"The foundations of justice are that no one shall suffer wrong." - Cicero

U.S. War Against ISIS in Syria and Iraq: A Violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973?

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at 3:42 pm    

Isis-explosions

While in the midst of an illegal war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the Obama administration also faces a local war: a lawsuit filed by U.S. Army captain and intelligence officer Nathan Smith, who says that, by continuing the conflict despite absence of congressional support within the law’s time frame, President Obama has violated the War Powers Resolution.

According to the Army Capt., the President does not have the Congress’ approval for the war against ISIS either in Iraq or Syria, despite this, he did not end the war after the 60-day window period, thus, making the war illegal. Based on the War Powers Resolution of 1973, also referred to as the “War Powers Act,” if without Congressional approval, then the president only has 90 days to direct troops. Of these 90 days, mobilization of military forces may continue for 60; the remaining 30 days should be for the withdrawal of those forces.

While the case is pending, Capt. Smith remains on active military service; according to an affidavit that he filed, he claimed to having supported military action against ISIS, however, the potential illegality of the conflict bothered him. One of his colleagues even referred to the military campaign as one of the most severe violations of the Constitution this 21st century.

Bruce Ackerman, a Yale law professor who is advising Capt. Smith in his legal efforts, says that determining who is right or who is wrong is not the real issue, but whether Capt. Smith has the right to be given an answer. Ackerman feels that the courts may see the legislators’ votes, which approved the funding of the war, as the latter’s way of approving it and use this to dismiss Capt. Smith’s claims that the war is illegal. In spite of this, he is hopeful that, with the coming elections, those who are aspiring to be the country’s next leader will be asked about their views on the legal use of military force overseas and that this lawsuit will keep future presidents from using the war against ISIS as ground for unilateral warfare beyond the limits of the War Powers Resolution.

Replacing Qualified Americans with Foreign Nationals on Temporary H-1B Visas: The Charge Faced by Walt Disney World

Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2016 at 5:09 pm    

disney_signWalt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is facing lawsuits allegedly for conspiring to replace US workers with immigrants. Dismissed from work are tech workers, accountants and administrators, most of whom are still hopeful of getting rehired or finding new work within the company due to their length of stay and high performance ratings. The possibility of this, however, is becoming more and more distant as immigrant workers, mostly from India, with temporary H-1B visas are taking over to perform their work. The hurting thing is, most of the dismissed employees were even the ones asked to train their replacements during their final months with Walt Disney.

The defendants in the (separate but with similar complaints) lawsuits which are being accused of intentionally collaborating with each other to replace American workers with H-1B workers are the outsourcing companies that imported immigrants and Walt Disney.

US business employers are allowed by the government to hire foreign workers either on a temporary of permanent basis. Before doing so, however, they first need to acquire certification or documented proof from the Department of Labor (DOL) that no US citizen is available and/or qualified for the job, or is willing to take the job (under a specified wage amount). This certification is for the purpose of ensuring that the hiring of foreigners will not unfavorably or negatively affect the job opportunities, working conditions and salaries of US workers.

Clearly, however, as stated by Ms. Dena Moore, one of those who filed a lawsuit, employees have been negatively affected. How, specifically? They lost their jobs.

The H-1B visa was designed by the US Congress to allow foreign workers with special skills to be employed in the US. Jobs, like information-technology, engineering and accounting, are among the fields to which especially skilled and qualified individuals may apply for.

French Airline Files Lawsuit after Bomb Hoax

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 at 2:18 pm    

Air France has filed a lawsuit of reckless endangerment, following its fourth bomb hoax in recent weeks—a flight bound for Paris had a fake bomb that then forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing at Kenya.Air France Boarding

France has been on red alert from potential terrorists, following the attacks during the 13th of November 2015 when an extremist terrorist group staged suicide bombers and shooters at various places in Paris, killing 130 people and causing injury to almost 400 more people. It is due to this that upon seeing the fake bomb – made of cardboard, sheets of paper, and a run of the mill timer (according reports from the Associated Press) – the crew acted immediately and made the emergency landing.

However, this has been the fourth fake bomb since the mass shootings and all areas must be taken into consideration.

Air France spokeswoman, Uli Gendrot, reported that the lawsuit had “no particular perpetrator” in mind but the lawsuit allows for an investigation regarding the faux bombs. Six passengers on board, including the one who tipped them off, were questioned for the hoax.

Nearly 500 people were evacuated from the flight and they were tearfully met by loved ones once again upon landing on Parisian soil.

Volkswagen emission scandal: What’s up for the consumers?

Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:36 pm    

VW_Emissions

This year could be the roughest for Volkswagen. Last August, it announced it is recalling 420,000 of its units after learning about a faulty steering wheel assembly that may cause the front airbags not deploy during a crash. This airbag-related recall seems to be completely unrelated to Takata’s airbag recall, which involves several other car makers.

But last September, the German auto giant has entered into what has dubbed to be the car maker’s most disastrous scandal yet. The U.S. Environment and Protection Agency said Volkswagen intentionally installed software designed to circumvent clean air regulations by detecting if the car is being tested for emission. The scandal sent waves of dismay and distrust that it lost nearly $2 billion in this year’s third quarter.

Volkswagen is also preparing to face consumers’ ire over the emission scandal. In fact, the company announced that it will provide two cash cards to those affected by the issue – the first one, worth $500, can be used anywhere, while the second one, worth between $500 and $750, can be spent at any Volkswagen dealership.

This move hopes to pacify the anger of many car buyers who believe that they have purchased a diesel car that’s both efficient and eco-friendly. To date, more and more people are suing the company, asking for compensation because of a decreased resale value.

Defects in car keyless ignition systems prompt class action suit

Posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 3:52 pm    

With the advancements in automotive technology that is available today, drivers can now start their cars with the use of keyless ignition systems. Instead of using traditional keys, a driver can easily start their vehicle with a single press of a button. This mechanism works as long as the driver has the special electronic key fob on their person, since the ignition system is ideally designed to start only when it detects the fob within a given radius. Unfortunately, this state-of-the art design isn’t always foolproof. As a matter of fact, several car makers are currently facing a class action lawsuit because of this very issue.

Keyless Ignition

As reported by CNN Money, a class action lawsuit has been filed against the country’s top automakers for dangerous defects in keyless ignition systems. The lawsuit alleges that the defective keyless ignition systems allow cars to continue running even after the key fob is no longer within the specified vicinity required by the system. This led to cars continuing to run even while parked, causing carbon monoxide to build-up inside enclosed garages and seep inside people’s homes.

The lawsuit cites 13 fatalities caused by such incidents, including one that involves a Toyota Prius hybrid. Aside from Toyota, the other car makers named in the suit include General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Honda.

How Volkswagen Avoided EPA Emission Regulations

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 5:52 pm    

In 2009, tougher vehicle emissions regulations were instituted to protect the environment from the vast amounts of nitrogen oxide that cars were emitting all over the globe. These regulations came at the detriment of automobile manufacturers that produced diesel vehicles, which emit higher rates of nitrogen oxide due to the diesel fuel burned. Volkswagen was one of the first automobile manufactures to release a diesel vehicle that met the new, strict regulations.

Unlike most diesel vehicles that input an additional tank of urea-based solution used to decrease nitrogen oxide emissions, Volkswagen insisted the 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine on its smaller models did not require a rea injection system. They offered little explanation to this; however the vehicles were emitting satisfactory emission levels.

On September 18, it was discovered that Volkswagen has installed a software algorithm in its smaller diesel vehicles that could recognize when a car was being tested for emission levels. When the software suspected the test was occurring, the car would reduce emissions for the purpose of passing the test.

Volkswagen released almost 11 million TDI diesel cars that contained the “defeat device.” According to website of The Driscoll Firm, the device would deceptively show emission levels that met EPA’s legal limits instead of the true emissions that, in reality, exceeded regulations 10 to 40 times over. The car company has not released an official recall of its products to repair the software.

The cars affected include 2009 to 2015 TDI Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Audi A3s as well as the 2014 to 2015 Passat. These vehicles are powered by 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines which were theorized to be small enough to not require the AdBlue solution other diesel engines utilized to meet more stringent emissions regulations. The EPA is investigating the case further to establish the scope of consequences from this event.

Airline Faces Lawsuit for Insufficient Protection of a Minor

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 at 3:11 pm    

American AirlinesAn underage girl (between the ages of 12-16) was reportedly touched inappropriately touched during a flight with American Airlines. The suspected perpetrator, Muhammad Asif Chaudry (37), has denied these allegations and was prompted not to comment by his legal team. He was released after paying a bail of $100,000.

In the lawsuit, it is stated in the girl’s claim that Chaudry attempted to touch her genitals. During the flight, when Chaudry left for the restroom, the girl called the attention of a flight attendant and was promptly transferred to the first available first-class seat.

The airline immediately contacted authorities – including the FBI – in order to investigate the claim at hand. Though Chaudry has denied the accusations, the girl has photographs on her phone of the man resting his leg across her lap. It has been stated that she could not move away from her position due to the fact that the seatbelt sign was on. She then details that she woke up to the inappropriate touch of the man by his hand and, later, his foot.
Minors travelling unaccompanied are charged an extra $150 for the promise that the attendants would care for them. The family has filed a lawsuit against the airlines for failing to provide the appropriate standard of care during the reported sexual assault against a minor.

Gay couple files lawsuit after marriage license denial

Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2015 at 10:15 am    

shutterstock_214381165Some of the biggest news of late has revolved around the legalization of gay marriage in all states in America. Despite this Supreme Court decision, a gay couple in Texas recently faced problems in their county while trying to receive a marriage license. After entering the Hood County Courthouse on Monday, Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton were denied a marriage license by the clerk. The two immediately filed a lawsuit against clerk, Katie Lang, who cited religious reasons for the denial of the marriage license.

A mere twelve hours after filing the lawsuit, the couple was granted their marriage license. Despite this, the couple has not withdrawn their lawsuit. The couple is still trying to obtain an agreement for Lang to immediately offer licenses to all gay couples, as Cato and Stapleton were not the first she denied. They are also looking to be compensated for attorney fees. This comes shortly after a lesbian couple in Texas was denied a marriage license in a county near Tyler.

Many are calling for further laws to protect couples against actions such as this. These laws would protect couples from clerks denying licenses based on religious beliefs. Cato and Stapleton state they wish they did not have to file the lawsuit, but felt it was necessary to be able to get married in their hometown. The lawsuit is still ongoing and may result in further protections for same sex couples.

The Lingering Effects of Monsanto PCBs are Evident in Latest Lawsuit

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 at 10:38 am    

Monsanto PCBsMore than three decades have passed since the United States Congress issued a ban against the manufacture and use of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds—commonly called PCBs—under the Toxic Substances Control Act. However, even after 30 years or so, plenty of communities continue to feel the lingering effects of these highly toxic chemicals. The ecological effects have been so troublesome that the city of San Diego, California has recently filed a lawsuit against the biggest manufacturer of PCBs during the time of its widespread use, agrochemical company Monsanto.

According to the San Diego Reader, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Unified Port District are suing Monsanto for its role in polluting its waters and surrounding bay area. The lawsuit, filed March 16, claims that Monsanto PCBs continue to contaminate the San Diego Bay and have caused significant effects on wildlife in the area. As noted in the lodged complaint, “PCB contamination in and around the Bay affects all San Diegans and visitors who enjoy the Bay, who reasonably would be disturbed by the presence of a hazardous, banned substance in the sediment, water, and wildlife.”

Before its ban in the late 1970s, PCBs were widely used as industrial coolants and became a vital ingredient in a variety of commercial products. During this time, the production of PCB substances was monopolized by Monsanto. Between 1929 and the federal 1979 ban, an estimated 1.5 billion tons of PCBs were manufactured by Monsanto. The San Diego lawsuit points to reports and documents dating as early as 1969 that indicate Monsanto had been well aware of the potential health and ecological risks posed by their chemical products. A separate news report by RT noted that one internal Monsanto memo showed that the company was well aware of the dangers of PCBs long before they stopped production, two years before the ban.

All in all, the City of San Diego is looking for Monsanto to cover the expenses of dredging the bay area to remove PCBs and paying any additional costs for the destruction of natural resources. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes PCBs as a probable human carcinogen. Aside from the risk of cancer, the pollutant has also been found to be potentially dangerous to the nervous, endocrine, reproductive, and immune systems of the human body.

Sources about the History of Monsanto PCBs

Other Good Places to Learn about Monsanto PCBs

Uber facing lawsuits against cab companies across the U.S.

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 11:09 am    

shutterstock_168370127In the early morning of March 28, nineteen California taxi companies filed a lawsuit against the popular car-sharing service app Uber. This comes directly on the tail of similar lawsuits that have been filed by taxi firms and other for-hire drivers all over the United States, which includes a class action suit that’s currently pending in Florida. In all these cases, the plaintiffs emphasize that Uber is endangering the lives of their passengers through deceptive claims about the safety of their services.

The California lawsuit, in particular, cites ‘false and misleading advertising’ used by Uber Technologies for their UberX platforms. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the ads promote the new platform as “the safest rides on the road” and “safer than a taxi”. The plaintiffs, including cab companies from San Diego, Palm Springs, and San Francisco, claim such statements lead passengers to a false sense of security even when Uber drivers aren’t subjected to background checks and other safety regulations.

The nineteen California cab companies also emphasize that Uber’s misleading ads have inadvertently created unfair competition. The plaintiffs claim that the deceptive UberX ads have caused financial and reputational harm to their services. As the lawsuit claims, Uber’s exaggerated safety claims “spurn plaintiff’s taxi cabs for UberX rides, resulting in lost revenue for plaintiffs.”

Should the lawsuit face trial, a jury will end up determining a specific amount to be awarded for the damages that the plaintiffs are seeking. Eve Behrend, spokesperson to Uber, responded to the lawsuit by saying that it was “frivolous” and “without merit”.