Not Hazardous Substances

A federal court in Pennsylvania dismissed two families’ case against the Navy brought after they discovered the Navy’s facilities had contaminated their private wells with chemicals. The substances, perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, are not considered “hazardous substances,” under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

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Wrongful Death

A federal court in Alabama ruled that a tort case brought by the parents of a woman who died by suicide against the man who allegedly sexually assaulted her should be stayed pending certification to the Alabama Supreme Court the question of whether “suicide is an intervening cause that breaks the chain of causation stemming from a defendant’s intentional tort.”

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Jurors and God

The Eleventh Circuit upheld the convictions of Corrine Brown, a former U.S. representative from Florida, finding that a juror was properly dismissed after he indicated he would base his verdict on what he believed he was told by God. A rule allowing a juror to “base his verdict on something other than the evidence would be antithetical to the rule of law and is contradicted by decades of precedent,” the court determined. 

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Oregon Legislature

A federal court in Oregon dismissed Republican state Senator Brian Boquist’s claims against other state legislators relating to his temporary bar from the state Capitol. After he and other Republicans walked out of a vote and the governor ordered state police to arrest them and bring them back, Boquist made threatening statements, including a warning that the police should “send bachelors and come heavily armed.” 

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Jamal Khashoggi

A federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled in favor of the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies sued by the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Knight First Amendment Institute for records relating to the intelligence community’s “duty to warn” journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. 

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Confederate Monuments

The Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a suit challenging the relocation of Confederate monuments from a San Antonio, Texas, park and the University of Texas campus in Austin, finding that the Sons of Confederate Veterans and two descendants of Confederate soldiers failed to claim a particularized injury.   

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PE Punishment

A federal court in Texas dismissed a mother’s gender discrimination suit against the Dallas Independent School District and a gym teacher relating to the punishment of her daughter for failing to wear proper clothes to P.E. class one day. The student was forced to do 260 “ceiling jumps,” was bedridden for a few days after the incident, hospitalized for almost a week and diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which is characterized by the breakdown of muscle tissue.

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In Vitro Custody

A mother who conceived her child through in vitro fertilization is the child’s legal parent, a Georgia appeals court ruled in a custody dispute in which the father asserted the mother was not the child’s “biological, legal, or adoptive parent.” The mother is the “recipient intended parent” under the Option of Adoption Act. 

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Dog Food

Consumers who claim they were scammed into paying top dollar for two brands of premium dog food may continue their suit against Champion Petfoods, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled. The food was billed as human food grade quality but the consumers provided evidence the food contains high levels of heavy metals and is contaminated with “excessive quantities” of hair, insects, livestock tags, feathers and bones.

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