Inetianbor v. Western Sky Financial

Famous Cases

An ongoing series highlighting cases you should know.

Here’s a case you should know about. It highlights not only the dangers of predatory lenders, but also the many shortcomings of mandatory arbitration. This is another reason why trial by jury, in open court, and subject to the rules of evidence, is so very important.

The Founding Fathers knew this; so should you.

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Fighting Back

Remember when we wrote about the lawsuit filed against Alex Jones and Infowars by families whose children were butchered in the Shady Hook Massacre? “When Madness Walked the Earth,” April 19, 2018? Here’s some context: Shortly after that terrible event,

Conspiracy theorists began claiming that the parents of the dead children were “actors in an elaborate scheme to enact stricter gun control laws.” The conspiracy theorists asserted that the grief-stricken parents, were, hoaxers; that there had been no slaughter; that the story was fake.

One of the loudest voices promoting this cruel theory has been Alex Jones, “a right-wing conspiracy theorist,” who is a popular radio host, and operates the “conspiracy theory website Infowars.” According to the New York Times, he “has long claimed the shooting was ‘completely fake’ and a ‘giant hoax’ perpetrated by opponents of the Second Amendment.” He “has questioned for years whether 20 children and six adults died in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.” Haag, M. “Sandy Hook Parents Sue Alex Jones for Defamation”, NY Times, April 17, 2018.

Last year, some of the parents of the murdered children sued Jones for defamation.

Well, the story continues. And check this out – The Court has ordered that Alex Jones must appear and testify at at a deposition in the defamation lawsuit filed by the parents.

A deposition is sworn testimony, given under oath, in preparation for a trial. Jones is not happy – he has previously moved to dismiss the lawsuit (unsuccessfully), and has objected (unsuccessfully) to a previous order that he turn over financial records of Infowars.

And now, he’ll be questioned, under oath, about his statements that the slaughter of these children was faked and a hoax. Good. Let’s see what he has to say when he has to tell the truth.

Here’s an article about the case: “Judge Rules Sandy Hook Families Can Depose Alex Jones In Defamation Case,” by Owen Daugherty, February 13, 2019.

Tort Question of the Month: Corporate Wrongdoing, and Personal Responsibility

CBS This Morning reported on January 24th, 2019 that the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, is “targeting Purdue Pharma and eight members of the Sackler family who own the company, alleging in a lawsuit they are ‘personally responsible’ for deceptively selling OxyContin, the narcotic which is central to the opiod crisis.” “Family behind OxyContin maker engineered opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says,” CBS NEWS January 24, 2019

Almost 400,000 people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, according to the CDC. Massachusetts is one of 36 states now suing Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of downplaying the dangers of OxyContin. In a 2007 federal settlement, the company admitted to falsely selling the drug as “less addictive” than rival products. The company paid $630 million in fines.

Healey alleges that “the Sackler family hired “hundreds of workers to carry out their wishes” – pushing doctors to get “more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before” all while paying “themselves billions of dollars.”

In a statement, Purdue Pharma said the lawsuit “distorts critical facts” and “cherry-picked from among tens of millions of emails and other business documents.”

To that, Healey said, “If Purdue thinks we’re cherry picking, I invite them to produce all of their documents and let the public judge for itself.”

Should Corporate Owners and Officers be held personally liable for intentional wrongdoing by the corporation?

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