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CIVIL RIGHTS Hearing-impaired moviegoers settle with AMC, Loews Three hearing-impaired men who initiated a class action against two movie chains operating in the Washington metro area for failing to accommodate them on May 3 secured a promise to provide closed-caption technology in their 12 existing theaters and in new theaters as they open them. The plaintiffs claimed that the headsets currently being provided by AMC Entertainment and Loews Entertainment Corp. don’t pass muster under the Americans With Disabilities Act and demanded installation of Rear Window captioning, in which reverse captions are displayed in the rear of the theater, which then reflect off individual Plexiglas screens attached to the seats. By looking through them, the caption appears superimposed on the big screen. Case/Court/Date: Ball v. AMC Entertainment Inc., No. 00-867 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia), May 3, 2004 Plaintiffs’ attorney: Thomas Simeone, Simeone & Miller, Washington, D.C. Defense attorneys: Steven Fellman and David Monroe, Galland, Kharasch, Greenberg, Fellman & Swirsky, Washington, D.C. INTERNET LAW Vulnerability in Web site allowed visitors to view personal information Tower Records on April 21 settled a suit brought against it by the Federal Trade Commission, agreeing to establish a comprehensive information security program for its Web site within six months, certified by an expert, and then obtain recertification every two years for the next decade. In November and December 2002, Tower Records rewrote the software code for the “order status” part of its site. The FTC claimed that in doing so, it failed to include some code from the original version, allowing any visitor to the site who entered a valid number to view personal financial information of other Tower customers. Information on more than 5,225 customers was accessed and passed around over an eight-day period. Case/Court/Date: In re MTS Inc., No. 032-3209 (Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.), April 21, 2004 Plaintiff’s attorneys: Laura Mazzarella and James Silver, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C . Defense attorneys: Alan Malasky, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, Washington, D.C.; Nicolas Thaker, senior counsel, MTS Inc. INTERNATIONAL TORTS Man seeking return of down payment told to “get lost” and “get an attorney” The Maryland Court of Appeals on Feb. 9 upheld a $29,300 award against a dealership that refused to return a customer’s down payment after repossessing his car. A sales representative at Darcars Motors of Silver Spring Inc. told Marcin Borzym to “get lost” and “get an attorney” when he sought to retrieve the $2,500 down payment he made on a 1999 BMW 32i, as well as the laptop and CDs in the car’s trunk, which were never returned to him. A jury in 2001 found Darcars liable for conversion and awarded Borzym $104,300, including $100,000 in punitives, which was later reduced to $25,000. The Court of Appeals held that there was clear and convincing evidence of actual malice, and that Borzym did not need to establish Darcars’ ability to pay to support an award of such punitives. Case/Court/Date: Borzym v. Darcars Motors of Silver Spring Inc., No. CV-210815-V (Montgomery County Circuit Court, Md.), April 3, 2001. Plaintiff’s attorney: Lloyd Eisenberg, Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates, Silver Spring, Md. Defense attorneys: John Lynch, McNamee, Hosea, Jernigan, Kim, Greenan & Walker, Greenbelt, Md. 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) 313-9180, fax (212) 313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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