Archive for Lawsuit

“Navigating Divorce: How an Attorney Can Help Resolve Child Custody and Religious Differences”

“Navigating Divorce: How an Attorney Can Help Resolve Child Custody and Religious Differences”

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process, often complicated by issues like child custody and religious differences. In such cases, having a skilled attorney by your side can make a significant difference in reaching a fair and amicable resolution. We will explore the role of attorneys in divorce, focusing on child custody disputes and religious differences, and highlight how their expertise benefits both parties involved.

The Crucial Role of Attorneys in Divorce Cases

Divorce can be one of life’s most trying experiences, involving not just the separation of assets and finances, but also deeply personal matters like child custody and religious differences. Here’s how having an attorney can help navigate these complex issues:

1. Legal Expertise:

Attorneys bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to the table. They understand the intricacies of divorce laws, child custody statutes, and the legal aspects of religious differences, ensuring that all proceedings comply with the law.

2. Objective Perspective:

Emotions often run high during divorce, making it challenging to make clear-headed decisions. Attorneys provide an objective perspective, helping clients focus on their long-term interests rather than reacting solely to immediate emotions.

3. Mediation and Negotiation:

Attorneys are skilled negotiators and can facilitate discussions between parties. They can help mediate disputes, striving for amicable solutions and reducing the need for adversarial court battles.

4. Child Custody Matters:

In child custody disputes, attorneys prioritize the child’s best interests. They help draft comprehensive parenting plans, covering issues like visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and financial support.

5. Protection of Rights:

Attorneys ensure their clients’ legal rights are protected throughout the divorce process. They advocate for fair division of assets and debts, alimony, child support, and the equitable distribution of property.

6. Legal Documentation:

Attorneys assist in preparing and filing all necessary legal documents, saving clients time and ensuring accuracy. This includes petitions, responses, and any required financial disclosures.

Child Custody Disputes: How Attorneys Can Make a Difference

Child custody battles can be emotionally draining for all parties involved, particularly the children. Attorneys play a crucial role in these disputes:

1. Focusing on the Child’s Welfare:

Attorneys prioritize the child’s well-being above all else. They advocate for custody arrangements that promote the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs.

2. Creating Comprehensive Parenting Plans:

Attorneys help parents craft parenting plans that address various aspects of child custody, including visitation schedules, holidays, transportation arrangements, and decision-making authority.

3. Mediation and Settlement:

Rather than resorting to lengthy court battles, attorneys encourage mediation and settlement discussions. This approach aims to reduce conflict and foster cooperation between parents.

4. Advocating for Fairness:

In cases where one parent may pose a risk to the child’s safety or well-being, attorneys advocate for protective measures, such as supervised visitation or restraining orders, to ensure the child’s safety.

Religious Differences: Resolving Complex Issues

Religious differences can further complicate divorce proceedings. Attorneys can help navigate these issues by:

1. Ensuring Religious Freedom:

Attorneys protect clients’ rights to practice their religion and raise their children within their faith, within legal boundaries.

2. Negotiating Agreements:

Attorneys can assist in negotiating agreements that address religious differences, ensuring that both parties’ concerns are taken into account.

3. Clarifying Legal Boundaries:

Attorneys clarify where religious practices intersect with legal responsibilities, helping clients understand their rights and limitations in religious matters.

Who Benefits from Having an Attorney?

The benefits of having an attorney in a divorce extend to both parties involved. While divorce can be adversarial, attorneys strive to find common ground and promote fairness. Here’s how it benefits everyone:

  1. Emotional Support: Attorneys provide emotional support and guidance during a challenging time, helping clients make informed decisions.
  2. Legal Protection: Both parties are assured that their legal rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.
  3. Efficient Resolution: Attorneys aim for efficient and cost-effective resolutions, avoiding prolonged legal battles that can be financially and emotionally draining.
  4. Best Interests of Children: Attorneys prioritize the best interests of any children involved, ensuring that custody arrangements are conducive to their well-being.

Divorce involving child custody and religious differences is a complex process, and having an attorney by your side can be instrumental in reaching a fair and equitable resolution. Attorneys bring legal expertise, objectivity, and a commitment to safeguarding the rights and interests of both parties, ultimately benefiting everyone involved in the divorce process.

Washington Lawsuits Target Insurance Companies Over Weight Loss Drugs and Surgery Coverage

In recent developments, several Washington state residents are taking legal action against their insurance companies for denying coverage for weight loss drugs and surgery. These lawsuits raise concerns about access to crucial treatments for obesity-related health issues. Let’s delve into the key details of these lawsuits and the broader implications for individuals struggling with weight-related conditions.

The Lawsuits and Their Context:

  1. Denial of Coverage: The lawsuits are centered on insurance companies’ refusal to cover weight loss drugs and surgical procedures for obesity management. The plaintiffs argue that these treatments are medically necessary and essential for their well-being.
  2. Obesity Epidemic: Obesity is a growing health concern in the United States, affecting millions of individuals and leading to various health complications, including diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. For many, weight loss interventions are crucial to improving their overall health.

The Plaintiffs’ Stories:

  1. Tina Smith’s Struggle: Tina Smith, one of the plaintiffs, has been battling obesity for years. Despite her efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise, her health continued to deteriorate. Her doctor recommended weight loss surgery as a last resort, but her insurance company denied coverage, deeming it “cosmetic.”
  2. John Martinez’s Fight: John Martinez’s experience mirrors that of many others. After numerous attempts to shed excess weight, he was diagnosed with obesity-related health issues. His doctor prescribed weight loss medications, but his insurer refused to cover the cost.

The Legal Arguments:

  1. Medical Necessity: The crux of these lawsuits is the assertion that weight loss drugs and surgeries are medically necessary for individuals with severe obesity and related health conditions. Plaintiffs argue that insurance companies are obligated to provide coverage for treatments that can significantly improve their health and quality of life.
  2. Mental Health Impact: Plaintiffs also highlight the psychological toll of obesity, emphasizing the importance of addressing mental health concerns related to weight struggles. Denied access to treatments can exacerbate mental health issues, further compromising overall well-being.

The Broader Implications:

  1. Access to Care: These lawsuits underscore the challenges many individuals face in accessing essential medical treatments for obesity. Limited insurance coverage can result in financial burdens and barriers to care.
  2. Healthcare Disparities: The denial of coverage for weight loss interventions raises questions about healthcare disparities. Access to treatments should not be determined by insurance coverage, but rather by medical necessity and the advice of healthcare professionals.
  3. Advocacy and Awareness: These lawsuits shed light on the importance of advocacy and raising awareness about the medical realities of obesity. It is crucial to challenge stigmatization and advocate for comprehensive healthcare coverage for those affected by obesity.

The lawsuits against insurance companies in Washington state highlight the ongoing struggle for individuals seeking access to weight loss drugs and surgery as medically necessary treatments for obesity-related health issues. These legal battles have the potential to shape future insurance coverage policies, addressing disparities in access to care and recognizing the importance of comprehensive treatment options for those affected by severe obesity. Advocacy efforts and increased awareness are essential steps toward ensuring that individuals receive the care they need to improve their health and well-being.

Student’s Family Alleges Negligence Against School District, Bus Driver

Richland School District faces a lawsuit filed by Trinity Enriquez’s family. The Chief Joseph Middle School Student sustained injuries on October 22, 2021, after being dropped off at a bus stop.

Trinity was hit by a pickup truck on Route 31 near Spengler Street and Hood Avenue. She crossed behind the school bus, meaning the driver did not see the accident and drove off before the impact. Seven other students also crossed the street. There is no crosswalk in that area.

The lawsuit claims the school district and bus driver had legal obligations to ensure Trinity’s safety. Washington law requires the bus driver and school district to “make every reasonable effort to ensure that they cross safely and that they pass in front of the school bus and never behind the school bus.”

Jenny Garcia, the bus driver and defendant, allegedly breached this duty when she allowed students to cross the street behind the bus.  Attorneys are investigating whether Garcia received proper training regarding drop-off and pick-up procedures at school bus stops. She remains employed as a bus driver for the school district.

The pickup driver, James Koester, is also named a defendant in the lawsuit. It alleges Koester failed to look out for pedestrians, road conditions, and traffic. After the impact, he indicated that he did not see Trinity, which attorneys argue establishes his liability.  They submitted information to the prosecutor’s office to investigate criminal charges, but the office declined to prosecute Koester.

The accident is part of significant safety concerns regarding students and bus stops. Trinity is the fifth student hit by a car in the last three years. Her family hopes the lawsuit helps more people be aware of the risk associated with school bus crossings.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs. Trinity spent 45 days in a Spokane hospital undergoing treatment for serious injuries, including head trauma. She is expected to make a full recovery, although she still faces difficulties from head injuries. Trinity’s aunt, Zayna Kinsey, started a GoFundMe to help pay for medical costs.



PFAS Lawsuits Flood Courts and Billions in Possible Damages Could Be On the Line

Since 2005, more than 6,400 PFAS-related lawsuits have been filed. This type of heavy litigation presents a huge threat to companies that use PFAS, including E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., as well as 3M Co., Chemguard Inc., Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corp.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, shortened to PFAS, are durable and water-repellant. Some of the most common types of PFAS that are sold on the market today are Teflon and Scotchguard. These products have been around since the 1950s, and gained in popularity due to their durability and water-repellant properties. Unfortunately, despite being mainstays in many homes for decades, it has become apparent that PFAS can cause health problems and environmental damage due to the chemicals that the products contained.

Starting in 2005, lawsuits started being filed, primarily against E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., due to these health issues and environmental damage. However, in the last few years we have seen more and more lawsuits being filed against other companies that manufacture PFAS products. Individuals are suing these companies for the health issues their products may have caused, while city governments, including the City of Anaheim, California, is suing for damage done to the environment by these products.

Some estimates state that the liabilities for PFAS could reach in excess of $30 billion dollars. Obviously, this would be a worst-case scenario. but based on the large amount of damage that has been done and the sheer number of cases and companies involved, there could be major financial repercussions, which could lead to major companies being unable to survive and going out of business.

As the lawsuits make their way through the courts, it is becoming apparent that the courts are starting cases off based on the role that companies had in manufacturing PFAS products. For example, some of them only made surfactants, while others were finished product manufacturers. Companies that had a role in both parts, such as 3M, are expected to get hit the hardest in the lawsuits.

Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding PFAS lawsuits, but as they make their way through the courts, it will be interesting to see if damages are awarded and how companies manage to survive.

Tennessee State Attorney General Sues Walgreens Over Opioids

The attorney general’s office in Tennessee has filed a lawsuit against Walgreens, claiming the drugstore chain did nothing to stop the abuse of opioids it dispensed, which in turn added to the prescription painkiller addiction crisis in the state. According to the lawsuit, Walgreen’s lack of controls and detection violated the state’s consumer protection act.

The suit alleges that for 14 years, Walgreens pharmacies dispensed oxycodone and hydrocodone pills without doing anything to stop the potential abuse of these medications. The pharmacies were said to have dispensed over 1.1 billion of these pills, with some locations dispensing so many pills that every single person in the town would have had to be taking the medications for the numbers to make sense.

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III claimed in a statement that this was not accidental and that Walgreens ignored clear signs that the drugs were potentially being abused. Walgreens is accused of not giving its pharmacists training in spotting signs of medication abuse and that the locations in Tennessee were actually dispensing opioids to people from several states. In turn, Walgreens released a statement noting that they had not made the pills or given them to prescribing doctors, who were, at the heart of the opioid crisis.

In one example, according to the lawsuit, one doctor in one Tennessee city prescribed over 100,000 pills in less than a year, with about 20 percent of the prescriptions written for patients from outside Tennessee, and Walgreens filled all of these without any alarm bells going off. Walgreens is also accused of filling opioid prescriptions written for children, including toddlers over 2 years old, and prescriptions for dosages well above the normal maximum dose.

The lawsuit is just one of thousands filed by governments and other agencies as a result of an addiction and overdose crisis that has killed over half a million Americans over the past 20 years. Pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue Pharma and drug distributors like AmerisourceBergen have formed the bulk of the defendants in these cases, usually settling for billions of dollars.

Professor Sues University of Washington After Freedom of Speech Debate

The University of Washington is under fire because of an alleged freedom of speech violation reported by one of their professors. The professor decided to sue the institution after reprimanding him for his take on a Native American land ownership debate.

The focus of the lawsuit is the disagreement between a respected member of the University of Washington’s educational staff and the university itself. This lawsuit is especially perplexing because the incident which sparked it stems directly from a request by the governing faculty to include a statement about the professor’s beliefs in regard to the ownership of the land on which the university resides.

Stuart Reges is an engineering and computer science professor at the University of Washington. He offered his opinion on the topic at the urging of the school. However, his take on the subject was met with harsh criticism from the university. His statement offended the University of Washington because he cited the “labor theory” introduced by John Locke. John Locke was a philosopher who created the Second Treatise on Government based on the labor theory of appropriation or a natural law theory.

The theory loosely translates some subject quoted from the Bible that basically states that when a person works the land, it becomes the individual’s property. The basis of the theory was that ownership of the land on which the university sits should be historically the property of Coast Salish people. This group of Native Indigenous people resides throughout British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, and throughout the United States and Canada. Their native language is Coast Salish.

In order to give further insight into the professor’s opinion piece inserted into his syllabus, we can refer back to the Washington Law Review’s published article recognizing the ownership of the land where the University of Washington campus sits as their property by way of this labor theory. This stance was created and adopted by the Washington Law Review in conjunction with Professor Emeritus Bob Anderson.No more details are currently available regarding the lawsuit’s progress or any other parties involved in the dispute.

Department of Justice Sues Chicago Cubs for ADA Violations after Wrigley Field Renovation

Wrigley Field in Chicago is one of major league baseball’s most iconic stadiums. More than 100 years old, the ballpark recently completed more than a hundred-million-dollar renovation to modernize and update it.

However, the Cubs organization is now facing a federal lawsuit for allegations that the stadium violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to public filings, the lawsuit alleges that the remodeling “removed the best wheelchair seating in the stadium, failed to incorporate wheelchair seating into new premium clubs and group seating areas, designed and constructed wheelchair seating in the last row of general admission areas that does not meet the requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and failed to remove architectural barriers to access in unaltered portions of Wrigley Field where it was readily achievable to do so.”

The 1060 Project, as the renovation was known, is charged with discriminating against individuals with disabilities in a statement by the United States Attorney’s Office. “The Cubs rebuilt much of Wrigley Field and had ample opportunity – and a significant ADA obligation – to incorporate wheelchair seating and other accessible elements into the updated facility,” said John Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois via statement.

Lausch said that the renovation, including tearing down and rebuilding the bleacher and lower grandstand, was subject to ADA requirements, but failed to provide the necessary accommodations.

Title III of the ADA makes it illegal for public accommodations (including sports stadiums) to exclude people with disabilities from enjoying the facilities. The lawsuit provides several specific examples of how the renovations affected people with disabilities:

  • The renovations added new premium and club seating while eliminating wheelchair seating except for those that are part of a group that has rented the space.
  • The only general wheelchair seats on the bleacher concourse are now in areas that are often obscured by television cameras or covered by a mesh tarp that prevents a line of sight to the field if spectators are standing.
  • Some new group seating areas are not wheelchair-accessible.
  • More than half of the wheelchair seats in the lower grandstand are in the very last row with obstructed views from overhangs.

Besides field viewing, the lawsuit also alleges that counters for ticket windows and concession stands are too high for wheelchair users and restrooms have paper towel dispensers that are too high.

In a statement, the Cubs said they are disappointed with the decision by the Department of Justice to file suit and hope to resolve the matter amicably. The DOJ is seeking changes to the facility and fines.

Judge Dismisses Wells Fargo Class-action Lawsuit

A federal judge in California dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought against Wells Fargo by its shareholders. The plaintiffs claimed they had been defrauded when they bought Wells Fargo stock from Jan 1, 2012, through Aug 3, 2016. They sued the bank for misleading its shareholders about its deteriorating loan performance — and because it halted dividend payments during that same period. The investors in question were demanding a payout of $1 billion. The judge felt there was no evidence that anyone else had purchased stock during those three years and therefore dismissed the case with prejudice.

Wells Fargo Has Been Dealing with a $185 Million Fake Account Scandal

The bank has been fighting against a class-action lawsuit, which alleges that the company’s staff opened millions of fake accounts in customers’ names without their consent or knowledge.

Wells Fargo has admitted that it created millions of fake accounts but claims it did not intend to do so. On Friday, the bank announced that it would be dismissing the case filed by a dozen customers who claimed they were victims of fraud by Wells Fargo employees.

The reason? The judge decided that because these customers signed up for online banking services, they consented to have their information shared with Wells Fargo’s internal fraud department.

Judge Said Wells Fargo Customers Would Have to Take Their Case to Arbitration

In a decision that could have wide-ranging implications for other companies, U.S. District Judge William Alsup on Tuesday dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging that the bank used illegal sales practices to boost its financial results.

The ruling means that customers harmed by Wells Fargo’s alleged practices will not be able to pursue their claims in court. Instead, they will have to take their case to arbitration — a process that is less costly than going through the courts and which many consumers are unaware even exists.

Bottom Line

Even though the legal battle is far from over, this dismissal is good news for Wells Fargo. It means the judge agrees with Wells Fargo’s argument that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear its claims because Wells Fargo has fallen short of the minimum number of defendants required. But even if Wells Fargo is ultimately successful, it will have to re-file its lawsuit–and in some ways, its strategy going forward may have to change.

Settlement of EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Cost Hotel Owners $370,000

Federal officials claim that a hotel manager in Washington abused two female housekeepers sexually. Hotel owners neglected to look into the manager who harassed Latina housekeepers.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that GIPHX10, LLC, and Jaffer, Inc., Edmonton, Canada-based firm, will pay $370,000 to those who sexually abused two female former housekeeping employees. The company has also agreed to provide other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The proprietors of the hotel allegedly allowed the male housekeeping manager to harass those housekeepers sexually. The EEOC claimed that the harassment included touching the women while they were cleaning hotel rooms by themselves, making fun of them for protesting the assaults, and making sexually suggestive remarks to them.

The manager also repeatedly threatened to rape one employee. One woman left her job due to her concern for her safety.

After one of the housekeepers and a bilingual co-worker complained about the harassment to the general manager, GIPHX10, LLC, and Jaffer, Inc. chose not to look into the claims in-depth. Instead, the owners turned a blind eye and accepted the manager’s denial. The general manager allegedly subsequently took revenge, according to the EEOC.

The claimed behavior breaks the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Title VII. As a result, both employees entered into the EEOC lawsuit, added new state law allegations, and on June 3, 2021, the court added Jaffer, Inc. as a necessary party.

The two employees will receive $370,000 from GIPHX10, LLC and Jaffer, Inc. as part of the three-year consent order that ends the lawsuit. The company has also been asked to keep a consultant to create policies that help in preventing sexual harassment like this one.

According to the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, workplace harassment increases when there is an enormous power difference and employees have limited English language proficiency. EEOC San Francisco District Director Nancy Sienko also said employers must inform employees about harassment policies in a language they can comprehend.

EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Carmen makes it clear that the Commission’s top priority continues to be protecting vulnerable workers and preventing and resolving workplace harassment.

New Apple Watch Patent Lawsuit Could Put Your Favorite Watch Out of Reach, Out of Style

Just when you thought Apple Watch was the hit of the year, it seems your favorite wearable may not be as high-tech as once thought. A new lawsuit was filed against American electronics giant Apple and its smartwatch device, alleging it has infringed on a patent held by Fort Wayne-based tech company Fossil Group. The suit claims that Fossil’s smartwatches have copied a design for a wristwatch presented by Apple nearly 20 years ago.

If you have an Apple Watch, there’s a good chance that you’re about to lose access to some features because of this lawsuit.

What are Patent Lawsuits?

Patent lawsuits are disputes between patent owners and alleged infringers who argue that their products or services infringe upon the patent owner’s intellectual property rights.

A patent holder may file a patent lawsuit against an alleged infringer. The defendant can be a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or service provider. The plaintiff in the case may also seek injunctions against infringing activities under the law.

2 Things You Should Know About the Patent Lawsuit on Apple Watches

Here are two things you need to know about the patent lawsuit against apple:

It’s not the first Time Apple’s Been Sued for Infringement

Apple Watch is not the first Time Apple’s been sued for Infringement.

Nokia sued the company in the U.S., Japan, and Germany over patent infringement in 2011. The lawsuit was settled out of court, with Nokia agreeing to pay Apple $1 billion (U.S.).

In 2012, Apple settled a patent dispute with Samsung over smartphone technology that allowed users to quickly scroll through phone lists and contacts without having to tap on each item individually.

The Lawsuit Could Cost Apple up to $100 million.

According to court documents, Apple’s lawsuit against Fossil Inc. could cost the company up to $100 million.

The technology giant accused Fossil of violating patents related to the design and functionality of its Apple Watch, arguing that it had been selling watches with similar features for years before Apple launched its smartwatch.

Bottom Line

Considering the popularity of Apple and Apple Watch products, it is likely that many companies have submitted patent applications related to developing smartwatches. Apart from a few details regarding the case, we will have to wait until  the case starts.