Perot Museum Staircases Are Not To Be Trusted, Lawsuits Say

Categories: Legal Battles

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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

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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

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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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Dallas Will Pay $1.1 Million to Man Jailed for 15 Months After Police Beating

Categories: Legal Battles

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Ronald Bernard Jones
The way he described it, Dallas police officer Matthew Antkowiak could have very easily been killed on the night of December 18, 2009.

It started just before midnight, when the officer spotted 62-year-old Ronald Bernard Jones in the 300 block of Reunion Boulevard. Jones "appeared to be intoxicated or high on some unknown substance" and was "walking in the middle of the street and throwing beer cans in the air."

Rather than comply with Antkowiak's order to step to the front of his parked squad car, Jones threw an open can of beer at the cop then, when Antkowiak moved to arrest him, grabbed the officer by the throat, "choking him and lifting him off the ground."

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Buddhist Says Plano Telecom Company Fired Him for Refusing to Quote Bible Verses

Categories: Legal Battles

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Shan Putnam
During eight years working for Plano-based Goodman Networks, Jef Mindrup's Buddhism was never really an issue, and why would it be? Serving as the marketing director for a large-ish telecom company requires allegiance to no specific creed.

Mindrup says that changed on March 14, 2012, when Jody Goodman -- Goodman Networks' co-founder, board member, and "vice president of staffing, corporate travel and diversity" -- asked him to immediately begin adding daily Bible quotes to The Daily Coffee, the company's morning email newsletter.

According to a federal lawsuit Mindrup filed last week, he refused. "Jody, I am unable to add quotes or scriptures from the Bible as you've requested," he wrote in response to the request. "I have always taken great care to avoid any quotes that would offend others as well as my own personal religious beliefs."

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Arlington Puts Hippie Garden on Trial for Tall Grass, Shows Jurors a Picture of Poop

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Mark Graham
GoE's Quinn Eaker. He was kicked out of the courtroom for using his cell phone.
It turns out that Arlington, of all places, is home to a sustainable garden/hippie residence called the Garden of Eden. Naturally, Arlington does not approve.

Suspecting that the hippies were growing weed, officials first sent a manned aircraft over the Garden of Eden last year. Undercover officers paid a visit in person. It all hit the fan in August, when a SWAT team stormed the place looking for drugs.

The SWAT team didn't find a single bud. So instead, a bunch of city code enforcement officers showed up later that day. They cited the residents for having tall grass and storing inside furniture outside, among other violations. Code enforcement also mowed the lawn.

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Walmart Fired a North Texas Manager For Being Old and Having Diabetes, The Feds Say

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

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David Moorman isn't old, at least not by any modern standard. The Fort Worth man is in his mid-50s, still nearly a decade away from reaching Medicare eligibility, still in command of all his faculties, and he still has several years of productive employment ahead of him.

According to the federal government, that wasn't enough to keep Walmart from firing him. On Wednesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the retail giant, saying that its 2011 termination of Moorman was illegal, violating federal age- and disability-discrimination laws.

Moorman worked in regional management for Walmart. The lawsuit doesn't delve into his job description, but his LinkedIn profile says he "managed all day to day operations of $30/40 million retail grocery stores" and oversaw grocery operations for 10 North Texas supercenters.

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Hollywood is Suing to Shut Down Fort Worth's Talledega Nights-Inspired Breastaurant

Categories: Legal Battles

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Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon and Restaurant
If you're feeling charitable, you might describe Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon and Restaurant, with its checkered flags and black-and-yellow stock car out front, as a loving, if unauthorized, homage to the 2006 Will Farrell/John C. Reilly film Talladega Nights. The breastaurant's parent company, strip club conglomerate Rick's Cabaret International, has never pretended otherwise, operating on the legal theory that you can't copyright a proper name.

Otherwise -- if, say, you're a movie studio still milking the film for $3.5 million per year -- you'll probably view the operation as a cynical ploy to cash in on the movie's success without paying licensing fees.

Count Columbia Pictures in the latter camp. Last week, the studio sued Rick's Caberet in federal court alleging that it's illegally profiting off the Talledega Nights brand and demanding that it stop.

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Duncanville Is Suing Its Own Mayor

Categories: Legal Battles

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Mayor Deborah Hodge
There's something rotten in Duncanville city government. Twenty-four of the past 30 months spent without a permanent city manager, a City Council bitterly divided, and now this: The city of Duncanville is suing Mayor Deborah Hodge.

Yes, that is a thing that can happen. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by the city attorney. The claim? That Hodge was arbitrarily requiring a two-thirds super-majority for basic council actions.

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How Farmers Branch Could've Spent the $8 Mil It Blew Defending an Illegal-Immigrant Ban

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Farmers Branch's epic, seven-and-a-half year quest to ban people living in this country illegally came to a close on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court's ruling that a city ordinance requiring tenants to prove legal residency before renting a home was unconstitutional. Whatever Mayor Bill Glancy may think, this is the end of the line. The case is doornail dead.

That's not to say Farmers Branch's legal fight achieved nothing. It inspired Hispanic activists to force the adoption of single-member council districts. It ensured that anyone who happens to Google the town immediately associates it with bigotry. And it caused the town to rack up more than $8 million in legal fees, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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