Lawsuit: Oil Spill Funds Used for Gulf Hotels

Lousiana Gulf Coast, by flickr user dusted, licensed by Creative Commons

Stronger than the storm

Adding fuel to the fire is never something BP wants to do after the Gulf Coast disaster in 2010. Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit and are attempting to block the building of new hotels in Florida & Alabama with funds granted to restore the coast itself. BP had pledged $1 billion to improve the coastline after the infamous oil rig explosion, and have continued to fund the project. Now, scientists state that the money should only be used for ecological purposes, not for real estate development (regardless of the fact that new hotels could produce new revenue along the coast). This has sparked a hot debate about the strength of economics vs biological and scientific research. Read more

Traffic Light Lawsuit in Chicago Stopped Short

Lower Wacker Drive, by flickr user Paul Sableman, licensed by Creative Commons

Stop! Hey, what’s that sound?

Aggressive drivers would be the first to tell you that traffic cameras are a major inconvenience. A recent class-action lawsuit was filed Chicago, contesting tickets given to motorists who had been caught running red lights. The lawsuit reached the Illinois Supreme Court before being struck down. The city had always stood behind the right to enforce these traffic laws under a “homefield advantage” policy, and eventually filed an ordinance in 2006. The class-action suit was aimed to dispute any traffic tickets given between 2003-2006. Read more

Satellite Radio Has Serious Problems

Rocktail Beach Camp KZN, by flickr user Jolene Bertoldi, licensed by Creative Commons.

“God I love being a turtle.”

Contrary to popular belief, music is never really free; just ask a musician. The satellite radio company Sirius XM was sued over copyright and trademark laws by a 1960s band called The Turtles. With the passing of federal copyright protection for recorded music in 1972, the royalties for music made before that date have been a hot button issue. The band claims that its’ music was broadcast on satellite radio without any compensation or consent from the creators. A series of lawsuits were filed against both Sirius XM and Pandora Media in New York, Florida, and California, with the band seeking about $100mm worth of damages. Read more

Billion Dollar Divorce for Oklahoma Oil Man

Money-Savings

Next time, don’t forget the prenup!

Harold Hamm, named by Forbes as the 24th richest man in the world, is set to pay one of the biggest divorce settlements in history to former wife Sue Hamm. Mr. Hamm owns the largest piece of the nations most oil-rich land in North Dakota. “Mr. Hamm, who has described himself as “more hardheaded than other people,” did not have a particular document that is all but standard now whenever tycoons wed: a prenuptial agreement”. After the 9-week trial, Sue Hamm will now be amongst the richest women in the country. Mr. Hamm is required to pay his ex-wife one-third of the total settlement ($320 million) by the end of this year. Read More

Uber: Convenient Ridesharing or Public Menace?

Traffic?

Uber could be in uber trouble

Uber, a ridesharing service based in San Francisco is getting a lot of flack from local, state and international authorities. Uber is a ride sharing service that uses a smart phone app to connect drivers with passengers. Passengers sign up for an account and provide their credit card information used to pay for the ride. When they request a ride, the app provides an estimated arrival and fare before the passenger confirms and an Uber driver agrees to provide the ride. The drivers are not licensed tax drivers, just people looking to earn some cash for ridesharing. The company and its network of drivers, acting as independent contractors, are operating illegally. It is generally cheaper than a taxi which also puts them at odds with taxi drivers. They don’t pay taxi license fees or taxes so they charge less and undercut the legitimate taxi services.  Read More