A judge has allowed Big Beef’s lawsuit against ABC News to proceed: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0328/Pink-slime-lawsuit-moves-forward-Could-ABC-News-be-held-liable
I’m sure you all remember if not the story then, certainly, the image of the infamous “pink slime” (aka “finely textured beef”). Beef Products Inc. claims the ABC news story was slanted and cost the company $1.2 billion while ABC insists their report was factual. According to the plaintiff, even though ABC News did include a disclaimer, they take issue with the report’s description of the product as “not meat” and its questioning of the product’s safety (based on the concerns of certain scientists).
Of bigger issue here, in my opinion, is this: “What happens if corporate interests are able to, through the courts, curtail not just how journalists, but also average Americans, use language to hail or decry companies? Even unsuccessful lawsuits against media companies can have a chilling effect on journalists, legal experts say.”
Which brings us to THIS lawsuit – http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/03/25/daily-talker-defamation-lawsuit-over-yelp-review/ – filed by the owner of a watch repair shop in Manhattan against a customer who gave him a negative review on Yelp. Seriously. I, for one, would love to go back and sue anyone who gave my Stargate episodes less than a 3 star review. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.
Meanwhile, http://qz.com/193046/the-guy-from-office-space-has-lost-his-lawsuit-against-illegal-flair/. An actor from the movie Office Space sued 20th Century Fox for unjust use of his image in merchandise related to the film. Not surprisingly, his lawsuit was dismissed. It makes sense – the contracts are pretty clear – but part of me is somewhat saddened. After all, I can’t begin to imagine how much money MGM made off the sales of DVD’s in which I made a special features appearance.
The big boys tussle: http://consumerist.com/2014/03/28/walmart-slaps-visa-with-5b-lawsuit-for-allegedly-fixing-card-swipe-fees/. Walmart’s lawsuit against VISA for price fixing, colluding with the banks to set high fees for card swiping. This follows a 5.7 billion dollar class-action settlement approved in December between merchants, VISA, and Mastercard. In this battle of the titans, I’m rooting for – if not exactly the little guy, then the slightly less big guy. The slightly less annoying big guy. And, in this case, that’s Walmart.
Big international banks are on the receiving end of this class-action lawsuit – http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-banks-lawsuit-libor-20140328,0,2915892.story – filed by a Sanford, Florida man who accuses them of manipulating “manipulating yen-denominated interest rate benchmarks”. Interestingly enough, “A Japanese investment banking unit of UBS in September was ordered to pay a $100 million criminal fine after pleading guilty to wire fraud for scheming to manipulate yen LIBOR to benefit a senior trader’s positions.”
Did Apple and Google conspire to drive down wages through mutually agreed-upon no-hire agreements? Five software engineers believe so and they’ve filed a lawsuit against both companies “alleging a conspiracy to suppress pay by agreeing not to recruit or hire each other’s employees.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-apple-google-ruling-20140328,0,7975951.story This one is interesting as big tech giants aren’t the only ones who include non-compete clauses in their contracts.
Lisa Ling, co-host of The View, is being sued by a houseguest who slipped and fractured her foot on her steps: http://www.tmz.com/2014/03/26/lisa-ling-gets-dinged-with-banana-peel-lawsuit/. Homeowners should, of course, always take the precaution of posting “CAUTION: HAZARDOUS STEPS” OR “BEWARE DANGEROUS CARPET” for visitors.