Uber and Lyft are Driving People Crazy

Volkswagen CC TDi 2012 - Driver's Seat by flickr User Miles Continental, Licensed by Creative Commons

Speeding to the courtroom

While many people love the convenience of having a car appear at your doorstep at the tap of a button, it appears that those days may be numbered. The popular transportation services Uber and Lyft are headed to the courtroom, thanks to unhappy drivers. The main issue seems to center around a debate on whether or not the drivers of these services are employees or simply independent contractors. We’ve talked in the past about Uber’s problems with the law, however this series of lawsuits may force the companies to alter their business model. The lawsuits were filed in the San Francisco Federal Court and are only relevant to California-based drivers, although the results of each class-action will be closely monitored by drivers across the United States. Read more

Trees Falling in Michigan, Still Making Sounds

Looking up through the trees, by flickr user Chris Connolly, licensed by Creative Commons

Blood on the leaves?

There is an old philosophical argument that goes as follows: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? A recent lawsuit in Michigan is finally providing an answer: Yes. Residents of Bloomfield Hills, MI have taken up a class-action against tree removal by the power company DTE Energy. Reports say they hired a tree-trimming company to take trees down in a short period of time without giving notice to the community. The power company was worried about the trees interfering with cables they had been running in the area, and had petitioned to remove them. Clearly upset by the secretive manner in which DTE went about this deforestation, the people living in Bloomfield Hills are now seeking $54 million in restitution. Read more

Vanilla Extract Leads To DWI Charges

Licensed via Creative Commons

Vanilla Extract

Those that are bound and determined to drink and drive can almost always find a way. Though most people think of trips to the local liquor store as a place to pick up supplies, the reality is that even a quick trip to the grocery outlet will suffice, if the intention is to find something with enough alcohol to get wasted.

As proof that there are lots of surprising things that can get a person drunk, a 46-year-old woman from Seneca Falls, New York was arrested last week and has since been charged with drunk driving after consuming, of all things, vanilla extract. According to police reports, the woman was spotted by officers driving erratically in a Walmart parking lot.

An officer then approached the car and began questioning the woman who admitted, almost immediately, that she had been drinking vanilla prior to getting behind the wheel. Officers say the woman explained how she had consumed two regular-sized bottles of pure vanilla extract not long before getting in her car. She soon became disoriented and was unable to navigate her way out of the Walmart parking lot. Read more

Michigan Cancer Doctor Makes Millions Off Healthy Patients

Medical Surgical Operative Photography, by Flickr user Phalinn Ooi, licensed by Creative Commons.

Second Opinion Please…

Dr. Fatrid Fata, a prominent Michigan Internist has plead guilty to 16 counts of fraud and money laundering. Dr Fata fraudulently told healthy patients they had cancer to make money off insurance. Dr Fata would administer cancer drugs to patients who did not need them and ending up injuring and killing several in his 1,200 patient practice.  Federal prosecutors said Fata bilked Medicare out of as much as $91 million by prescribing unnecessary chemotherapy treatments to his patients, many of whom didn’t even have cancer.

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College Sued by Football Star’s Accuser

DSC02151, by flickr user Matthew Stinson, licensed by Creative Commons.

State of Confusion

The woman who brought a lawsuit against Florida State’s quarterback is heading back to the courtroom. Citing a “hostile educational environment”, the plaintiff became famous for accusing the college’s athletic department for covering up rape allegations against Jameis Winston, the man under center for the Seminoles as they went undefeated in 2014. She cites Title IX, a civil rights law protecting the rights of all students under the Higher Education Amendment of 1972. The woman claims Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner, sexually harassed her in 2012, but a case was never filed at the time. This latest lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando.

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