Matt Germann

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Mardi Gras And Superbowl Put The Law On Hold

Mardi Gras, by flickr user Scott*, licensed using Creative Commons.

She will be at the Superbowl

The U.S. District Court Judge, Carl Barbier, has been appointed to a trial regarding BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  He has moved its start date from Jan. 14th to Feb. 25th in an effort to  decrease distraction from Mardi Gras and the Superbowl.  The trial’s main purpose is to uncover why the tragedy happened and to determine who is at fault.  New Orleans, which has taken the brunt of the BP spill’s effects, has been invested in restoring the average citizen’s quality of life since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.  Though BP is expected to pay close to $8 billion in resolving the claims filed in this case, it is not hard to imagine that the tone of the trial itself could bring down the community. Read more

Lawsuit Over Batman Shooting

The Dark Knight Rises by Flickr user Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, licensed by Creative Commons

Did Not Rise To The Occasion

Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP, a New York-based law firm settled claims for more than 10,000 first responders in the 9/11 tragedy and is now representing nine victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. The survivors are alleging negligence and a lack of sufficient security on behalf of Cinemark and the Century 16 Theater where the event occurred.  Though it is the seventh lawsuit filed regarding the horrific July 20 events, it is unique in that its the first to specifically name employees.  These employees include the owner, general manager, and manager of the theater.  The nine victims are seeking millions of dollars in damages. Read More

UGI, You Ain’t Got No Alibi

Explosion, by Flickr user Freidwall, licensed using Creative Commons.

Black background for a cool effect

Pennsylvania-based utilities company, UGI, and the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement have submitted a joint settlement regarding a deadly 2011 Allentown natural gas explosion.  UGI has agreed to pay $386,000, the maximum fine possible.  They also need to increase their efforts to replace cast-iron pipeline that played a role in the tragic incident.  The natural gas explosion killed five people, injured dozens, and destroyed numerous homes.  The investigation following the event alleged that UGI had ignored warning signs for the explosion.  Had they been addressed the catastrophe could have been prevented.

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Salty Students Receive $1 Million For Being Peppered

Sailor receives pepper spray training by Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Imagery, licensed by Creative Commons

This is training, not a peaceful protest

Twenty one current and former University of California, Davis students have been awarded almost $1 million in a settlement with the University of California regents following a 2011 pepper spray incident.  Viral outrage over the incident was sparked when videos and images of a U.C.-Davis officer spraying defenseless students were posted to the internet.  The students, seen seated in a group, were participating in an Occupy protest to display their displeasure in increasing tuition prices and decreasing services.  Each student will individually receive $30,000 as well as a handwritten apology from Linda Katehi, the chancellor at U.C. Davis.  In addition to the settlement $630,000 was set aside for the 21 plaintiffs, another $250,000 will be issued to pay for legal fees and costs to the lawyers involved in the suit.  Moreover, the suit has since been recognized as a class action and will offer portions of an additional $100,000 that has been set aside for any other students who come forward with claims of being sprayed.

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Fist Pumps Turn to Knuckle Sandwiches in Seaside Heights

The Situation - Jersey Shore, by Flickr user GuillermoQuezada, licensed using Creative Commons.

Not the assaulted Seaside resident, unfortunately.

In a year-old lawsuit, former Seaside Heights resident Joseph Alfieri claimed three members of the Seaside Heights Police Department choked, kicked, and sprayed him with tear gas after allegedly entering his house without consent.  The incident occurred in April of 2009 after Mr. Alfieri’s girlfriend, who was also arrested earlier that night, told the police that he had assaulted her. Upon the department’s release, Mr. Alfieri’s girlfriend returned to his residence and demanded her car keys.  He refused and told her to come back the next day.  The three officers, including the one who had arrested his girlfriend, later arrived and entered his home.  Alfieri claimed facial lacerations and a wrist injury among the physical abuse he received as well as emotional distress.  While the department is not admitting liability, Alfieri received $63,500 in the settlement.

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