In 2015, individuals affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS conducted a wave of violence and mass murder in Paris — killing 129 people. One of them was Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old American student who died after ISIS assailants opened fire on the café where she and her friends were eating dinner.
In response to these horrific acts, Gonzalez’s and Alassaf’s families brought federal lawsuits pinning the blame for these attacks on some very unlikely defendants. In Gonzalez v. Google, Gonzalez’s survivors claim that the tech giant Google should compensate them for the loss of their loved one. In a separate suit, Twitter v. Taamneh, Alassaf’s relatives make similar claims against Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
The thrust of both lawsuits is that websites like Twitter, Facebook, or Google-owned YouTube are legally responsible for the two ISIS killings because ISIS was able to post recruitment videos and other content on these websites that were not immediately taken down. The plaintiffs in both suits rely on a federal law that allows “any national of the United States” who is injured by an act of international terrorism to sue anyone who “aids and abets, by knowingly providing substantial assistance” to anyone who commits “such an act of international terrorism.”
Before July of this year, the Supreme Court will hand down decisions in three separate cases that together will determine what a “right” is in federal civil-rights laws. The Court will be deciding whether such laws are legal measures based on intention and the definitions of words or open-ended legislative measures designed to ensure outcomes and re-arrange society. Two of the three cases concern federal employment law, and the third deals with the making of contracts. Thus, their subjects are work and commerce, a fundamental basis of current American culture and society.
The Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision today siding with Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) in a dispute regarding a $2.7 million payment the company and its lawyers were ordered to pay in a personal injury case, the AP reports.
An Arizona family injured in a 2003 motor home incident sued Goodyear after a tire failed on their motor home, causing it to flip off the road.
After settling the case in 2010, the family discovered the Goodyear hadn’t turned over key testing data.
The justices today sent the case back to a lower court to determine if the family is entitled to the entire $2.7 million.
A federal judge said nearly all of the family’s attorney fees could be blamed on the misconduct. A federal appeals court agreed.
Steve Sussex gives a tour of the property his family has occupied for 137 years on the corner of First Street and Farmer Avenue. Sussex is in a dispute with Tempe over rights to the parcel. Ben Moffat/azcentral.com
A Tempe man whose family has squatted in a century-old house on valuable property near downtown has again lost a court decision in his ongoing battle to keep his land.
A three-judge panel from the Arizona Court of Appeals said last week that a Superior Court judge was correct in tossing out Steve Sussex’s case against the city of Tempe because it had no legal merit.
But the man’s 12-year turf war remains far from resolved. Though Sussex can’t prove he rightfully owns the land, the city has so far failed in its effort to oust him. The case — and the land — remain in limbo.
Sussex’s attorney, Jack Wilenchik, said Monday he would appeal to the state Supreme Court. A separate court case, with Tempe asking a court to remove Sussex from the property, is still pending at the Superior Court level.
Wilenchik has fought the city’s move to eject Sussex, arguing in a counterclaim that there are problems with the city’s claim to title as well.
“I haven’t been able to get him title to the land, but the city hasn’t been able to eject him, either,” Wilenchik said. “So it’s been the same as its been for the last 120 years.”
New York medical practitioners can now provide abortions after 24 weeks of gestation in more cases, thanks to an opinion released by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday. In response to a query from the state comptroller’s office, Schneiderman wrote that the state’s current abortion law runs counter to Supreme Court rulings by criminalizing abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy except to save the pregnant woman’s life.
Drawing from multiple Supreme Court decisions, the opinion concludes that, to stay within constitutional lines, New York must also make exceptions to the 24-week limit if the pregnant woman’s health is at risk and if the fetus becomes unviable. The state law, passed in 1970, will remain in effect until the state legislature decides to ax it, but the New York Times reports that Schneiderman’s opinion will allow hospitals and other abortion providers to perform late-term abortions without fear of prosecution.
An OB/GYN at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center told the Times that hospitals have previously had to seek wisdom from ethics committees and sometimes wait until a pregnant woman’s health got so bad that her life was definitely at risk, just to give doctors “institutional cover to do what we thought was right all along.” Legislation proposed in 2013 would have modified the state’s abortion law to fit with court precedent, but Republicans in the state legislature blocked it.