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NY City Pays $5.5M and Promotes Detective

John Collado was on his way to buy groceries one September afternoon in 2011 when he spotted a neighbor and a stranger fighting on his block and pulled them apart.

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” Mr. Collado shouted as he stood between them on Post Avenue in Upper Manhattan, a hand extended toward each man’s chest, according to court documents. But the stranger — who turned out to be an undercover narcotics detective — pulled out a gun. Without a word, he fatally shot Mr. Collado in the stomach.

The detective, James Connolly, later testified that he fired in self-defense after Mr. Collado placed him in a chokehold. But a civil jury determined last year that his claim was false, and on Thursday New York City agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit claiming the detective used excessive force that was brought by the unarmed man’s widow, Amarilis Collado.

Read the source article at The New York Times

‘Not Qualified’ Kentucky Federal Judge Confirmed

The Senate approved a University of Louisville law professor to a seat on a federal court in Kentucky, despite the American Bar Association deeming him not qualified for the position based on a lack of trial experience.

Confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in a 50-41 vote Thursday afternoon, Justin Walker has worked as a law professor at the University of Louisville since 2015 and also boasts clerkships with former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and then-D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh on his resume.

As a former clerk to the newest Supreme Court justice, Walker was a fixture on television and radio during Kavanaugh’s contentious nomination process, which became a bitter fight after Kavanaugh faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct dating back to his time in high school and college.

Read the source article at Homepage

DOL Bias Settlements Top $40M in Record Haul

The Labor Department obtained more than $40 million from monetary settlements in fiscal year 2019 for workers affected by alleged discrimination—a record amount for the agency, a DOL official told Bloomberg Law.

The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in FY 2019 settled bias allegations against federal contractors that include Dell Technologies Inc., Bank of America Corp., and Goldman Sachs. The agency polices federal anti-discrimination law among businesses that work with the government, which employ approximately 25% of Americans.

Fiscal 2019’s settlement total is an approximately 150% increase from the prior year, when the agency collected more than $16 million. The next highest year for monetary collections was 2017, when the agency obtained almost $24 million.

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Walmart reaches $14M settlement over policy for pregnant workers

Walmart has reached a class action settlement over its one-time national policy that barred pregnant workers from being assigned lighter work in its stores.

The proposed settlement, if approved by a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois, will end a more than six-year legal battle that began with a complaint by a worker at a Walmart store in O’Fallon.

Under the settlement, which is described in filings by the plaintiff attorneys as unopposed by the retail giant, the company will pay a total of $14 million into a common fund. The settlement estimates each class member will receive between $819 and $2,049 based on 11,000 individuals who faced a similar situation dating back to early March 2014, and depending on how many apply.

Read the source article at Madison

Mattel’s Time Is Running Out Amid Federal Securities Probe

Mattel, Inc. is struggling with its $3 billion debt and is facing a probe as to whether it violated federal securities laws.

It has lost two-thirds of its value over the past three years and has a mountain of trouble as it tries to turn itself around with rapidly declining sales, operating losses, high-profile executive departures, and losing $531 million on sales of $4.5 billion last year.

If hedge funds, who are by far the biggest investors, pull out amid the propagation of recession fears, MAT’s stock could go to zero.

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Profitable Dura Automotive Systems files for Chapter 11

Lynn Tilton, the CEO and financier of Dura Automotive Systems LLC, is likely to face a serious challenge in bankruptcy court.

The Auburn Hills, Michigan company and its domestic subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in hopes of clearing Dura from Tilton’s investment company’s obligations to repay a bond insurer in an unrelated legal dispute.

Tilton reached a legal settlement in May with bond insurer MBIA Inc. The agreement involved three bankrupt investment funds Tilton and MBIA had created to originate loans for distressed companies owned by her turnaround firm.

Tilton’s Patriarch Partners, 73 percent majority owner of Dura, has sought to sell the maker of driver control systems, lightweight metal vehicle frames and battery trays for at least a year, with Bloomberg reporting a potential $1 billion price tag.

Read the source article at Homepage

Jury Awards $5.2M to Disabled Walmart Employee

A jury found Walmart discriminated against an employee with disabilities, violating the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by wrongfully terminating the man. Walmart continues to deny any wrongdoing and may file an appeal.

Former employee Paul Reina worked for 16 years at a Walmart in Beloit, Wisconsin. Reina has a developmental disability, low vision and is deaf. He worked with a publicly funded job coach as a reasonable job accommodation. When a new manager started at the Beloit Walmart, however, Reina was suspended within a month and asked to resubmit his medical paperwork to retain his disability accommodations.

Reina and his legal guardian resubmitted his paperwork as requested, but according to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “the store cut off communication and effectively terminated him,” though Reina’s ability to do his job with a reasonable accommodation had not changed. The (EEOC) initially filed the lawsuit against Walmart for disability discrimination in 2017 after it first tried to resolve the issue directly.

Read the source article at Yahoo

49ers, Santa Clara settle suit over disability access for $24M

The 49ers and Santa Clara have agreed to pay $24 million and make Levi’s Stadium and its parking lot more accessible to people with disabilities in a proposed settlement with fans in wheelchairs, who said they encountered barriers in buying tickets, parking, reaching their seats and even using the restrooms.

The settlement, now pending before a federal judge in San Jose, would be the largest ever in a class-action lawsuit over physical access to a facility by the disabled, Guy Wallace, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said Wednesday. He said the payments would be divided among people with mobility impairments — perhaps as many as 6,000 — who have had access problems at the stadium since it opened in 2014.

Read the source article at San Francisco Chronicle

Jury Awards Calif Woman Injured in 2017 Crash $6.1M

A former Canyon Country, California, woman seriously injured in a traffic collision two years ago has been awarded a court settlement of $6.126 million.

Chung Wu Hsu, 62, who has since moved from Canyon Country, suffered severe and traumatic injuries after her vehicle was broadsided by a box truck whose driver ran a red light after he dozed off behind the wheel, her lawyers announced Monday in a news release.

Following a 15-day trial, a Los Angeles County jury has awarded Hsu $6.126 million, said the release from the law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.

“Ms. Hsu’s life is forever changed as a result of this horrific collision,” attorney Kevin Boyle was quoted as saying in the news release.

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