4/19/16 Lawsuit roundup: sperm, Trump, guns, libel & union teachers

An alleged bad, bad failure of sperm bank to thoroughly investigate psyche of sperm donor who was schizophrenic and had a criminal record.

Donor 9623 was said to have a high I.Q. and other appealing traits. But families who used his sperm discovered he had schizophrenia and a criminal record.

Source: Sperm Donor’s Profile Hid Mental Illness and Crime, Lawsuits Say – The New York Times

I’ve written a couple of times about the status of rent controlled and subsidized tenants in New York. It concerned me many years ago when my then landlord decided to evict me for specious reasons. (After his failure to get rid of me we became friends.) Nearly frantic with anxiety, I was told of a paperback book written by tenant lawyers about laws governing rent control and stabilized apartments, a book that gave me and all of us who read it serenity and confidence about our status.

This abundantly detailed story about Donald Trump should give the same confidence to anybody living in such apartments today.

On the eve of New York’s Republican primary, some remember when Mr. Trump engaged in a different type of battle in his home state: a dispute over rent-controlled apartments on Central Park South.

Source: Tenants Thwarted Donald Trump’s Central Park Real Estate Ambitions – The New York Times

Here’s the New York Times story about the Newtown parents’ lawsuit against the gun manufacturer. (I posted a link to this story earlier, but the Times is still the paper of record.)

A Connecticut judge ruled against the manufacturer of the rifle that Adam Lanza used in the attack; it had argued that a 2005 law offered immunity.

Source: Suit Against Maker of Gun in Newtown Massacre Can Proceed, Court Rules – The New York Times

ChemRisk, a consultant criticized in a Huffington Post article, wants to drop its suit against the activists, but they want legal fees and an apology.

Source: Activists Push to Continue a Libel Suit Against Them – The New York Times

Good for Cherri Foytlin and Karen Savage! It’s what anyone wrongfully sued for defamation should do either after winning, or winning by default, as in this case, when the accuser withdraws the lawsuit, in effect admitting it was specious to begin with. Get your legal fees back, not only for yourselves but, by adding to what I hope is considerable precedence, for everyone else who’s cynically accused of defamation as a means to intimidate and suppress criticism.

When I first read about the California lawsuit against the teachers’ union and teachers’  tenure, I thought it was a sleazy, legally dubious thing. I was doubly infuriated when I realized that the “plaintiffs” were a few poor families rounded up and condescended to by at least one very, very rich guy (Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch, who founded and presumably funded a non-profit called Students Matter, just for this nefarious purpose), for reasons that remain inexplicable to me–although the explication seems to fall into that “I’m very very rich and I have to do something with my money, so my money says I know better about public school education than any professional educator, and I know that everything wrong with public school education can be blamed on the teachers’ union, emphasis on union” category. (Did you forget this was a category? Well, actually, so did I, until I re-read and edited it.)

Talk about standing! How can a very very Rich Guy be personally damaged by the California teachers’ union? He can’t. So he scouts out (and pays for) families of children who are affected. These families are, in their naiveté, fronting for one driving, knee-jerk  purpose of Rich Guys: killing unions.

Basically these Rich Guys live either in brain fairyland or in narcissistic sociopathy. Having decided they know best, they’ve bulldozed their way into obliquely supporting the scam that is “charter schooling.”

And charter schools do not employ (academically trained and licensed) unionized teachers. Whom do they employ then? Well…

(Advice to the Teachers Union: unionize charter school teachers. Advice to charter school teachers: join the Teachers Union.)

When I read the decision for the plaintiffs by a California judge, I was incredulous: his statements sounded utterly ignorant and themselves judicially unprofessional. I was further displeased by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s approval of Judge Treu’s decision. What was he–Secretary of Charter School Education?

So the teachers’ union went to a higher–and more rational–court. I’m sure Rich Dudes will take this even further. Why not? They have the money to waste.

Judges ruled that the state’s job protections for teachers do not deprive poor and minority students of a quality education, or violate their civil rights.

Source: California Appeals Court Reverses Decision to Overturn Teacher Tenure Rules – The New York Times

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