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CIVIL RIGHTS Man broke jaw after being tripped by a police officer A man who claimed his jaw was broken during an unlawful arrest by D.C. police was awarded $237,500 by a federal jury. Lavelle James, 24, was making a U-turn at night when he accidentally backed his van into an abandoned building. Officer Darren Bemiller pulled up to the scene, drew his gun, and ordered James out of the van. James claimed he was then handcuffed, ordered to lie in mud, and then pushed to the ground by his neck. James claimed he now has TMJ disease and may need crowns. He sued the District of Columbia, Bemiller, and Krisopher Payne, the officer who pushed him, claiming that there were no proper grounds to stop and handcuff him and that the officers used excessive force. Case/Court/Date: James v. District of Columbia,No. 1:00CV02989 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), June 12, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Joel DuBoff, DuBoff & Associates, and Donna Williams Rucker, Silver Spring, Md. Defense attorneys:Steve Anderson, William Burkett, and Arabella Teal, Office of Corporation Counsel, Washington, D.C. PREMISES LIABILITY Boy on a three-meter diving board fell to the ground, fracturing skull A child who was severely injured after falling off of a diving board at a pool owned by the District of Columbia was awarded $5 million by a D.C. jury. Jacob Miles-McLean, 10, suffered a skull fracture when he lost his balance and fell to the ground from the diving board. Miles-McLean, through his guardian, sued the District for negligence, claiming that it failed to maintain and operate the pool in conformity with aquatic standards. The District argued that even if its breach of duty was the proximate cause of Miles-McLean’s injuries, the negligence of Miles-McLean’s parents was a superseding act that absolved it of liability. The jury found that the parents’ negligence did not rise to the level of a superseding act. Case/Court/Date: Miles-McLean v. District of Columbia,Civil Action No. 00-4991 (D.C. Superior Court), April 17, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Patrick Regan, Thanos Basdekis, and Jonathan Halperin, Regan, Halperin & Long, Washington D.C. Defense attorneys:Robert DeBerardinis Jr. and Michelle Klandernam, Office of Corporation Counsel, Washington, D.C. ANTITRUST Animal feed producers claimed they paid too much for additive In a conspiracy lawsuit against four animal feed additive producing and trading companies, a class of companies that claimed they paid too much for an additive was awarded more than $49 million by a federal jury. Lead plaintiff Animal Science Products Inc., Nacogdoches, Texas, sued the additive manufacturer, DuCoa LP, Highland, Ill.; its general partner, DCV Inc., Wilmington, Del.; the Tokyo-based trading company, Mitsui & Co.; and its American subsidiary Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc., New York. The plaintiffs claimed that from January 1988 to September 1998, the defendants engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to deter competition by regulating supply, and by increasing and fixing prices of choline chloride (vitamin B4). The defendants denied that they participated in the alleged conspiracy. Case/Court/Date: Animal Science Products Inc. v. DCV Inc.,No. 99-197 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), June 13, 2003. Plaintiffs’ attorneys:Michael Hausfeld, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, Washington D.C.; William Isaacson, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, Washington D.C.; James Southwick, Susman Godfrey, Houston. Defense attorneys:Sutton Keany, Pillsbury Winthrop, New York; Kurt Odenwald, Guilfoil Petzall & Shoemake, St. Louis. PRIVACY Lawyer’s domain name was used in e-mail solicitation An attorney whose domain name was misused in an e-mail solicitation is not entitled to damages from the company advertised in the message, a Virginia judge ruled. David Tepper discovered that an e-mail using his domain name as the sender was returned to his administrative account as undeliverable. The message solicited people to visit a Web site owned by Informative Information Inc. of Ohio, which is owned by Todd McGuire. The Web site sold a manual for penis enlargement. Tepper sued the company and McGuire, seeking $25,000 in damages under the Virginia Computer Crimes Act. The defendants contended that a third-party contractor was responsible for the e-mail. The judge granted summary judgment for the defendants. Case/Court/Date: Tepper v. Informative Information Inc.,No. 206866 (Fairfax County Circuit Court), May 7, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorney:Michael Alex Wasylik, McLean, Va. Defense attorney:Francis Minor, Law Office of SRIS, Fairfax, Va. EMPLOYMENT Business software company programmers left for rival Two former employees of a business software company did not divulge trade secrets or violate a company agreement when they left for a rival company, a Virginia judge ruled. Wenfeng Li and Xiaogang Xue were programmers for MicroStrategy Inc. of McLean, Va., when they left the company for similar work at the Actuate Corp. in San Francisco. MicroStrategy sued the two and their new employer, alleging that the programmers took confidential company information with them, and did so with the approval of Actuate. The defendants denied that any trade secrets were revealed, and claimed that what MicroStrategy considered trade secrets had been previously disclosed via the Internet. Case/Court/Date: MicroStrategy Inc. v. Li,No. 172862 (Fairfax County Circuit Court), June 19, 2003. Plaintiffs’ attorneys:Lewis Powell III and Ingo Burghardt, Hunton & Williams, Richmond, Va. Defense attorneys:Amy Bess, Elizabeth Ferrell, and Drew Marrocco, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Washington, D.C. Editor’s Note: These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers in the D.C. area and nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research call 1-800-832-1900. To submit a case, call (212) 313-9057, fax (212) 313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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