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

The Sweet Taste of Freedom… And Revenge

Lotion! by Flickr user Griff69, licensed by Creative CommonsIt puts the lotion on!

 

On August 20th a St. Louis teen tasted freedom for the first time in 3 long years.  She has allegedly been held captive in the Belleville, Illinois home of Steven Johnson since April 2009.  The teen has told investigators that while trapped in Johnson’s house she endured daily beatings and sexual assaults which led to her becoming pregnant with Johnson’s child.  The teen also claimed that she was forced at gunpoint by Johnson to stay in the house.  A SWAT team invaded the house and arrested Johnson and his mother.  While rading the house, the SWAT team found a gun as well as large amounts of Marijuana and Cocaine.  Steven Johnson has been charged with a felony count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, illegal possession of a deadly weapon, possession of drugs with intent to distribute, and promotion of prostitution.

Chicago Police Tortured Confessions out of Suspects

Medieval torture, by Flickr user "Curious Expeditions", licensed via Creative Commons.Actual picture of the inside of Chicago police headquarters.

Two men who were allegedly tortured by Chicago police during former Detective  Commander John Burge’s tenure have been awarded over $7 million in damages to settle their lawsuit against the city. Michael Tillman spent over 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit as a result of Burge’s military-inspired torturing. Tillman was approved for $5.3 million of the settlement money. The other $1.8 million was issued to David Fauntleroy, who spent 23 years in jail on the strength of another torture-induced confession to murder and armed robbery.  If the Chicago City Council approves both settlements, the total taxpayer cost of Burge’s case will exceed $40 million.  Because of the timing of the settlement, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will not be questioned about his involvement with Burge’s reign of terror, which is something the whole city was looking forward to.

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Illinois Law Firm Agrees to Reimburse Scammed Customers

Debt, by Flickr user "iandavid", licensed via Creative Commons.Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, an Illinois company claiming to lower its customers’ debt interest rates, agreed to reimburse customers who paid for the company’s services in advance and yet did not receive any debt consolidation.  The company will have to pay a reported $2.1 million in a settlement with the state.  By law, debt consolidation companies are not allowed to charge an up-front fee.  Instead, a firm can only make money once they’ve actually reduced a customer’s interest rate or otherwise negotiated a reduced debt load.  Usually, this means making a contract for a certain percentage of whatever the deduction turns out to be.  This a necessary protection, as otherwise consumers can be duped into paying for a service that provides no actual benefit.  Only truly determined scum would then be able to take advantage of struggling families.  So how did Legal Helpers Debt Resolution get around this?

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Red Bull Gives You Spam

Adorable dog, by Flickr user Gustavo Daniel, licensed via Creative Commons.Red Bull gives you wings.

As a society, we’ve become pretty much immune to spam emails, since, you know, it’s no longer the 90s and no one believes that an email promising to enlarge your penis size is actually legit.  Advancements in technology now allow you to sidestep those cringeworthy emails and store them in the vast wasteland known as your spam folder.  Unfortunately, spammers are always in their R&D departments trying to figure out new ways to inform you of che4p v|ag4ra, in this case by moving on to text messages.  In a recent class action lawsuit filed in Illinois, the energy drink Red Bull has had its wings clipped for sending unsolicited text messages.  The class action lawsuit claims Red Bull violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which prohibits companies from sending unsolicited advertisements to anyone without express prior consent.

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