California Sues Juul for Targeting Teens

Juul, the top-selling maker of e-cigarettes in the United States, is being sued by California for allegedly targeting teens with it early marketing campaigns.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, also alleges that Juul’s website didn’t previously adequately verify customers’ ages, the Associated Press reported.

This is just one of many legal battles for Juul. It’s the focus of numerous state and federal investigations into whether its early marketing campaigns helped trigger the teen vaping crisis in the United States.

Juul denies that it marketed to teens and notes that it’s stopped advertising and taken most of its flavors off the market, the AP reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

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WebMD Health

NYC Sues Flavored Online E-Cigarette Sellers

Oct. 10, 2019 — Twenty-two online sellers of flavored e-cigarettes are being sued by New York City for allegedly targeting young people through social media.

The defendants created “a public nuisance” by selling e-cigarettes to people under 21 even though such sales have been illegal in the city since 2013, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, CNN reported.

“Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This lawsuit sends a message: we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids and the health of our city.”

Nationwide, state and local governments have taken action to limit children’s access to e-cigarettes, CNN reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

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WebMD Health

New Mexico Mom Sues State Over Pot Supply

It’s for her sick child.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at

New Mexico mom Nicole Nuñez is suing the state over “arbitrary” supply limits. Nuñez’s eight month old daughter has a seizure disorder. A Michigan judge ruled that seedlings count as plants.

The four Colorado doctors suspended for overprescribing large plant counts will have to go through administrative hearings to try and get their licenses reinstated.  A judge tossed out a lawsuit they filed.

Anti-pot activists in Montana are crying foul after the state said they fell short on the number of signatures necessary to get an anti-MED initiative on the ballot. Due to a change in the law, any dispensaries in the state will be operating illegally as of August 31.

The New York Times looks into the Canadian dispensary scene as the country prepares for legalization.

The Department of Agriculture clarified some of the rules governing industrial hemp.

Kazakhstan plans to make paper from hemp. Sixty-five percent of New Zealanders favor legalization or  decriminalization.

Israel will make MED easier to obtain. An Israeli patient is suing the state over pesticides in MED.

Recently, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said legalization would lead the cannabis ads in primetime. Itmay, but the outcome isn’t guaranteed. Politifact amended its assessment of her comment.

In Utah, a plurality support MED. Maryland named the preliminary winners of MED business licenses.
Tuatara Capital’s recent $ 93M raise shows that “Investors are definitely getting more comfortable with cannabis companies. Banks still are not,” Tom Quigley, CEO of online marketplace of The Gluu said.

The Walrus profiles Canadian outfit Canopy Growth, the world’s largest legal marijuana company.

ZDNet discusses the Microsoft/Kind Financial deal. Start-up Leaf which developed a home-grow systemraised $ 2M. The company came out of incubator Canopy Boulder.

The Orange County (Calif.) Register visits Nemus Bioscience, a pharmaceutical company investigating medical uses of cannabinoids. It is working on new delivery mechanisms for THC-based glaucoma drugs.

Toke of the Town

Patient Sues Border Patrol Over Right to Possess Medical Marijuana

Back in July 2007, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act took effect in New Mexico allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. But if you have to pass through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint while in possession of your medicine, you could be subjected to a dragging over the proverbial coals, regardless of whether or not you’re a licensed patient.

Just ask Raymundo Marrufo, a registered patient with New Mexico’s medical marijuana program. Raymundo’s forced to deal with the Border Patrol each time he reups his supply of medicine due to the fact that the dispensary that he has to travel to in order to legally obtain medical marijuana is located on the other side of a checkpoint.

Each time Raymundo is making the return trip home with his medicine supply, he is at risk of the U.S. Border Patrol shaking him down and locking him up for being in possession of what the federal government still considers to be illegal contraband.

So, what’s a guy to do about the fear of imprisonment for merely being in possession of something he’s licensed with his home state to possess and consume?

Well, you get yourself a lawyer and file an injunction against the U.S. Border Patrol in connection with how folks are questioned by the agency at checkpoints.

No, really.

Raymundo hired attorney Jason Flores-Williams to do just that.

Flores-Williams said in an interview on Tuesday that his client “doesn’t know if his life, for all intents and purposes, is going to end that day.”

Raymundo’s filed complaint declares that a federal provision referred to as the Rohrabacher Amendment, contained in a 2015 appropriations act, makes it illegal for the U.S. Department of Justice to execute a system of rules that constrains New Mexico’s statutes which permit the “use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

“Whether it is a sense of entitlement, indifference or simply ignorance of the law, the court must immediately issue an injunction enjoining the United States Border Patrol from asking questions and conducting searches that violate that Rohrabacher Amendment,” the complaint states.


Good luck, Raymundo!

The 420 Times

Fox News anchor sues Hasbro over toy hamster sharing her name

An anchor for Fox News Channel has sued Hasbro Inc for more than $ 5 million over the company’s sale of a plastic toy hamster that shares her name, and which she says resembles her.

In a complaint filed on Monday, Harris Faulkner, who joined Fox News in 2005, called it “demeaning and insulting” for Hasbro to portray her as a rodent with its Harris Faulkner hamster, and said the toy damages her credibility as a journalist.

Faulkner also said the hamster bears a “physical resemblance” to her through its complexion, eye shape and eye makeup design, and poses a choking hazard to small children.

“Harris Faulkner, the uniquely named, acclaimed veteran journalist and author, has worked for decades to establish and maintain her personal brand and laudable professional

reputation,” only to suffer “substantial commercial and emotional damages” from Hasbro’s conduct, the complaint said.

Faulkner said she told Hasbro in January it had no permission to use her name or likeness, but that it was still using her name in July to sell its popular “Littlest Pet Shop” toy line, which includes the hamsters. She also said the hamsters are still sold at and elsewhere online.

Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy on Wednesday said the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company normally does not discuss litigation.

She objected to the choking hazard claim, saying that all Littlest Pet Shop toys “meet and exceed all safety standards.”

The lawsuit filed in Newark, New Jersey federal court seeks damages for violating Faulkner’s publicity and endorsement rights, and to recoup profits from toy hamster sales.

Paul Halasz, a lawyer for Faulkner, was not immediately available for comment.

Faulkner co-hosts the daytime show “Outnumbered” and anchors “Fox Report Weekend” on Sunday evenings. Fox News is a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

The case is Faulkner v Hasbro Inc, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 15-06518.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Pokemon Company Sues Over Fan Event

The Pokemon Company, the group that owns the iconic franchise, has filed a lawsuit against two fans for running a Pokemon-themed party. The event, called the “5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff,” was supposed to be held Thursday evening in Seattle to mark the beginning of the weekend event.

However, The Pokemon Company’s lawsuit against the party’s organizers, Ramar Larkin Jones and Zach Shore, led to the cancellation of the event and potentially more problems for the pair.

An Eventbrite page for the party has been taken down, but Geekwire reports that the event was to include an “AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP,” “Pokemon-themed shots and drinks,” “Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize,” “Dancing,” “Giveaways,” “Cosplay Contest, and more.”

Posters for the event (see below) featured Pokemon creatures Pikachu and Snivy, while organizers used Pikachu’s likeness to market the party on Facebook. In addition, this was not a free party, as tickets for the sold-out event–now in its fifth year–went for $ 2.

In its lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Washington, The Pokemon Company’s legal team called the event a “blatant and willful infringement” of its IP, which the defendants never sought permission to use.

“Defendants’ exploitation of the Pikachu and Snivy characters in promotion of the ‘5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party’ is a direct infringement of TPCi’s exclusives rights in the Pokemon Works,” the company said in its complaint.

The Pokemon Company is seeking damages (more than the standard rate due to the infringement being conducted willfully, they said), attorneys’ fees, and to stop the organizers from holding another similar event in the future. They are requesting that a trial by jury be held to judge this case.

We will have more on this case as it becomes available.


Man sues Florida hospital after his leg found in the garbage

(Reuters) – A south Florida man is suing a hospital for emotional distress, saying his leg was amputated and thrown in the garbage with his name tag still on it.

John Timiriasieff, 56, had his right leg amputated below the knee in October at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables.

“Rather than properly disposing of the plaintiff’s limb as expected and as required by Florida law, Doctors Hospital threw the Plaintiff’s amputated limb into the garbage, with tags indicating it belonged to the Plaintiff,” according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

A month later, Timiriasieff said his family was contacted by homicide detectives investigating if he had been the victim of foul play.

When the family went back to the hospital to find out what happened, they were told it would “provide no explanation for what had occurred,” the lawsuit said.

Doctors Hospital Inc, part of the Baptist Health South Florida Inc, said it could not discuss the incident in detail because of patient privacy considerations.

“However, we can say when Doctors Hospital was notified of this situation, hospital leaders took immediate and appropriate measures to address it,” it added in an emailed statement. “Proper procedures have been reinforced at the hospital to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.”

Normally, amputated limbs are incinerated by hospitals, said Clay Roberts, a lawyer for Timiriasieff.

Roberts said he wrote to the hospital in January but got no response.

In the lawsuit, Timiriasieff described the hospital’s conduct as “outrageous and beyond the bounds of human decency as to be regarded as odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

The leg was discovered at a waste management facility and reported to police.

Roberts said his client is upset by the hospital’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for the severe emotional distress he endured as a result of its negligence, and failing to protect his private medical information.

“I have heard of people having the wrong limb removed but hospitals aren’t supposed to throw them away,” he said.

The case is John Timiriasieff vs. Doctors Hospital Inc, #2015-009583-CA-01.

(Additional reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Bill Trott)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Texas woman sues family after her dogs kill neighbor’s pet beagle

(Reuters) – The owner of three pit bulls and a pit-bull mix is seeking up to $ 1 million in damages after her dogs entered the Houston-area property of her neighbor and fatally attacked her neighbor’s 10-year-old beagle.

Emerald White said she was trying to retrieve her four dogs from her neighbor’s yard when the beagle attacked her, causing her dogs to attack, the lawsuit said.

The beagle’s owners, the Baker family, said the pit bulls broke into their yard and started the incident that left their beagle, Bailey, dead a few minutes after the attack ended in the Houston suburb of Texas City.

White’s attorney, Paul LaValle, told local broadcaster KHOU-TV: “I’m getting the hate mail and the death threats. They have a very good PR campaign working for the family that owned the beagle.”

White’s lawsuit said her neighbors were negligent and that she suffered from mental anguish, disfigurement, pain, loss of earnings and a fear of future disease because of the beagle attack.

The Baker family told KHOU-TV it had no plans to sue White because it would not bring their dead pet back.

“Bailey … laid up next to the house and died,” Steve Baker told the broadcaster.

(Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Peter Cooney)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Woman who gouged her eyes in California sues over viral photo

(Reuters) – A nurse at a Los Angeles hospital took a photo of a woman who gouged out her own eyes with pencils, and the patient sued the hospital and its administrators after the picture went viral on the Internet, her attorney said on Wednesday.

The plaintiff, who is not named in the lawsuit, was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after she tried to commit suicide by jamming the pencils through her eyes at another facility and was rushed to the hospital, her lawyer, Douglas Johnson, said.

The injury left the woman blind, according to the lawsuit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The as-yet unidentified nurse took the photograph of the patient with the “intact pencils sticking out of her eyes,” then shared the unauthorized picture with another person, who passed the image to Joshua Shivers, the lawsuit said.

Shivers, in turn, used his mother’s computer to post the image to a “shock” website, the suit stated, adding that the photo has since been viewed more than 192,000 times. The specific website to which it was posted was not disclosed.

“Everybody knows that as soon as someone gets their hands on something like this, it goes viral and the harm is done,” said Douglas, who specializes in privacy cases.

Douglas said that before filing the lawsuit against the medical center and Los Angeles County officials who administer the hospital, he asked them to have the picture taken down from the Web by exercising a copyright they hold over photo, since it was taken in their facility.

County spokesman David Sommers said officials are investigating the allegations in the lawsuit, and he declined to comment further.

The lawsuit also names as defendants Joshua Shivers and his mother, Linda. They could not be reached for comment.

The woman who blinded herself has since received psychiatric help, learned to read Braille and “gotten her life back on track” by enrolling in college, but she has fallen into depression since the photo spread online, the lawsuit stated.

The legal action, which accuses the defendants of infliction of emotional distress, unauthorized disclosure of medical information and other complaints, does not specify how much the woman is seeking in damages.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Gorman and Lisa Shumaker)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

New Mexico medical marijuana patient sues after being fired for off-work use


New Mexico’s Donna Smith says she was fired illegally for her off-work consumption of medical cannabis to deal with post-traumatic stress she was diagnosed with after serving in the military in the 1990s. New Mexico has laws against discriminating against people for their medical conditions, she argues.

But her employer, Presbyterian Health Services, says they are “protecting” their other employees from Smith and her off-work, medical use of cannabis.

“Presbyterian is committed to patient safety and we believe that a drug free workplace is a key component,” PHS Senior Vice President Joanne Suffis told Bloomberg this week. “The use of medical marijuana is not recognized by federal law and Presbyterian has a mandate under federal law to provide a drug free workplace.”

Of course, they don’t care about how drunk you get while off work – something Smith’s attorney, Jason Flores-Williams, calls “absolute hypocrisy”

So his strategy is to show that his client has been discriminated against because she is using cannabis to treat a condition. It’s a move that has been tried, and failed, before in 2012 when a federal court ruled that the federal American’s with Disabilities Act does not cover illegal drug use. That includes pot as long as the feds view medical cannabis as a farce and all marijuana as an illegal drug more dangerous than cocaine.

“As far as medical patients are concerned, a lot of these people aren’t able to work unless they’re using marijuana–and then they’re prevented from working once they’re using it,” Jessica Gelay, the Drug Policy Alliance’s policy coordinator for New Mexico “As long as they’re not coming to work impaired it should be none of the employer’s business.”

More links from around the web!

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Toke of the Town

U.S. sues N.Y. company that workers say made them pray, say ‘I love you’

(Reuters) – A federal agency sued a New York customer service provider on Wednesday after allegations the company forced employees to pray, thank God for their jobs and say “I love you” to managers and colleagues at work, and fired those who protested.

The Long Island-based United Health Programs of America and its parent company, Cost Containment Group, required workers to practice a spiritual belief system called Onionhead while on the job, in violation of their civil and religious rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in the complaint.

The company fired several employees who refused to adhere to the Onionhead doctrine, which was created by the aunt of the company’s owner, the complaint said.

In one case, an IT project and account manager was disciplined after she complained to management in 2010 that she was Catholic and did not want to participate in the spiritual activities, according to the complaint.

A month after she complained, the employee was removed from her office and relocated to an open customer service area, while a large statue of a Buddha was placed in her former office. She protested to the owner that the move amounted to a demotion and was fired, the complaint said.

“While religious or spiritual practices may indeed provide comfort and community to many people, it is critical to be aware that federal law prohibits employers from coercing employees to take part in them,” Sunu Chandy, senior trial attorney at the commission, said in a statement.

The commission is seeking back pay with interest and unspecified damages for the fired employees, and an injunction against the company from further religious requirements.

Representatives for United Health Programs of America and Cost Containment Group could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Edith Honan and Peter Cooney)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Luxury jeweler Fabergé sues Faberge, a Brooklyn restaurant

Faberge egg pendants at the Faberge shop in central London November 21, 2012.  REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Faberge egg pendants at the Faberge shop in central London November 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

(Reuters) – Luxury jeweler Fabergé filed a copyright lawsuit on Thursday against a New York City restaurant for what it called a “shameless” appropriation of Fabergé’s name and distinctive storefront facade of repeated gold and purple diamonds.

The restaurant, which opened last fall in the heavily Russian neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, “is an effort to free-ride on the enormous good will” established by Fabergé and “confuse consumers and members of the general public,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

Reached by phone, Vladislav Yusufov, the owner of the New York’s Faberge restaurant, said he had no intention of stealing anything from the iconic jeweler.

“We haven’t copied nothing from Fabergé. We don’t sell jewelry,” he said. “We are totally different. Our business is food sale. French and steaks.” Unlike the jeweler, the restaurant spells its name without an accent, and has replaced the letter ‘A’ with the Eiffel Tower in its logo.

The luxury jeweler was founded in 1842 in St Petersburg, Russia, and made some 50 of its ornate, jewel-encrusted eggs for the Russian Tsars from 1885 to 1916. Forty-two have survived, and can trade hands for tens of millions of dollars.

The restaurant Faberge, which also hosts events, does not sell eggs on its menu, but values its porterhouse at $ 49.90.

(Reporting By Edith Honan; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Halo Composer Sues Bungie After He Was Fired “Without Cause”

Marty O’Donnell, the man made famous by serving as the music composer on the Bungie-developed Halo games, has sued his former employer following his dismissal in April.

The lawsuit, which was obtained by GamesBeat, echoes what O’Donnell said in April, which is that Bungie fired him “without cause.” The former audio director was given “no explanation” for the move by Bungie or president Harold Ryan, who is named as the defendant in the lawsuit.

Despite allegedly promising to follow its policy of paying employees for benefits like unused vacation time, Bungie has not done so, according to the lawsuit. “Ryan has willfully and intentionally caused Bungie to deprive O’Donnell of accrued but unused vacation time, paid time off, sabbatical time, and other benefits,” it states.

The composer is also in arbitration with the company over other, unspecified grievances, which may later be added to the lawsuit if it’s decided that the issues aren’t subject to arbitration.

The lawsuit was filed on May 1 in Superior Court in the state of Washington. (Bungie is based in Bellevue, WA.) On May 27, Ryan and Bungie responded, denying his allegations and the suggestion that he is “entitled to the relief requested, or any relief whatsoever.”

O’Donnell’s April firing came as a surprise given his long tenure with the company and the wide acclaim for his work. (One of my personal favorite tracks is above.) Shortly after letting him go, Bungie stated that its next game, Destiny, which launches on September 9, would not be affected by his departure. Curiously, O’Donnell mentioned in an interview at the time that he still had an ownership stake in the developer.

GameSpot has contacted Bungie for comment regarding the lawsuit and will report back with any comment we receive.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
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