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CONSUMER PROTECTION Cubs fans claimed team and broker colluded A class of Chicago Cubs fans who bought tickets between April 2002 and May 15, 2003, on Nov. 24 lost a consumer fraud claim it had filed against the team and a ticket broker. The plaintiffs alleged that the team placed tickets with broker Wrigley Field Premium (WFP), rather than sell them directly to fans, resulting in higher ticket costs. They also claimed that the Cubs used bait-and-switch techniques-telling potential ticket buyers that games were sold out and referring them to WFP, where they would pay more. The defendants claimed WFP was a licensed broker that legitimately purchased tickets for resale, and that other than selling it tickets, the Cubs did no business with the company. Cavoto v. Chicago National League Ball Club Inc., No. 02-CH-18372 (Cook Co., Ill., Cir. Ct.). PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY: Paul Bauch, Bauch & Michaels, Chicago DEFENSE ATTORNEY: James A. Klenk, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, ChicagoDOMESTIC RELATIONS State settles with foster kids over abusive parent Three former foster children on Nov. 18 agreed to accept $4 million from the state of Washington to settle their claims against the state for leaving them in the care of an abusive foster parent. In 1988, the three plaintiffs were sent to live with foster parent Pauline Hortman, where they remained for 30 months. Years later, they claimed that on more than one occasion they were abused by Hortman and her own teenage child. Hortman was arrested but never charged and denied the allegations. In the instant action, the plaintiffs claimed that their caseworker visited them just four times in 2 1/2 years. They claimed that state regulations required a social worker to visit them every three months, and also contended that as Native Americans they were entitled to greater supervision under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. Children v. State of Washington, No. 02-2-07032-9 (King Co., Wash., Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEYS: Kathryn Goater and Rebecca J. Roe, Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, Seattle DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jack Maichel, state attorney general’s office, Olympia, Wash. EMPLOYMENT Laid off while pregnant, woman loses FMLA suit A former America Online project manager lost her Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Family Medical Leave Act discrimination claims when a federal jury found in favor of AOL on Nov. 20. Colleen M. Al Mukhtar, 33, went on pregnancy leave. While she was out, AOL terminated her, claiming that her position was selected in a round of layoffs. Al Mukhtar contended that she was in a protected class because she was pregnant, and that she suffered an adverse action-being terminated-because of the pregnancy. She also claimed that she was never notified, and that she returned to find that she was no longer employed. AOL contended that Al Mukhtar’s position was eliminated because, after analysis, it was decided that it had the least impact on day-to-day operations in the department. Al Mukhtar v. America Online Inc., No. 03-59-A (E.D. Va.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS: Elaine C. Bredehoft and Janet A. Vecchia, Charlson Bredehoft, Fairfax, Va. DEFENSE ATTORNEY: James Banks, McGuireWoods, McLean, Va. INTERNATIONAL TRADE Illinois press maker wins Japanese dumping case An Illinois printing press manufacturer was awarded $10.5 million, trebled to $31.6 million, on its Anti-Dumping Act claim by a federal jury on Dec. 3. Goss International Corp. of Bowling Brook, Ill., alleged that, throughout the 1990s, Japan-based Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd. and its subsidiary sold presses to large newspaper companies in the United States at prices below what Tokyo Kikai charged its Japanese customers, with the intent of injuring and destroying the U.S. printing press industry. Goss sought more than $50 million in damages for lost profits. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho argued that the presses it sold in Japan were larger than the U.S. versions. Goss Intl. Corp. v. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd., No. C00-35-L-RR (N.D. Iowa). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Bill Schopf, Schopf & Weiss, Chicago DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nicholas Critelli, Des Moines, Iowa SEXUAL ASSAULT Priest molestation claim settles for $17 million A California man who was sexually molested by a priest when he was a teenager settled his claim for $17.05 million on Nov. 24. Mark Bogdanowicz, 39, alleged that when he was 15 years old, Father Robert Freitas of the Santa Paula parish in Fremont, Calif., had sexual relations with him in the priest’s private quarters and during a youth-ministry retreat. Bogdanowicz sued Freitas for sexual assault and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland for negligent supervision. The bishop agreed to settle before trial for $1.05 million and the case proceeded against Freitas, who, after admitting on cross-examination to molesting Bogdanowicz, settled for $16 million. Bogdanowicz v. Freitas, No. 2002058651 (Alameda Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS: R. Lewis Van Blois, Van Blois & Associates, Oakland. Calif.; Laurence E. Drivon, Drivon & Tabak, Stockton, Calif. DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Robert A. Ford, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, San Francisco 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. To submit a case, call (212)313-9057, fax (212)313-9145 or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit. For subscription information or jury verdict research, call (800)832-1900.

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