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Tennessee & 19 others states support South Carolina in abortion lawsuit

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… of South Carolina Gov. … South Carolina’s … Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia … of South Carolina, …

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Missouri joins states supporting South Carolina in abortion lawsuit

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… requirements without South Carolina’s additional … are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. All …

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Andrew Brown Jr. family files $30M federal lawsuit in North Carolina

The family of Andrew Brown Jr. – a Black man shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies coming to serve search and arrest warrants at his home in Elizabeth City, N.C. – filed a $ 30 million federal lawsuit on Wednesday. 

The lawsuit filed at the federal courthouse in the Eastern District of North Carolina comes months after 42-year-old Brown was shot and killed by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies serving drug-related warrants at his home in Elizabeth City on April 21. 

Amid ongoing demonstrations at the time, Andrew Womble, the elected district attorney for North Carolina’s Judicial District 1, cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing in May, announcing that the shooting “while tragic, was justified” because Brown allegedly used his vehicle as a deadly weapon. 

Standing outside the courthouse Wednesday, civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers said the federal lawsuit was filed because the family didn’t believe they could get justice in the sheriff’s office or in state court. 

NORTH CAROLINA DA: ANDREW BROWN JR.’S DEATH ‘TRAGIC’ BUT ‘JUSTIFIED’

“We had to come where we believe Lady Justice is blind and will have all things be equal,” he said. “We stand in front of this federal courthouse because we believe this is where Andrew Brown will finally get justice because he did not get justice in life and so far hasn’t even gotten justice in death.” 

Harry Daniels, another lawyer representing the Brown family, listed Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II and several deputies as defendants in the lawsuit. He also stressed that he would get all body camera footage of the shooting released despite past limits set by a state Superior Court judge. 

“Justice delayed will not be justice denied,” Daniels said. “Now that we have filed a federal lawsuit, let me be very clear in saying that I and this team have compulsory authority, federal subpoena authority, to get all the videos, all the tapes, all the recordings, all the records. And no district attorney, no county administrator and no state court can stop us from doing that because federal law trumps state law.”  

Andrew Brown Jr.

Andrew Brown Jr.
(Brown Family)

The filing is the latest in a string of federal civil rights lawsuits in the wake of high-profile police shootings of Black people. The family of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis police custody last year, agreed to a $ 27 million settlement in March. In September, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, agreed to pay Breonna Taylor’s family $ 12 million and reform police practices.

Womble has said that Brown’s past involvement with law enforcement included multiple resisting arrest charges and convictions dating back to 1995. Investigators had used an informant to conduct controlled purchases of methamphetamine and cocaine from Brown on two separate occasions in March before obtaining the search and arrest warrants that ultimately resulted in his death. 

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Residents have routinely gathered in protest. One of the deputies who fired his gun at Brown’s car has resigned. The FBI also launched a civil rights investigation into the death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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South Dakota joins coalition of states in lawsuit against Google

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota has joined a number of states in an antitrust lawsuit against Google for illegal, anti-competitive, and unfair business practices.

Co-led by Attorneys General in Utah, New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina, Utah v. Google focuses on exclusionary conduct that results in consumers paying up to 30% more for in-app purchases on apps in the Google Play Store.

It also alleges that Google didn’t keep its promise of remaining an “open source” platform – something it used to entice device manufacturers and service providers – and used contractual restraints to discourage and restrict competition.

“Most consumers have no idea that for years Google has imposed unnecessary fees far beyond the market rates for in-app transactions, unlawfully inflating costs for many services, upgrades and other purchases made through apps downloaded on the Google Play Store,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “As a result, a typical American consumer may have paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than needed over many years.”

The effort is led by Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, New York Attorney General Letitia James, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III. The other states joining the lawsuit include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

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Texas-led lawsuit against ‘Obamacare’ thrown out by US Supreme Court

Texas-led lawsuit against Obamacare
In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, The Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (KXAN/AP) — The United States Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit Thursday against the Affordable Care Act led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The high court voted 7-2 against the challenge to the Obama-era health care act, saying Texas and other Republican-controlled states listed as plaintiffs didn’t prove “fairly traceable” injuries or harm by the act and had no legal standing to bring the case to federal court. The vote leaves the entire law intact, and it’s the third major challenge to the act signed into law in 2010.

The court didn’t vote on the merits of the case, just that the states didn’t have proper standing to file it in federal court. Theoretically, the law can still be challenged if potential plaintiffs can prove they’ve been harmed in some way by the legislation.

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the dissenting votes. Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, two of three former President Donald Trump appointees to the court, voted with the majority.

The law’s major provisions include protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services and the expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people, including those who work in jobs that don’t pay much or provide health insurance.

Also left in place is the law’s now-toothless requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.

The elimination of the penalty had become the hook that Texas and other Republican-led states, as well as the Trump administration, used to attack the entire law. They argued that without the mandate, a pillar of the law when it was passed in 2010, the rest of the law should fall, too.

With a more conservative Supreme Court that includes three Trump appointees, opponents of “Obamacare” hoped a majority of the justices would finally kill off the law they have been fighting against for more than a decade.

However, the third major attack on the law at the Supreme Court ended the way the first two did — with a majority of the court rebuffing efforts to gut the law or get rid of it altogether.

Political News by: Billy Gates, Associated Press

Author: Billy Gates
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

State Bar investigating AG Ken Paxton for misconduct over election lawsuit to protect Trump

Texas Politics

Posted: Updated:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS (AP) — The Texas bar association is investigating whether state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud amounted to professional misconduct.

The State Bar of Texas initially declined to take up a Democratic Party activist’s complaint that Paxton’s petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block Joe Biden’s victory was frivolous and unethical. But a tribunal that oversees grievances against lawyers overturned that decision late last month and ordered the bar to look into the accusations against the Republican official.

The investigation is yet another liability for the embattled attorney general, who is facing a years-old criminal case, a separate, newer FBI investigation, and a Republican primary opponent who is seeking to make electoral hay of the various controversies. It also makes Paxton one of the highest profile lawyers to face professional blowback over their roles in Donald Trump’s effort to delegitimize his defeat.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Paxton’s defense lawyer, Philip Hilder, declined to comment.

Kevin Moran, the 71-year-old president of the Galveston Island Democrats, shared his complaint with The Associated Press along with letters from the State Bar of Texas and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals that confirm the investigation. He said Paxton’s efforts to dismiss other states’ election results was a wasteful embarrassment for which the attorney general should lose his law license.

“He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states,” said Moran. “It’s just crazy.”

Texas’ top appeals lawyer, who would usually argue the state’s cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, notably did not join Paxton in bringing the election suit. The high court threw it out.

Paxton has less than a month to reply to Moran’s claim that the lawsuit to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was misleading and brought in bad faith, according to a June 3 letter from the bar. All four of the battleground states voted for Biden in November.

From there, bar staff will take up the case in a proceeding that resembles the grand jury stage of a criminal investigation. Bar investigators are empowered to question witnesses, hold hearings and issue subpoenas to determine whether a lawyer likely committed misconduct. That finding then launches a disciplinary process that could ultimately result in disbarment, suspension or a lesser punishments. A lawyer also could be found to have done nothing wrong.

The bar dismisses thousands of grievances each year and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, 12 independent lawyers appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, overwhelmingly uphold those decisions. Reversals like that of Moran’s complaint happened less than 7% of the time last year, according to the bar’s annual report.

Claire Reynolds, a spokeswoman and lawyer for the bar, said state law prohibits the agency from commenting on complaints unless they result is public sanctions or a court action.

The bar’s investigation is confidential and likely to take months. But it draws renewed attention to Paxton’s divisive defense of Trump as he and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush vie for the former president’s endorsement in the Republican primary to run for attorney general in 2022.

On the Democratic side, Joe Jaworski, the former mayor of Galveston, has said he’ll run. Moran said Jaworski is a friend but that he played no role in the complaint against Paxton.

Paxton’s election challenge was filled with claims that failed to withstand basic scrutiny. A succession of other judges and state elections officials have refuted claims of widespread voter fraud, and Trump’s own Justice Department found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the election’s outcome.

Nonetheless, Paxton’s lawsuit won him political and financial support from Trump loyalists at a time when fresh allegations of criminal wrongdoing led many in the state GOP to keep their distance from the attorney general.

Last fall, eight of Paxton’s top deputies mounted an extraordinary revolt in which they accused him of abusing his office in the service of a wealthy donor. The FBI is investigating their claims.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing and separately pleaded not guilty in a state securities fraud case that’s languished since 2015. He has also used his office in ways that have benefited allies and other donors.

The new criminal allegations prompted an exodus of the top lawyers from Paxton’s office. But Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins was still serving as Texas’ top appellate lawyer at the time of the election lawsuit.

Although the solicitor general usually handles cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a private Washington D.C.-based lawyer who brought election challenge with Paxton. Hawkins has since moved to private practice. A spokesman for his firm said “we can’t help you” with questions about why he didn’t handle the suit.

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This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Capcom Facing $12 Million Lawsuit For Allegedly Using Artist's Photos Without Permission

Resident Evil 4

If Capcom hadn’t already suffered enough from last November’s data leak, it’s now facing a $ 12 million lawsuit.

Designer Judy A. Juracek took action on Friday in a Connecticut court within the United States, alleging Capcom used copyrighted photos from her 1996 book Surfaces without her permission.

Her work contains a collection of more than 1,200 texture photographs intended for visual research. It also comes with a CD-ROM of all of the images which commercial companies must license in order to use.

At this point, you should be able to see where this is going. Juracek claims Capcom didn’t take this important step and apparently, over 200 of her images have been repurposed across various video games. The lawsuit shows over 80 of these – covering series like Resident Evil and Devil May Cry.

One of the many examples highlighted was the logo of Resident Evil 4. Here’s a look (via VGC):

Resident Evil Comparison

In addition to this, there’s a claim that one of the images found within Capcom’s data breach had the same file name as one from the Surfaces CD.

Juracek’s legal reps are asking for $ 12 million in damages for copyright infringement and $ 2500 – $ 25,000 for each photograph used. The lawsuit also references previous allegations made by a filmmaker in April, who accused Capcom of plagiarising monster designs in Resident Evil Village.

You can read more about Capcom’s data leak in our previous post and see the full case over on Scribd.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Family files lawsuit against Houston apartment complex after 3-year-old was shot

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The parents of a 3-year-old who was shot at an apartment complex in Houston have filed a lawsuit against the building, as their daughter continues to recover in the hospital a month after the incident occurred.Helena Lane was struck in the head by a stray bullet on April 26, while she was strapped in a car seat in the back of her mother, Martha Lebby’s car.

Frederick Lane, Helena’s father, and Lebby are both deaf, but they still sat alongside their attorney Friday afternoon as they announced their plans to sue The Palms Apartments on Cypress Station Drive.”We’re deaf, we didn’t hear any of the gunshots,” Lane stated.

Lane had just stepped out of her car to drop trash in the dumpster at their apartment complex. Her 5- and 3-year-old daughters were still in the car when the shooting unfolded.

“I dropped off the trash and I looked back and all I could see was just red everywhere. I didn’t know what happened. I just ran to get my husband, I was screaming for help,” stated Lane.

In the lawsuit, the family makes a premises liability claim, citing a failure on the behalf of the apartment complex to protect them and notify them of the known risks considered the ongoing crime.

“This particular apartment complex, based on our investigation, has high degree of violent crime that has been happening there,” said Muhammed Azziz, the family’s attorney.Based on reports obtained from police, the lawsuit notes that in the last three years there has been nearly 2,500 calls to police, 134 incidents reported, 41 assaults and 85 reports of gunfire.

The apartment complex had no comment Friday about the lawsuit, but said it is making sure the property is safe.

Helena remains hospitalized and faces a tough road to recovery.

Follow Stefania Okolie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Stefania Okolie

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

An FTC Lawsuit Says Frontier Lied About Internet Speeds

The Federal Trade Commission and officials from six states sued Frontier Communications Wednesday, alleging that the telecom provider misrepresented internet speeds and charged many customers for higher speeds than it actually provided or was capable of providing.

The complaint was filed in US District Court for the Central District of California by the FTC and attorneys general from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. California-based customers are represented in the suit by the district attorneys of Los Angeles County and Riverside County.

The lawsuit concerns the advertised speeds of DSL, which Frontier offers over copper lines in places where it has not upgraded to fiber-to-the-home. Frontier’s failure to invest sufficiently in fiber was a major cause of its bankruptcy last year. Frontier provides residential DSL internet service to about 1.3 million consumers across 25 states.

The inherent limitations of copper-line DSL mean that speeds are slower for customers who live farther away from the nearest fiber node. A consultant’s study found that nearly 30 percent of Frontier’s DSL customers were likely to receive speeds slower than what they paid for, the lawsuit said:

In early 2019, a management consulting firm analyzed, at Frontier’s direction and with Frontier’s participation, Frontier’s proprietary network data and internal records for nearly 1.5 million then-current DSL subscribers. This analysis found that approximately 440,000 of Frontier’s DSL subscribers, or nearly 30 percent of the population analyzed, were “potentially” “oversold” on speed tiers that exceeded the actual speeds Frontier provided to them.

The FTC lawsuit alleged that Frontier often imposed speed caps that were lower than the speeds customers paid for, saying that the ISP “provisioned consumers for slower speeds than the tiers of DSL internet service to which they are subscribed.” Provisioning low speeds is often done because of real network limits. But provisioning sets an upper limit on speed, so customers can’t get more than what they’re provisioned, even in cases where the network is technically capable of providing the higher speeds an ISP claims to be selling them.

Frontier’s slow speeds led to many customer complaints. “Since at least January 2015, thousands of consumers complained to Frontier and government agencies that the company failed to provide DSL internet service at the speeds they were promised,” the FTC’s announcement of the lawsuit said. “Many consumers have complained that the slower speeds actually provided by Frontier failed to support the typical online activities they should have been able to perform at the speed tiers Frontier had sold to them.”

Frontier violated the FTC Act’s prohibitions on unfair and deceptive business practices by misrepresenting DSL internet speeds and by using unfair billing practices in which it charged “consumers for a higher and more costly level of internet service than Frontier actually provided or was capable of providing to these consumers,” the lawsuit said. The complaint also alleges violations of state consumer protection laws in Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

The FTC asked for a permanent injunction preventing future violations of the FTC act and for monetary relief. Officials from the six states asked for injunctions, civil penalties, and refunds for consumers. The FTC vote authorizing the lawsuit was 4 to 0; the FTC currently includes two Democrats and two Republicans serving as commissioners.

Frontier issued a statement calling the lawsuit “baseless,” saying that its “DSL internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the company’s marketing materials and disclosures.”

“The plaintiffs’ complaint includes baseless allegations, overstates any possible monetary harm to Frontier’s customers and disregards important facts,” Frontier said. “Frontier offers internet service in some of the country’s most rural areas that often have challenging terrain, are more sparsely populated and are the most difficult to serve. Frontier’s rural DSL Internet service was enthusiastically welcomed when it was launched and has retained many satisfied customers over the years.”

The FTC lawsuit objects to Frontier’s advertised speed promises, in which the ISP “represented that consumers can receive DSL internet service ‘up to’ or ‘as fast as’ a particular speed quantified in Mbps,” with those advertised speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to 45 Mbps.

Author: Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica
This post originally appeared on Business Latest

Texas families warn of possible bed-in-the-box mattress risks; class action lawsuit filed

Texas families warn of possible bed-in-the-box mattress risks

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A new class action lawsuit filed against a mattress company is pushing for changes across the industry.

Attorney Lloyd Cueto, with Cueto Law from near St. Louis and lawyers with the Environmental Litigation Group from Birmingham refiled an amended version of the lawsuit in April against mattress manufacturer Zinus.

The mattresses are sold online and at big box retail stores.

“It really is dangerous, not only the property damage to people, but the health issues,” Cueto explained. “We have over 200 plaintiffs in all 50 states and people are realizing they’re not alone on this.”

He explained that families have had trouble breathing, skin irritation and were forced to toss belongings after removing the cover to wash it.

Cases across Texas

Cueto Law said clients have had itchy/irritated skin and trouble breathing (Courtesy Cueto Law)

Cueto said close to 30 of cases included in the lawsuit are from across Texas.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) explained to KXAN investigator Arezow Doost that fiberglass is used in a variety of products generally for adding strength and fire-resistance.

Cueto said the problem is that Zinus has a removable outer cover with a zipper.

“The very existence of a zipper invites the owner to unzip it, or certainly makes you think that it’s safe to do so,” explained Cueto. “And there’s not nearly appropriate enough warning about the exposure to the glass fibers once you open it.”

‘Leave the cover on’

A statement from Zinus explained the company provides quality products and takes all customer feedback very seriously.

“The material that we use to comply with fire safety regulations is standard in the mattress industry, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that this material is not considered hazardous,” continued the statement.

A spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether the company would remove the zipper or stop using fiberglass.

“All Zinus product owners should refer to the FAQ page on our company website, which addresses many common questions, including proper care and handling of mattress covers,” said the statement.

The frequently asked questions page explained, “The mattress cover isn’t washable, and removing it could inhibit the fire safety barrier, so please always leave the cover on.”

Industry wide problem

“They need to pull these mattresses as they exist off the market now. And we don’t believe that they should have to wait until they’re forced by some kind of federal recall,” explained Cueto.

He said the lawsuit will also mean compensation for the families impacted. Cueto explained that on average the families have spent $ 15,000 to remove all the fiberglass.

He said that this is an industry wide problem and he’s now looking at other manufacturers.

Michelle Cantrell spent thousands of dollars removing all the fiberglass in her home.

Michelle Cantrell said a professional cleaning crew was called to remove fiberglass in her home (Courtesy Michelle Cantrell)

“It was literally like dust settles everywhere, it was exactly like that, only it was glass,” explained Cantrell.

The family from Round Rock shared a warning about their daughter’s memory foam mattress right before the pandemic last year.

They said they bought their mattress from a different company online which ended up reimbursing them, but they explained their home was covered with what looked like glitter.

After some research, Cantrell said it turned out to be fiberglass. They had unzipped the cover to wash it and noticed a tear. Several days later she said they were feeling itchy and coughing.

“There was no warning label anywhere near the zipper or the cover or anything,” explained Cantrell.

What’s being done federally?

Doost asked CPSC why there hasn’t been a recall. A spokesperson with the agency responded with the exact same statement as last year.

“CPSC has mandatory requirements for mattresses and mattress pads. The regulations are performance standards, not design standards. So they do not specify the use of specific materials or individual components,” said Nychelle Fleming, Public Affairs Specialist with the agency.

She added: “It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying of any textile product, including mattress pads. Many textile products shed fibers through normal wear and refurbishment.  It would be difficult to determine the type of fiber without scientific analysis.”

Fleming said concerns should be reported to www.SaferProducts.gov, but it’s unclear what those reports do since hundreds have already been made online. She said, however, that the company looks at all complaints made online.

Author: Arezow Doost
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin