Tag Archives: lawsuit

Lawsuit claims girl, 7, became brain damaged after eating a KFC twister

By Calvin Palmer

An Australian family is suing KFC, claiming their seven-year-old daughter became brain damaged and crippled after eating a Chicken Twister tainted with salmonella.

Monika Samaan developed salmonella poisoning from a chicken wrap bought from a KFC outlet at Villawood, in west Sydney, in October 2005.

The girl, now aged 11, attended court in a wheelchair. Her lawyer, Anthony Bartley, said she had acquired spastic quadriplegia and an intellectual disability since the poisoning.

Giving evidence in the New South Wales Supreme Court today, Amanwial Samaan said Monika ended up being in a coma for six months and in hospital for seven.

KFC has denied responsibility for her illness, pointing out 96 other “crispy strips” — the main ingredient of a twister — were sold that day at the Villawood outlet but “no other diner had fallen ill”.

The fast food chain also says different versions were given about what the family had eaten.

Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, Samaan said he, his wife Hanna, son Abanou and Monika all fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea after sharing the twister.

His mother, who was staying with them as his wife gave birth to their third child on October 21, did not eat any of the twister and remained healthy.

He said his wife went to a doctor on October 25 with the children and they were given medicine, but their health still deteriorated.

On October 26, Monika collapsed on the sofa and he called for an ambulance.

Monika and Abanou were admitted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, while he and his wife were ultimately admitted to the adult section at Westmead.

He said Monika was rushed into the intensive care unit and looked “totally dead” to him.

“In a meeting the doctors told me in six hours’ time she will die,” Samaan said.

His local Coptic Orthodox priest came to the hospital, while a Catholic priest present also comforted him.

“They just prayed for her and asked us to pray,” Samman said.

Since his daughter’s illness, Samaan said he has given up his job as a fork-lift driver to look after her.

The trial continues before Justice Stephen Rothman.

[Based on reports by the Melbourne Herald Sun and Associated Press.]

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Throwing fan out of the ball game leads to $10,000 payoff

By Calvin Palmer

A baseball fan is $10,000 richer thanks to a settlement in the lawsuit he brought against the New York Yankees and New York City.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion, 30, claimed he was ejected from the Yankee Stadium by a police officer because he left his seat to use the bathroom during the playing of God Bless America.

The federal lawsuit argued Campeau-Laurion was the victim of political and religious discrimination and that his rights were violated at the August 2008 game.

The city did not admit liability but in yesterday’s settlement agreed to give the Queens resident $10,001 and will pay $12,000 in legal fees to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

For its part, the Yankees will pay nothing but said in settlement papers that fans at the team’s new stadium are allowed to move freely during the song and there are no plans to change that.

“Policy remains as it always has been: Fans are free to move about during the playing of God Bless America,” said Alice McGillion, spokeswoman for the Yankees.

At the old stadium, freedom of movement was restricted when ushers used handheld chains to block off some exits while the tune played, although chief operating officer Lonn Trost has said they were instructed to let through spectators with emergencies.

In May 2007, Trost told The New York Times that the practice was the result of fans who were upset that not all spectators were respectful enough during the playing of God Bless America.

“This settlement ensures that the new Yankee Stadium will be a place for baseball, not compelled patriotism,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. The city Law Department had no comment.

Police spokesman Paul J. Browne earlier claimed the on-duty officers ejected Campeau-Laurion because he was drunk and disorderly. But the Red Sox fan said he had two beers, an hour apart, and enjoyed the game quietly.

Only in America.

I say only in America because where else would someone go by the name of Bradford Campeau-Laurion? It sounds like an anagram. The name of a Yorkshire city preceding those of Gallic origin makes for an interesting juxtaposition. Marseilles Higginbotham somehow does not quite carry the same social cachet.

Only in America because nowhere else would someone be that motivated to bring about such a lawsuit and then have it taken so seriously.

Only in America would an organization deem it disrepectful to move about during an Irving Berlin song. God Bless America is not the national anthem. I must remember never to move a muscle during a rendition of White Christmas.  Who knows what wrathany movement could incur?

Still, it makes a nice little earner for Bradford. He must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Perhaps, I should consult with an attorney to see if any of my rights have been violated recently, $10,000 would certainly come in handy.

[Based on a report by newsday.com.]

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Former inmate sues prison nurse over 55-hour erection

By Calvin Palmer

A stiff prison sentence turned a lot stiffer for a former inmate who claims he suffered a 55-hour erection after being given an anti-psychotic drug at a New York State correctional facility.

Dawud Yaduallah, 43, is suing prison nurse Judith Lovelace for allegedly sending him back to his cell instead of seeking hospital treatment.

In court papers Yaduallah claims Lovelace’s actions left him “irreparably injured” with “severe damage to his penis, including erectile dysfunction, inability to ejaculate and pain during sexual intercourse”.

He now needs a prosthesis “to possibly restore some sexual function” and the medical problem has caused difficulties in his marriage.

Yaduallah, a career criminal formerly known as David Hanley, says he was imprisoned at the Downstate Correctional Facility, in Fishkill, when his daily dosage of Seroquel was boosted by 25 percent in March 2006.

Side effects of the anti-psychotic drug include persistent and painful erections.

Lovelace, 65, allegedly did nothing “other than telling Mr. Yaduallah to apply ice to his penis”.

Yaduallah’s attorney, Elmer Keach III, said: “The medical literature is clear that if you see a doctor within 24 hours, you generally won’t have any permanent damage. He didn’t see a doctor for over two days.”

Lovelace, who retired from the prison system in 2007, was unavailable for comment.

Yaduallah was paroled last September after serving time for an assault conviction.

[Based on a report by the New York Post.]

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Strip club waitress sues over age discrimination

By Calvin Palmer

A strip club business in Houston is being sued for allegedly firing a waitress because of her age.

Mary Bassi was 56 at the time she was terminated at the Cover Girls strip club. She alleges that she was frequently called “old” by managers and had to endure comments about the menopause and Alzheimer’s disease.

The lawsuit was filed against AHD Houston in federal court last week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Lauren Serper, an employment lawyer representing the company, said she had not seen a copy of the lawsuit and preferred not to discuss the details.

Serper said the company has strict anti-discrimination polices, has zero tolerance for violations and intends to defend the case vigorously.

She also expressed surprise about the filing because the last time she heard about the case from the EEOC was last June.

Bassi had worked for AHD Houston and its affiliated enterprises as a waitress since 1993, working at Centerfolds before her job at Cover Girls.

“She made a lot of money, her customers liked her, and she sold a lot of liquor,” said Connie Wilhite, the EEOC lawyer in charge of the case.

Wilhite said Bassi earned in the high five figures or low six figures as a full-time server until she was terminated in 2006. About a year earlier, Cover Girls began to hire younger women and gave them the shifts that Bassi normally worked.

AHD Houston and its affiliated enterprises own five strip clubs including Centerfolds, Treasures, Gold Cup, Trophy Club and Spendor. Cover Girls burned down in 2007 and was never rebuilt.

Bassi, now 59, is working as a waitress for a competitor, Wilhite said.

“It doesn’t matter what industry you work in,” Wilhite said. “You are still protected by anti-discrimination laws.”

For her sake, I hope Bassi filled in accurate tax returns for her low six-figure earnings. Something tells me that the IRS is suddenly going to start closely examining her file.

And there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the club she now works for is called Wrinklies.

[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]

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Baseball fan sues over ejection after leaving seat during ‘God Bless America’

By Calvin Palmer

A baseball fan is suing the New York Yankees and New York Police Department after he was ejected from the Yankee Stadium for leaving his seat during God Bless America.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion, 30, of Astoria, Queens, claims he was the victim of religious and political discrimination.

He attended the game against the Boston Red Sox last August and left his seat to go to the bathroom.

Unlike most other Major League Baseball teams, the Yankees seek to prevent fans from leaving their seats during the playing of God Bless America.

Campeau-Laurion was ejected by two police officers when he tried to push past them after one of the officers indicated he could not leave.

The New York Civil Liberties Union sued today on Campeau-Laurion’s  behalf at the federal court in Manhattan.

“New York’s finest have no business arresting someone for trying to go to the bathroom at a politically incorrect moment,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the civil liberties group, said in a statement.

Campeau-Laurion said: “I don’t have an issue with the Yankees playing the song. My issue is with the Yankees forcing people to stay in their seats and participate in it.

“Forcing people to participate in an act of patriotism really devalues the freedom our country fought for in the first place.”

The New York Police Department gave a different version of the ejection.

A spokesman claimed that Campeau-Laurion had been observed standing on his seat, cursing and behaving in a disorderly manner and the officers decided to eject him rather than subject others to his “offensive behavior”.

[Based on reports by Bloomberg.com and newsday.com.]

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Chimp attack woman’s family seeks $50m in damages

By Calvin Palmer

The family of a Connecticut woman savagely mauled by a pet chimpanzee last month has filed preliminary legal papers seeking $50 million in damages against owner.

Relatives of Charla Nash yesterday filed legal papers against Sandra Herold in the Superior Court in Stamford. The papers are a prelude to an expected lawsuit. They seek an accounting of Herold’s assets and an order that would prevent her from liquidating assets.

Nash is being treated at the Cleveland Clinic. The hospital says the 55-year-old woman lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids and may be blind and suffering brain damage after the February 16 attack in Stamford.

The 200-pound chimpanzee, Travis, was shot and killed by police.

Police are weighing whether to file criminal charges against Herold.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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Indian slum dwellers riot over title of Slumdog Millionaire

By Calvin Palmer

Slum dwellers in eastern India ransacked a cinema showing Slumdog Millionaire because they object to the use of “dog” in the title.

Several hundred people rampaged through the cinema in Patna, capital of the eastern state of Bihar, yesterday and tore down posters advertising the film. They said the title was humiliating and vowed to continue their protests until it was changed.

The protest was organised by Tateshwar Vishwakarma, a social activist who filed a lawsuit over the title last week against four Indians involved in its production — a lead actor, the music director and two others.

“Referring to people living in slums as dogs is a violation of human rights,” said Vishwakarma, who works for a group promoting the rights of slum dwellers. We will burn Danny Boyle effigies in 56 slums here.” 

The case will be heard in a Patna court on February 5, police said.

Meanwhile, armed police have been deployed outside cinemas in the state to thwart any further attacks.

Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle, has been nominated for ten Oscars and 11 BAFTA awards.  It has already won four Golden Globe awards, including Best Drama, and received another award at the Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony at the weekend.
[Based on reports by The Times and The Daily Telegraph.]

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