Wednesday, June 30, 2010

B.P. Oil Spill Should Lead To Compensation But Not Necessarily Punishment Unless... ~by Legal Pub

Reader: What affect will the B.P. oil leakage cause on ligation?

Legal Pub: Making sense of the B.P. oil spill as well as its affect on litigation is difficult to do. We certainly know that suits have or will be filed concerning injury to people resulting from the initial explosion. But of greater interest may be the litigation from bystanders and business affected by the pollution.

Reader: Have you learned of any interesting cases?

Legal Pub: Well, one in particular stands out to me. Susan Spicer, a New Orleans author and chef has sued B.P. Susan is known for her cooking of seafood from the Gulf. Her suit appears to involve a class action against B.P. for depriving chefs of their normal seafood supplies. Reuters.
Lets rightfully give Susan some free publicity. She runs Bayona, an excellent French Quarter restaurant that serves local fish and shellfish. Spicer's lawyer apparently claims that the pollution from the oil spill will cause the restaurant to lose customers "because of lower tourism and convention business, contamination fears and significantly higher prices." Quite frankly, it is hard to argue to the contrary. It is hard to imagine how the chain of delivery from the initial fisherman, oyster grower or shrimper to the ultimate consumer has not been harmed. Thus it is easy to understand how a local business will be harmed.

BP does not generally comment on litigation, but Legal Pub can. The oil spill in the gulf is a huge disaster, the magnitude of which is hard to comprehend. It is perhaps one of the greatest environmental incidents in our country's history. The total damage will be astronomical. Federal and local response has been largely ineffective. Perhaps not from any fault, but merely because of the magnitude of the disaster. It is easy to point the finger at B.P. and even politicians. In hind sight, it appears that there is more that could have been done to reduce the likelihood of a disaster of such huge magnitude. But at this point, there is nothing that can be done to put the genie back in the bottle.

B.P owes a duty to those effected by the spill to stop it as soon as practical and to pay for the damages. This requires B.P. to compensate the victims who prove their damages. But taking out our collective anger in the form of punishment, as oppose to just compensation, will likely lead to corporate shell games where future drillers and operators are under capitalized. When this happens, future victims are less likely to be adequately compensated and bankruptcy will become the expected response to claims for liability. Furthermore, before juries rush to punish, keep in mind that we are all to blame. We love our gasoline operated motor vehicles and our plastic products. Did we not stop to think of the potential costs to our ecosystem of our lavish life styles? Did we really think a leak could not happen? What cleaner more environmentally friendly forms of energy have each of us personally pursued?
It's easy to play the blame game. But the truth is that this is not a Democrat or a Republic issue. This is an American problem which we all need to take some responsibility for ourselves. We can ask no less of ourselves than we do of our children or our corporations. Compensation? Yes. Punishment? Not before each juror looks at the person in the mirror and says what they did before this incident to reduce our nations dependency on oil.
Reader: Well there goes your chance of ever being appointed by this administration.
7-15-10 Update: Quite simply, it continues to get harder to sympathize with B.P. In the latest scandal, there are allegations that a trade for a terrorist was made in exchange for commercial considerations. BP has confirmed that it had lobbied the British government in late 2007 over a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya. This resulted in the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi. B.P. admits that it voiced concerns that the slow pace of negotiations risked impacting an offshore drilling deal with Moammar Gadhafi's North African country.

Abdel baset Al-Mohmet al-Megrahi was convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie. He was released from a Scottish prison jail last August because a doctor said he was dying of cancer." But in reality, B.P. had told the U.K. government that the slow progress that was being made in reaching a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya might jeopardize off shore drilling. In sum, unbelievable!
8-19-10 Update: Here is a Texas lawsuit where a woman is blaming B.P. for the death of her son.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Armondo Cano Creates Chaos On I-80 While Brendan Cross Enters The Political Arena Just As He Came Into This World?

People are crazy! ( Listen: People Are Crazy by Billy Currington). Armondo Cano of Moroni, Utah appears to be such a person. Armondo caused chaos on Interstate 80 in Wyoming after he struck several cars and fired a handgun. Three people were slightly injured. The Denver Post. Apparently, a white car driven by Armondo was swerving across eastbound lanes of I-80. The car stopped and Armondo was allegedly running around on the highway with no clothes on.

Armondo had a scuffle with another man. Then Armondo allegedly got back into his car and drove off. Approximately 17 miles later, Armondo allegedly rammed another eastbound vehicle. Casper Star Tribune. Armondo then allegedly tried to get in the other vehicle. Another woman stopped her car and Armondo apparently jumped into the passenger seat of her car. The woman fled and Armondo apparently picked up a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun that was in the car. Armondo allegedly fired the gun several times, got back into his own car and pursued the couple he had hit. Armondo apparently caught up with the coupe again and hit their car a second time. At some point, Armondo stopped his car, got out and laid down in the middle of the highway. This caused vehicles to have to swerve to miss the naked Armondo. At some point, Armondo allegedly tried to break the window of a truck. When police arrived, they wrestled Armondo to the ground with the help of some bystanders.
Cano sustained minor injuries. (Road rash from being wrestled to the ground?) A truck driver had a cut. The female owner of the handgun was taken to a hospital for shortness of breath. Fortunately, no one was hurt too bad. Armondo's motive for the alleged madness is currently unknown. Nevertheless, one thing is clear. On this particular day, Armondo Cano seemed to lack the ability to chose proper apparel. Armondo may not be alone in his desire to rebel against the temptation to comply with the latest fashion trend. A recent streaker, Brendan W. Cross, comes to mind. (Cross apparently has a history of exhibitionism.) Cross recently ran naked down the streets of Regina and then streaked into city hall just as he came into this world, naked. Cross, 34, went to the mayor's office where he was subdued by two bylaw officers and a commissionaire.
Cross apparently shares Armondo's sense of fashion, as Cross was allegedly only wearing a pair of glasses and a huge smile.

The 26 year-old Armondo Cano is to be presumed innocent of all charges and allegations until otherwise proven in a court of law.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pesticides The Latest Excuse For ADHD? ~Helen

ADHD! Is it really a legal issue or is it just an over exaggerated product of the imagination designed to shield bad parents from reality? (Look folks, if raising children was suppose to be easy, it would never have started with something called labor!)
4.5 million U.S. children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year the number of kids that are diagnosed with the disorder has risen 3 percent a year from 1997 and 2006. But no so called scientist can tell us why. The latest culprit is speculated to be pesticides.

According to the Journal of Pediatrics (common bedside material for most moms) researchers studied 1,139 children ranging from 8 to 15. All of the children had measurable residue of pesticides commonly used on fruits and vegetables. (Diet is the major source of pesticide exposure in children.) So much for thinking that blueberries, strawberries and celery were healthy.

In a 2008, detectable concentrations of malathion were found in 28 percent of frozen blueberry samples, 25 percent of fresh strawberry samples and 19 percent of celery samples. The Pediatrics study suggests that for every tenfold increase in the urinary concentration of pesticide residue, there was a 35 percent increase in the chance of ADHD. Since most pesticides leave the body in three to six days, such levels of residue suggest that exposure to pesticides is constant.

Moral of the story, go visit your grandparents and relearn what you were first taught. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Grow your own garden with your kids help. Hard work is good for both of you. Besides, eating the fruits of your labor is not only rewarding,, it is healthy. Otherwise, just go back to being a douche bag parent and stand in line to fill your children's prescription for Ritalin. (In the 60's , people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Ritalin to make it seem normal.)

For too many, ADHD has become an excuse to be a lazy parent. For others, it is a serious challenge to organization and problem solving. Some of us actually have the disease and struggle to finish a thought. While I had a great finish to this story, it escapes my grasp. Having misplaced my reading glasses, I think I'll go tinker in the garden with my kid instead.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Does Jessie Lunderby Have A Right To Pose Off Duty?

Can an employer control choices of an employee when she is on her own time? We are not talking about breaking the law. We are talking about failing to meet an employer's perception of what constitutes good judgment. An Arkansas sheriff's office put Jessie Lunderby, a female detention officer, on administrative leave for posing nude on According to the sheriff department, Jessie's photos taken off-the-clock are "unbecoming of a law enforcement officer." Specifically, Jessie Lunderby has been placed under review by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for posing as a "Cyber Girl of the Week." The 21-year-old blond is scantily clad in pink lingerie. In some photos she appears to be completely unclothed. But one has to wonder out loud how this is much different than the firefighters who pose for provocative calendar shots...

Lunderby has worked for the sheriff's office for almost three years. She told KHOG that "I'm happy with what I did." (By the looks of her, so are viewers of ) Lunderby will likely fight the disciplinary action. Legal Pub would invite Jessie to share her views on this subject by emailing We will be happy to publish her side of this argument concerning freedom of choice. In the mean time, for those that want a quick peak, feel free to go to WARNING ADULT LINK.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Domestic Violence Ruins Another Father's Day

Domestic violence has ruined more than one father's life. In Dallas, a Chief of Police's son was killed in a shoot out and Father's Day may never be the same for him. The shootout occurred at an apartment complex. Three people died, including David O'Neal Brown Jr., the adult son of Dallas police chief, David Brown. A police officer was also among the fatalities.

It all started as Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance on Sunday evening at the apartment complex in Lancaster, a suburb of Dallas. Gunfire broke out as police arrived. During the exchange of gun fire, David O'Neal Brown Jr., 27, the son of Dallas Police Chief David Brown, was killed. A 37 year old Lancaster police officer (a father of two) was also killed.

First Assistant Chief Charlie Cato announced the death of Brown's son. "Chief Brown is with his family this evening, and we ask that you respect his privacy at this difficult time.... As Chief Brown mourns the loss of his son, he also mourns the loss of the fallen Lancaster police officer who has served his community with honor for many years."

At this time the officer's name has not been released. Nor is it known whether Brown was involved in the shooting. The third person killed was Jeremy Jontae McMillan, age 23. David Oneal Brown Jr. was no saint. "According to The Dallas Morning News, Brown Jr. was arrested in 2003 on suspicion of selling marijuana. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Nevertheless, Chief Brown loved and supported his son. Brown Jr. was employed and seemed to be on the path to putting his troubles behind him. Now, there is only speculation and sorrow that remains for at least two families that have endured heartache on Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Gary Brooks Faulkner And License Him To Hunt Down Osama bin Laden.

After 911, many probably said it. But few had the guts to do anything about it. Now Gary Brooks Faulkner is being punished for doing something about it. Pakistani authorities have detained Faulkner and will conduct psychiatric tests on him because he decided to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Faulkner, 50, was caught after he hiked towards the Afghan border on a mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Gary Faulkner was arrested after a 10-hour manhunt. Faulkner was armed with a 40-inch sword, a handgun and night vision goggles. His plan was to enter into Nuristan, a stronghold of the Taliban and confront Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden thought to be in Pakistani tribal region
Osama bin Laden could be dead
Hunting down the al-Qaeda leader had apparently become a passion for Faulkner, who apparently has his own criminal record. (He apparently served jail time in 1981 and 1986.) After three days in detention by officials in the western city of Peshawar, Faulker has apparently not waivered in his intention to serve justice.
Consequently, psychiatric evaluations are being pursued. Investigator, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, said Mr Faulkner had already seen a doctor for kidney problems. Faulkner has traveled to Pakistan six times. With his hair long and beard, he readily blends in with the Pashtun people.

Scott Faulkner, his brother, was on CNN saying that Gary is not crazy nor was he motivated by a $25m bounty for the capture of bin Laden. According to Scott, his brother is motivated by patriotism and anger at the 9/11 attacks. As a society, we can not condone taking the law into one's own hands. So, make it official. President Obama, you promised to go after al-Qaeda. So make Faulkner a special force task unit consisting of one member and turn Faulkner lose. He can't be any less successful than what has been attempted post 911.
Update 6-23-10: A Denver TV station is reporting that Faulkner has been released without charges. He apparently has boarded a plane out of Pakistan on Tuesday. He should be back in the U.S. this week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blows To The Fantacy World Of Vince Young And Holiday World All On The Same Sunday?

Just what professional sports needed, another incident. Vince Young of the Titans is this weeks ammunition for those who think sports heroes have become out of touch with reality. Young, who reportedly has dealt with some very serious mental health issues, shows signs that he still is not thinking clearly. He was cited for misdemeanor assault after getting into a fight at a Dallas strip club. Misdemeanor assault citation . Apparently he got into an altercation with another man after a brief argument Sunday. Come on Vince, don't you have better things to be doing on an early Sunday morning?

Sunday also brought sadness to southern Indiana. Will Koch, president of Holiday World in Santa Clause, Indiana passed away due to complications from diabetes. This family owned and run theme park will greatly miss it's leader. Pat Koch, his mother, says Holiday World will keep going because Will would have wanted it that way. Perhaps Will heard the sigh of relief from kids all over the Midwest when the news leaked out that his theme park will carry on. Will was 48 years old.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Will U-Haul and Janelle Briseno Survive The School of Hard Knocks.

Just why can't a consumer get a deal anymore on a rental? Perhaps U-Haul has known the answer all along. The federal Trade Commission is accusing U-Haul of attempting to collude with Budget to fix prices. Together, these two giants dominate 70% of the self moving business. If true, that may explain why it's so hard to get a decent deal on the rental of a truck or small trailer. One does not have to graduate from law school to know that price fixing is not only wrong, it is not legal. For U-Haul's sake, lets hope the allegations are not true.

Speaking of hard knocks, in the past we have done a story on making balls more safe so that blows from batted balls are less traumatic: LINK. In another batted ball injury case, some good news has surfaced. Janelle Briseno, the 3-year-old girl whose skull was fractured by a a line drive during an Los Angeles Dodgers batting practice, has a good prognosis. She underwent surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and should be released by the end of the week. She was hit by a batted ball while in the stands at Dodger Stadium, near third base. The line drive hit by Russell Martin knocked her unconscious and fractured her skull. WTOP-TV. Maybe some day, baseballs and softballs will be made with a less dense core. In the meantime, we will likely keep reading about such tragic accidents.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Can Michael Bragnuier's Alleged Conduct at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Be Another Reason To Dislike Banks?

What is it about banks that makes them easy targets? Perhaps it is public resentment over government bailouts. Or perhaps it is the relentless solicitation to apply for credit cards. Or even worse, perhaps it is the bill collectors that haunt one's evenings when times are hard. Well, perhaps there is a new reason to think unpleasantly of the banking industry. Jamie Nelson, a New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, claiming that one of its employees implied that he would not correct a mistake on her account unless she sent him photographs of herself.

Allegedly, Wells Fargo withdrew money from Jamie Nelson's checking account with another bank in order to pay her monthly mortgage loan payment. Nelson apparently reported the problem to a customer service representative of Wells Fargo. Nelson allegedly gave her cell phone number to Michael Bragnuier (sued as "Michael Doe") an employee of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in West Des Moines. Plaintiff contends that "Michael Doe" called Nelson, saying "he would not reverse the erroneous transaction unless she engaged in 'phone fun' with him and provided him with photographs of herself" via text message. He also allegedly asked if she was "near a bathroom." Plaintiff contends that this implies that "... he wanted naked photographs in exchange for his providing customer service on behalf of the Wells Fargo defendants."

Nelson was apparently on business in Chicago when the allegedly unauthorized withdrawal occurred from her checking account. Nelson apparently did not send pictures; however, she allegedly spent a day asking him to reverse the transaction. Michael Bragnuier, who worked in a mortgage service center, was apparently terminated for violating company policy in January 2010.

If the conduct occurred, one would have to agree with the complaint that this was "extreme and outrageous." Legal Pub has done past stories on nude texting. LINK. But in this day and age of cable t.v. one also has to question just how " severely and permanently injured emotionally and physically" the plaintiff could be? The attorney for either side are encouraged to submit comments on the allegations. In the interim, keep in mind, allegations are not to be taken as the truth until proven in court or otherwise admitted.