Alleged Phony FedEx Mastermind Responds to Company's Allegations

Categories: Legal Battles

Jacob B√łtter
Don't screw with FedEx. They'll get litigious.

Remember Brad Ward? He's the guy we told you about last month who FedEx says scammed more than $70,000 in free shipping from the company using a series of fraudulent shipping accounts. At the time, Ward told us he had no idea what FedEx was talking about. Thursday, Ward submitted his official reply in federal court.

See also: A Dallas Shipping Company Used an Elaborate Scam to Ship Everything Free with FedEx, Lawsuit Claims

In it, Ward admits several of the Memphis shipping behemoth's less significant accusations while strongly denying FedEx's primary contention, that he profited by shipping customers' FedEx packages through his Lone Star Shipping Co. without paying for them, something the company says he was able to do by charging the shipments to accounts tied to deceptive addresses and credit cards that would later be declined.

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Legal Saga Between T. Boone Pickens and Swift Boat Leader Takes Another Turn

Categories: Legal Battles

Thumbnail image for 640px-Boone_Pickens_Stadium_Outside.JPG
A million here, a million there and pretty soon you're talking about a college football stadium.

You don't get to be a billionaire -- or OK, now just a high multi-millionaire -- by letting people skate on debts. Our favorite local college football fan, YMCA patron and wind energy enthusiast is no exception.

Last summer, T. Boone Pickens sued William Franke, founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and former owner of the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper, for Franke's failure to pay back a $3.5 million loan. A judge ruled for Pickens in October.

Now, Pickens is suing Franke again in Dallas County district court, claiming that the defendant has conspired with his wife to hide assets.

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Former Denton Mayor Suing Dallas Over Tax Appraisal of His One Arts Plaza Condo

Categories: Legal Battles

Andreas Praefcke
One Arts Plaza

When last Unfair Park checked in on Mark Burroughs, the then sitting Denton mayor was holding hostage a piece of artwork belonging previous owner of his Arts District luxury condo, socialite Angela Barrett.

Barrett sued the Burroughs for the return of "Vertigo," a Teresita Fernandez sculpture. Earlier this month a mediator informed Judge Carlos Cortez that settlement negotiations between the parties were at an impasse and, as of now, they look set for a February 2015 trial.

See also: Denton's Mayor Bought a Condo at One Arts Plaza, Refuses to Return Seller's $175K Artwork

Burroughs, who was term limited and unable to stand for re-election this year and is an attorney by trade, has decided to put some of his newly found free time to litigious use, as he just filed a lawsuit disputing the condo's $2.175 million valuation.

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Plano Is Threatening to Close a Women's Shelter Because It Shelters Too Many Women [Updated]

Categories: Legal Battles

City of Plano
The city of Plano is threatening to shut down Agape, a women's homeless and domestic violence shelter in Plano, over zoning violations.
See update at bottom.Agape is a Christian organization that lends crisis housing support to women, their children and unaccompanied children in need. They provide shelter to homeless women and children, as well as community ministry and counseling. They operate out of four residential homes as Household Care Facilities, according to the city of Plano.

But a Plano city ordinance decrees that no more than eight people, and two caregivers, reside in a single home. And because Agape facilities are in a residential home, the number of women and children being housed, plus Agape members, often exceeds that limit. The City of Plano issued a cease and desist order to Agape, with the promise to close its doors if Agape does not comply.

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Uptown Couple, Sick of the Loud Music, Takes Their Neighbors From Hell to Court

Categories: Legal Battles

The Tilleys' townhome is the middle left. Garcia's is the middle right.
For all its walkability and easy access to food and drink, the type of dense, urban living embodied by Uptown does have its drawbacks. Price is one. The three-bedroom townhomes that line Worthington Street are valued on the tax rolls at upward of a half million dollars. Another minus: Loud neighbors are basically impossible to ignore.

Take the gentlemen who rented the property next door to Justin and Laura Tilley last year. Previously, the Tilleys had enjoyed the Worthington Street townhome they'd bought in 2010. The music changed all that.

The music was constant, they say, and it was loud. Loud enough that they had to yell to be heard over the pulsing bass. Loud enough to shake the walls and jolt picture frames askew. Loud enough that they didn't have a solid night's sleep in months. More than once, they called in sick because they were too sleep-deprived to work.

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Strip Clubs Lose Another Round In Fight Against Texas' "Pole Tax"

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

Your friendly neighborhood strip club, it's safe to say, is no fan of the $5-per-patron "pole tax" the Texas legislature saw fit to levy in 2007. Its displeasure has been expressed in two ways: by refusing to pay (the tax has so far raised less than a third of the projected $44 million, prompting Comptroller Susan Combs to publicly urge 200 or so establishments
to pay up) and, through the Texas Entertainment Association, the industry's Austin-based lobbying arm, by engaging the state in a protracted legal fight.

That fight may be coming to a close. On Friday, a state appeals court rejected the TEA's claim that the fee violated the Texas Constitution, which requires that a quarter of revenue generated by an "occupation tax" has to be used to fund public education. Revenue from the pole tax, by contrast, is set aside to provide resources for sexual assault victims (all of the first $25 million raised) and low-income health insurance.

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Dallas Jury Awards $3 Million to Wise County Family In "First Fracking Trial"

Thumbnail image for EmmaParrNosebleed.jpg
via Earthworks
The Parr family says their daughter, Emma, began suffering nosebleeds when gas drilling operations took root nearby.
When the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality took air samples from near Bob and Lisa Parr's Wise County ranch on several occasions in 2010, their conclusions varied little. The levels of possibly harmful volatile organic compounds were too low to cause "adverse health effects"

Such chemicals "were either not detected or were detected below levels of short-term health and/or welfare concern."

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Perot Museum Staircases Are Not To Be Trusted, Lawsuits Say

Categories: Legal Battles

richard wezensky
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is either very bad at building and managing staircases, or is just a convenient entity to blame when people suffer accidents on those staircases. A lawsuit filed last week says that Myung Oh fell down the museum's concrete steps and injured his neck in 2013. The accident rendered him a quadriplegic, the suit says, living in a nursing home and requiring around-the-clock care.

This is the second time in the past year that the Perot-affiliated museum has been sued over a staircase fall.

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Dallas Anesthesiologist Being Sued Over Deadly Surgery Admits to Texting, Reading iPad During Procedures

Note: The original headline incorrectly stated Dr. Spillers had admitted to using Facebook and texting during Milne's surgery. It has been changed to more accurately reflect his testimony.

.Mary Roseann Milne, 61, checked into Medical City Dallas on April 13, 2011 for an operation to correct an irregular heartbeat. The procedure, an AV node ablation, is routine, at least as far as heart surgeries go, but something went wrong. Ten hours after her surgery began, Milne was pronounced dead.

The family has filed a medical malpractice suit against Medical City and two individual doctors involved in the procedure: surgeon Dr. Robert Rinkenberger and anesthesiologist Dr. Christopher Spillers. It's set to go before a Dallas County jury in September.

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Uplift Education Sat on Teacher-Rape Allegations for More Than a Year, Family Claims

Donald Carter Jr.
A Dallas family says Uplift Education kept a known sexual predator on staff as a teacher for more than a year after learning he raped their teenage daughter.

The rape, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the parents and alleged victim (all identified by pseudonyms), happened on the night of Uplift Hampton Prep's homecoming game in November 2011.

Carter, who is currently charged with sexual assault, had been involved in "other deviant and felonious sexual relationships with other students at Hampton Prep" when he set his sights on the girl. He began a "careful and methodical process of grooming," giving her an inordinate amount of attention in school and calling her and texting her frequently, often after hours, putting increasing pressure on her to have sex.

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