Claims that the website Spokeo.com inaccurately described an unemployed man as wealthy and well educated will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices said Monday.
Lawyers may soon become a major road hazard.
The ABA Journal this month, in an article titled "Smartwatches and other wearables can enhance the practice of law, attorneys say," reported on a session at the ABA Techshow where a speaker recommended using smartwatches - "especially in court or behind the wheel."
Exactly one business day later (there was a weekend involved), a "complaint for nuisance caused by smartphone and smartwatch usage while driving" was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of something called Coalition Against Distracted Driving.
Defendants in the suit include Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft - the giants of the distraction industry.
The suit asks for at least $1 billion annually for a national public education campaign that I'm really hoping won't be on freeway billboards or in text messages.
I can hear you scoffing at this even while I'm writing this sentence, but stop for a moment and consider the facts. Distractions do indeed lead to accidents. Is it not reasonably foreseeable, as they say in law school, that if you place a device that demands attention, crashes will occur?
These companies are well aware of this danger but continue to push their deadly products on impressionable youths who want to look cool - or whatever the cool term for cool is these days. (Boss? Snazzy? Dope? Sexually attractive? I suspect I'm not cool since I don't know this.)
The real problem with this lawsuit is that it doesn't go far enough. There are lots of other distractions causing accidents.
Why are there not stiff fines for scantily clad persons walking near roads?
Should we not be educated about the risks of driving while consuming catsup-laden sandwiches and hot coffee?
And what about that dog that's barfing in the back seat?
We need to learn about all of these things so that we can sue everyone possible.
I recommend starting with a class action against all the major car manufacturers.
It's reasonably foreseeable there will be many traffic accidents if you sell people cars.
By the way, distraction is not the only problem. Many years ago, I vividly remember reporting on a lawsuit against the California Department of Transportation for not making a freeway interesting enough.
The plaintiff driver was so bored he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed.
At the time, I recommended cartoons on billboards to solve this problem but I can see how that might be a little too interesting. You've got to strike a very delicate balance between boredom and fascination to achieve the laserlike focus required for safe driving.
So I'm revising my recommendations. One answer, obviously, is a carefully controlled, intravenous caffeine drip.
With frequent bathroom stops.
But the best solution is to turn driving into a video game. Distraction should be put to good use.
Auto windshields must be outfitted with virtual reality augmentation that features a soundtrack and transforms other vehicles and road obstacles into dragons, orcs and potential bad dates (depending on driver preference).
Drivers making it home successfully will be rewarded with wardrobe upgrades.
Or maybe a jewel-encrusted magical sword.
A cure for loneliness? Filing lawsuits, of course, is a good way to get out of the house and interact with people
I have no idea what the Coalition Against Distracted Driving is but I suspect there aren't a whole lot of members aside from the lawyer who filed the suit who also happens to be the other named plaintiff.
This might explain the following from page 3 of the lawsuit: "Plaintiff CADD invites the U.S. government, the state of California, California counties and cities, the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities, and other states to apply to join CADD."
Just because you're a government doesn't mean you get in without going through the application process. This group has standards.
Celebrity notes. A couple of interesting notes from celebrity litigation last week.
First there was this from a complaint against a rapper named Jayceon Taylor, aka The Game, who allegedly attacked a couple of process servers and took a video camera from one of them:
"Following the attack, Defendant ... ran up the driveway, got inside of his black and silver Rolls Royce Phantom vehicle and fled the residence to go perform at the Coachella Music Festival."
Now that's a true professional gangsta rapper.
And then there was a small-claims filing seeking $5,000 from actress Mila Kunis for "Therapy due to isolation for the loss of her chicken pet 'Doggie' which Defendant stole from Plaintiff back in Ukraine."
No word on Doggie's current condition or whereabouts but you've got to expect fowl play.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's chief deputy blamed migraines on why the department fumbled directions about evidence it was told to collect quietly.
A Texas oyster-fishing executive who leased 23,000 acres of submerged land outside of the state's defined oyster-fishing waters finds himself assailed in court by competitors and government agencies.
A Courthouse News investigation uncovers corporate-led "swift-boating" operations in a Twitter blitz over reporting on Chevron's fight with Ecuador.
Warner Bros., Paramount and MGM used non-union musicians to make the music for "Interstellar," "Robocop" and "Carrie," the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada claims in Federal Court.
A recent Homeland Security regulation may replace American workers with the spouses of foreign workers in the country with H-4 visas, a group of former computer workers claim in court.
A woman stole Basquiat's "Wine of Babylon" from her ex-lover when they broke up, the company claiming to own the painting says in Federal Court.
Milwaukee police officers took advantage of a cognitively disabled teenager to coerce a bogus murder confession, he claims in court.
The U.S. government improperly blocked a U.S. combat veteran from including certain unclassified information in his autobiography, a federal judge ruled.
A Pennsylvania scrap collector wants punitive damages after that job blew up in his face. Literally.
Two SFPD officers fatally shot an unarmed 20-year-old man six times as he ran away from them, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the man's parents.
A federal vegetation management project on more than 10,000 acres of Colorado's San Isabel National Forest would harm the region's already endangered lynx population, a lawsuit claims.
A Georgia man claims the state lottery fired him to shift blame to him for a lottery leader's presentation of unrealistic financial projections that were motivated by political influence.
Investigative reporters threw an imprisoned cartel hitman's girlfriend to the wolves by not shielding her identity in a broadcast, a federal complaint alleges.
Three turkey meat firms claim in court that a South Dakota feed company misidentified its product as antibiotic free, when in fact it was not, costing them more than $780,000.
Running a "heads I win, tails you lose" pricing scheme, an energy company charges a premium for electricity regardless of market shifts, a federal class action alleges.
New regulations will reduce the recreational fishing limits on red snapper by over two million pounds and likely shorten the fishing season to one day, an advocacy group claims.
The Supreme Court on Monday announced it will consider a dispute over the time limits for filing certain employment discrimination claims.
Crowds cheered Monday afternoon as Vice President Joe Biden swore in Loretta Lynch as the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general.
A Texas judge removed from a case for talking about it on Facebook was publicly scolded by a state watchdog and ordered to take a course on social media.
Kern County dodged most claims that its deputies illegally confiscated a cellphone belonging to man who says he recorded deputies beating another man with batons.
Excusing a belated motion, a federal judge left door open to a class action for class certification in a case accusing against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority of denying employment on the basis of race.
Federal prosecutors announced a grand jury investigation into the "theft" of a Ben Franklin manuscript that mysteriously disappeared from the New York Public Library's collection.
It is premature to talk about recusal in a closely followed Tulsa manslaughter case against a white volunteer sheriff's deputy, a judge with ties to the sheriff's office said Friday.
The D.C. Circuit threw out a $10 million defamation claim brought by the son of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas against Foreign Policy magazine for questioning the source of his wealth.
A federal judge refused to unseat two class representatives from the U.S. government's $680 million discrimination settlement with Native American farmers.
A Connecticut man was properly convicted of attempting to bribe a judge overseeing the grand jury considering charges stemming from the disappearance of the man's wife, an appeals court ruled.
A Florida judge should consider whether Hulk Hogan's sex-tape based claims against a Hungary-based affiliate of Gawker have jurisdiction, an appeals court ruled.
Queens homeowners want a judge to block the construction of an 18-bed facility for "seriously emotionally disturbed" male juvenile delinquents.
The state of Texas, 53 of its cities and red-light camera contractors unfairly ticket registered vehicle owners for running red lights without proof the owners were actually driving, a class claims in Tarrant County court.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is using an expired license for BlueDriver sensors that report automobile diagnostic data, Root Four Imagination claims in Federal Court.
A Bay Area real estate investor will pay $21.8 million in restitution and spend 51 months in prison for his role in a multi-year real estate investment fraud scheme, the Justice Department said Thursday.
A former Symantec marketing director has been sentenced to 36 months in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling over $1.1 million from the tech giant, the Justice Department said Thursday.
The trial of accused movie theater gunman James Holmes begins Monday, three years after 12 were killed and 70 injured at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.
A prominent conservative law center claims California Attorney General Kamala Harris is threatening sanctions for withholding the constitutionally protected names of its contributors, according to a complaint filed in Federal Court.
A bill to change Nevada's anti-SLAPP law is being examined in the Assembly Judiciary Committee after sailing through the state Senate earlier this month.
A made-for-TV movie trading in the "newsworthiness" of a grisly murder did not violate the killer's rights to his name and image, a judge ruled.
Former Lexington County, S.C. Sheriff James Metts was sentenced to one year and a day in prison for his role in an alleged scheme to help illegal aliens housed in the county jail avoid federal detection.
New rules to protect students cause the complete shutdown of Corinthian Colleges, including Heald campuses, due to placement statistics fraud.
Forcing small-party voters in Arizona to write in their party's name on registration forms doesn't disenfranchise them, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday.
Challenging the 15-day suspension he faces for overmedicating a race horse, a world-renowned trainer says New York regulators trampled his due-process rights.
A journalist who won access to documents on President Ronald Reagan's supposed work as an FBI informant has settled with federal agencies, a federal judge said.
A defective penile-circumcision clamp caused the tip of a 7-day-old infant's penis to be amputated, his mother claims in court.
Instead of calculating rates based on risk factors, Farmers Insurance Exchange focuses on what policyholders will pay, a class claims in court.
A mental health services provider negligently placed a Miami, Fla. man in a facility with violent inmates, one of whom beat him to death, the deceased's mother claims in court.
Wholesome Soy Products agreed to stop distributing contaminated soybean sprouts, settling a federal complaint by the United States.
The Thousand Islands Central School District did nothing to stop bullying that led a 16-year-old to kill himself in 2014, a mother claims in Federal Court.
Whole Foods Market Group misleads consumers about the sugar content of its gluten-free, all-natural "nutmeal raisin cookies," a class claims in court.
Village officials in Perry, N.Y., are unfairly blocking a resident from protesting the conversion of a Victorian home into a library parking lot, she claims in Federal Court.