsuit Claims Football Coach Was Looking at Cell Phone While Student Drowned in Pool

A lawsuit in California claims that a football coach overseeing athletes in a school swimming pool was looking at his cell phone and was distracted as a 15-year-old student drowned during a swimming lesson.

Several media outlets reported that the head football coach at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville California, Aaron Becker, was overseeing the swimming lesson. The lesson was part of the physical education class when Ben Curry began struggling as he was treading water. Curry was treading water for nearly four minutes, then began struggling and eventually drowned.

The lawsuit was filed by Curry’s parents, Thomas, and Karen Curry, and is holding not only Becker but also the San Ramon Unified School District responsible for the death of their son. In the lawsuit, Curry’s parents allege that Becker was too distracted on his phone while Curry was struggling and eventually came to his exhaustion. Some more distributing details of the incident include how long it took Becker to notice that Curry had gone underwater while in his sight.

According to the lawsuit, Becker had dismissed the class at the end of the period and didn’t check to make sure that all the students had gotten out of the pool safely. He left the pool area without taking roll and Curry was still underwater. His cell phone and clothing were alongside the pool. Another 56 students had left the pool that day while he was still underwater.

Some have questioned whether his death may be a suicide, but the autopsy report showed that there was no indication he intended to drown himself, and the death was ruled an accident by the coroner. Even though the death was ruled an accident, many say that it could have been a preventable accident. Video footage that is being reviewed by the prosecution shows this. The video shows that Becker was standing on the diving board and looking at his cell phone while he was supposed to be supervising the class. No one knows if Becker was truly distracted that day and if the death could have been prevented, but it’s a question that the Currys want answers to.

Parents of Exchange Student Killed in Santa Fe High School Shooting Suing Suspect’s Parents

An exchange student from Pakistan was one of eight students that were killed during a shooting at Santa Fe High School in May, and now her parents are suing the accused suspect’s parents.

Sabika Sheikh was killed in the shooting that took the lives of eight students, as well as two substitute teachers, and injured 13 other people. Dimitrios Pagourtsiz is accused of the shooting. The lawsuit was filed days before Sheikh’s 18th birthday on December 1st. Her cousin, Shaheera Albasit, says that this is their gift to her. Her cousin says that they were raised together in the same house and their relationship was more sisterly instead of just cousins. She was the one who accompanied Sheikh’s body back to Pakistan.

The lawsuit claims that the parents of the shooter, Antonio Pagourtzis and Rose Marie Kosmetatos, ignored warning signs and were neglectful in storing the weapons used in the shooting by their son. The attorney for the parents, Ron Rodgers, released a statement that said his clients are heartbroken about the event and the loss of Sheikh, as well as the other victims, and it may be natural to place blame, but the accusations against his clients are untrue and inaccurate. He says that the process must continue, but that he is confident that his clients weren’t negligent and couldn’t have predicted the unfortunate events.

Sheikh’s parents are not the only ones involved in the lawsuit, as the suit includes two other families with children also killed during the shooting.

Sheikh was only three weeks away from coming home to her native Pakistan and she has spent a year in studying abroad. Her parents are hoping to create a foundation that can be used to help promote her diplomacy ideals and continue her legacy as the best way to keep her alive. They also say that other parents shouldn’t have to feel this grief.

The shooting took place on May 18th and authorities say that the gunman was armed with a revolver and a shotgun. There were also explosive devices found. The gunman is currently in custody for murder charges and his lawyer says the trial is supposed to start next year.

Mom Sues ICE for $60million in Allegedly Neglectful Death of Her Toddler

A mother is suing the US government for the wrongful death of her 19-month-old daughter. Yazmin Juarez is a recent immigrant from Guatemala caught up in the US government’s ever-shifting immigration policy. Juarez and her daughter were detained at the border and confined to an immigration facility in early Spring.

They were sent to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. It was there beginning on March 1st, according to Juarez’s attorney, that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to get 19-month-old Mariee Juarez proper medical care, resulting in her death. For six weeks, Mariee’s upper respiratory infection grew worse and worse while ICE medical staff prescribed only Tylenol when the toddler was presenting with a 104-degree fever, congestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. The 20-year-old mother seeks $60 million in damages.

Mariee made it to a hospital emergency room only after ICE released the mother and daughter and the pair made their way to family in New Jersey. The toddler died there on May 10th. While in ICE custody, Yazmin had attempted to get emergency care for her daughter multiple times. Emergency doctors at the hospital in New Jersey diagnosed Mariee with an upper respiratory infection, acute bronchiolitis, and an ear infection.

The statement from Juarez’s attorney that lays out the toddler’s condition goes on to state, “The medical staff who discharged her weeks later noted none of these conditions and cleared her for travel without viewing Mariee, conducting any kind of examination, or taking her vital signs.

“Mariee entered Dilley a healthy baby girl and 20 days later was discharged a gravely ill child with a life-threatening respiratory infection. Mariee died just months before her 2nd birthday because ICE and others charged with her medical care neglected to provide the most basic standard of care as her condition rapidly deteriorated and her mother Yazmin pleaded for help.”

Customs and Border Protection declined to make a direct comment citing pending litigation but made clear, ” [a] lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations”.

An ICE spokeswoman defended her department’s medical staff, saying “ICE is committed to insuring the welfare of all those in the agency’s custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care.”

The South Texas Family Residential Center is the largest ICE facility of its kind. It has the capacity to hold a total of 2,400 people.

 

Demetria Kalodimos Speaks Out For Herself and Women Everywhere

Demetria Kalodimos was well-loved by Nashville Tennesseans. They watched her deliver the news for over 30 years. While she’s long been a well known figure in Nashville, now she’s making national news. Demetria claims that the station that she worked for, WSMV, terminated her employment after 33 years because of her age and gender. She also claims that speaking out when she saw her fellow employees discrimated against played a part in WSMV’s decision. She is now suing WSMV.

Demetria’s Accusations

Demetria gives examples of the discrimination she witnessed. Demetria told the Tennessean

“When problems are happening right under your own nose, if you will, you can’t ignore those. Especially when they’re hurting people — and people that you know and work with. I felt not only my responsibility as a journalist but as a friend and as a woman and as an employee to make people aware of problems. And there were persistent problems.”

Demetria sites several examples of what she felt was discrimination. These include women being penalized for taking time off work and coming back, while men were welcomed back with open arms and given the exact same position, pay, and benefits they had when they left. She also says that women were talked over or simply ignored in boardroom meetings.

WSMV countered by saying “Meredith and WSMV-TV strongly disagree with these allegations. We will vigorously defend ourselves against them.”

The Circumstances That Led to Her Termination

Demetria received a letter on her desk on January first, the day after her contract expired. After 33 years with WSMV, there was no face to face conversation, no meeting, simply a letter informing her that she was no longer employed there. The station says that Demetria didn’t respond to its offer of a contract extension, while Demetria counters that a reasonable offer was never made.

What is known for sure at this moment is that Demetria was replaced by a significantly younger anchor Tracy Cornet. Regardless of how the lawsuit turns out, Demetria has shed light on a problem and opened up a discussion.

 

 

Staten Island Nursing Home Served With A 10 Million Dollar Malpractice Lawsuit

Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehab nursing home located in Staten Island, New York, is charged with a 10 million dollar Malpractice Lawsuit suit. The legal proceedings were instituted by the distraught husband of a women whose tragic death took place due to the lack of proper medical care that was not provided because of the medical malpractice that took place as a result of a forged DNR authorization.

In many states, falsifying documents is a crime. In the case of medical malpractice, it is not only illegal, it is unethical to condemn a person to an early death by withholding medical treatments, tests, medicine, food and water.

If we examine the malpractice cases, it’s uncalled for to that the number of legal cases continues to rise. To cite an example, last year a woman suffering from Parkinsons and diabetes was admitted to hospice in Sun City, AZ. She was surrounded by her loving husband, her priest, and her daughter from New York.

Much to her dismay, the daughter discovered that her mother had dry skin on her heels that had started to bleed. Additionally, the top of her mother’s ears were encrusted with blood. None of the nurses paid any attention until the daughter reported the conditions.

The daughter’s father told her that his wife’s physician wanted his permission to disconnect the saline tubes that were her only source of water. The father refused to grant permission given the verbal agreement he had with his wife. He did however ask his daughter to speak with the doctor. By the time the daughter had finished speaking with the arrogant doctor, she had fired him. At that point, the head physician took over.to make sure that the mother was receiving proper food, care and treatment.

Within two weeks, the mother quietly passed away surrounded by her family. The daughter wanted to sue for the poor treatment her mother received from her physician. The father, who was a very strong man, did not want to cope with the stress of legal proceedings.

Anyone who finds themselves in this type of situation should consider speaking with legal counsel to determine where or not there are grounds for a lawsuit.

 

The Dangers of Fentanyl in Clinical Use

Fentanyl is a dangerous opioid that is much more powerful than morphine. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Fentanyl is normally used in a healthcare setting for severe pain. When opioids are used, the dosage needs to be carefully administered and the patient needs to be closely monitored for ill effects. Since opioids are so powerful, overdoses are common. The Center for Disease Control reports that over 64,000 Americans die of overdoses each year. More than half of these deaths are caused by opioids.

Most people think these overdose deaths only occur from the misuse of opioids as street drugs. Yes, it is true that many deaths come from this type of misuse; however, there are also deaths caused by serious mistakes made by healthcare practitioners.

Consider the case of 83-year-old Nelson Tyler. After recently coming home from the hospital, he developed abdominal pain. He called 911. He was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Cox Medical Center South in Springfield, Missouri. This happened on February 4, 2016.

While being treated in the emergency room, the nurse gave Tyler two doses of 25 micrograms each of Fentanyl. Subsequently, Tyler was given a third dosage of 100 micrograms of Fentanyl by the nurse who then left the patient alone in the room. When the nurse returned, about ten minutes later, Tyler was in cardiac arrest from the drug overdose. He was unresponsive and remained that way until he died three days later.

The family sued the hospital also naming the doctor and the nurse. The lawsuit alleges that Tyler was given too much Fentanyl and was then left unsupervised, which ultimately resulted in his untimely death.

Tyler is survived by his daughter, Allison Buehler. She describes her father as a kind, intelligent man who was a veteran of the Korean War. The family’s motivation for the lawsuit is to prevent this type of medical malpractice, which caused Tyler’s death, from happening to another family.

Summary

The lesson learned from this sad story is that Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug. In a hospital setting, it needs to be carefully administered and then the patient needs to be closely monitored for life-threatening ill effects.

Denmark Drinking Water Woes Not Over – Chemicals in Water Draw Second Lawsuit

It isn’t enough that Denmark, South Carolina residents are forced to drink substandard water due to unapproved chemicals in their drinking water. They are also billed at excessive rates with some citizens paying more for their water bills than their mortgages. To add insult to injury, the town will only accept cash payments for the water.

Herrell Law Firm is handling the suit filed on behalf of Denmark two citizens concerned about the quality of their drinking water. The suit alleges that the town of Denmark has injected HaloSan, a chemical rarely used in drinking water, for more than ten years without the knowledge of most area residents.

Since HaloSan has never been approved by the EPA there are important questions that remain to be answered concerning the health of local residents. So much so, that Clemson University regulators ordered Denmark to discontinue its use of the chemical in the summer of 2018.

The suit also alleges that the community’s water supply is contaminated with copper and lead and that Denmark is “unlawfully collecting excessive amounts for poisonous water that is often never used.”

However, town and state officials have test results showing the city’s water to be compliant with safe lead and copper limits for drinking water. The city goes on to state that while the EPA did not approve HaloSan for drinking water, it has been deemed safe by a national certifying agency.

In a community meeting, drawing approximately 75 attendees, taking place on Voorhees College campus, attorneys from the Harrell firm, handling the second lawsuit against Denmark and the Sellers-Wilson Group (the firm who filed a lawsuit against Denmark one week prior) laid out their cases against the city and encouraged concerned citizens to join in with legal actions of their own.

In fact, the two firms are seeking class action status which would allow them to seek reimbursements of the fees area residents paid for water that was not suitable.

Sellers, who filed the initial claim, went on to say that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control should be liable in this instance because they told the city it was acceptable to use HaloSan in the water.

His words to the audience in attendance were simple, informing the audience that he believes they are entitled to have the funds they’ve paid the city of Denmark for water over the past ten years returned to them.

 

NHL Concussion Settlement Suit

For a safe game, an all-around perspective about the safety and welfare of the players must be considered. In particular, brain-related issues and a possible lawsuit by players must be considered. Recently, NHL decided to settle for a $ 19 million settlement with retired players who sued the league alleging that they and the medical personnel failed to inform them of the imminent danger they faced while playing.

The agreement brought to conclusion the four-year-long hearing. According to documents the league released, it will pay more than 100 players included in the lawsuit a maximum of $18.9 million to the retired player who must be subjected to medical care and monitoring such as neurological testing. However, according to NHL commissioner Bettman, there is no association of concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease a number of hockey players had been diagnosed with.

As a proactive measure, the league has implemented a concussion protocol since the 2016-17 season and updated it last season. The league negotiated with the NHL Players Association new rules which state harsher penalties for head hits and for players who exhibit potential concussion, forced removal will be the cause of action. Moreover, previous assessment on the brain of a former hockey player showed a relationship between concussion and CTE.

The way NHL settled its case sprung comparison to NFL’s concussion settlement. As a way to protect its reputation, NFL decided to settle with its retired player before initiation of a legal proceeding and the association of the sport and brain trauma. NFL ended up paying approximately $1 billion. Moreover, Zimmerman states that hockey and football are two different fields.

Though the lawsuit had an inclined advantage to NHL, the NHL resolution for this settlement will benefit both their client and all retired players. Also, it will act as a reference and deter future litigation. Moving forward the league seeks for a safer game and significant care of everyone’s welfare.

Kilgore, A. (November 12, 2018). NHL reaches a settlement with former players in concussion suit.

Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Kansas Doctor, Opioid Maker

Reports have indicated that a fifth lawsuit has been filed in Kansas against a doctor and an opioid maker involved in a prescription kickback plot. The maker of the drug is said to have been bribing doctors to recommend its strong fentanyl spray.

The suit that was filed in a Johnson County court last week, is comparable to three others brought in Johnson County and the fourth one in Leavenworth County against Insys Therapeutics and former Mid-America Physiatrist Steven Simon. It was established that one of the patients, Timothy Farquhar presented the lawsuit last week to Johnson County against his former doctor Steven Simon, and Insys Therapeutics.

Farquhar claims that he saw Simon from 2001 to 2017 and allegedly prescribed him exorbitantly large doses of opioids which includes the fentanyl spray Subsys, for pain associated with a spinal injury and cyanide poisoning. The victim further indicated that he wasn’t notified of the dangers of addiction and became dependent.

The federal government has claimed that Insys illegally used its physician speaker program to fund kickbacks, based on how much Subsys they prescribed.

“Plaintiff became dependent upon and addicted to opioid pain medications, including Subsys, which were repeatedly prescribed to him without proper medical care, treatment or justification,” the suit alleges.

Simon’s attorney, however, didn’t respond to a request for an explanation in regards to this tale on Monday. However, he and Simon have both in the past said the doctor’s prescriptions were based entirely on clinical judgment rather than payments from drug producers.

 

 

It was further reported last year that Simon was the top paid Subsys speaker in Kansas and among the top 10 nationally, raking in more than $200,000 between 2013 to 2015. Less than a month later the FBI served a search warrant at Simon’s clinic. Simon’s former ally indicated that federal agents seized patient records for individuals whom Simon prescribed oral fentanyl. Simon has however not been charged with any crimes

Federal prosecutors have imposed criminal charges against half-dozen Insys executives and the billionaire founder of the company John Kapoor. They’ve all pleaded not guilty with their trial in Boston scheduled for January.