Flagging Palin — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's unauthorized use of a famed 9/11 photograph of FDNY members raising the American flag over Ground Zero has gotten her sued for copyright infringement by a New Jersey media company.
A black-and-white version of Thomas Franklin's picture was linked to a tweet on Palin's SarahPAC website. It also appeared on Palin's Facebook page on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, simply captioned, "Never forget," and garnered more than 140,000 "likes" from supporters before being removed on Sept 13.
North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record of Hackensack, which has a registered copyright for the photograph, filed the suit against Palin and her PAC in federal court in Manhattan after a cease-and-desist letter went unanswered.
The suit seeks damages, as well as an injunction against Palin using the picture further. North Jersey Media claims SarahPAC used the photo for political gain, and has caused its reputation to become "irreparably damaged."
This is not the first time North Jersey Media has litigated over use of the picture. Last year, in response to a cease-and-desist letter, former Record staffer Victor Sasson removed the image from his blog, Eye on the Record, which is highly critical of the newspaper.
Trapped in Judge's Enclosure — A man seriously injured when he touched an electric deer fence on former Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano's Hampton Township property will receive $360,000 in damages.
David Senyszyn, a worker with Gervais Cable Construction of Matamoras, Penn., which Napolitano hired in February 2009 to rewire cable lines, decided to climb the fence when a motion-sensor gate would not respond to movement in order to allow him to exit, according to the suit.
Senyszyn was burned by the electric shock, fell and suffered neck injuries necessitating cervical fusion surgery. He claims he still endures residual pain and limited movement in his neck, despite being in rehabilitation for nearly a year after the accident.
An arbitrator had found damages of $450,000 but assigned 20 percent of the responsibility to Senyszyn, reducing the award to $360,000. The parties accepted the arbitrator's decree last month.
Senyszyn's lawyer, Eric Kahn of Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins in Springfield, confirms the amount but declines additional comment.
Napolitano, who served as judge from 1987 through 1995, is currently a judicial analyst for Fox News. His most recent book, The Freedom Answer Book: How the Government Is Taking Away Your Constitutional Freedoms, was published in January.
Catch Me If You Can — When committing a crime, one probably should not be bragging about it on social media.
Roger Davila, 32, and Caesar Berrios, 26, both of Passaic, and Peter Mancuso, 43, of Nutley, were arrested on Sept. 5 for submitting false insurance claims about lost or stolen cellphones and then selling their replacements.
It was Davila's boasts about the crimes on his Facebook page that caught the attention of authorities.
According to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes, Davila and Mancuso used fake names to submit the claims to Asurion Insurance Services, a Nashville, Tenn.-based mobile phone insurance provider. Replacement phones were intercepted by Berrios at a secret address, then sold online.
The men allegedly filed more than $160,000 worth of false claims during a nearly four-year period. They are charged with stolen-goods trafficking, insurance fraud, conspiracy and theft by deception, all second-degree counts.
The Insurance Fraud Unit of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and the Newark office of the U.S. Secret Service made the arrests after a year of investigation.
Redefining Healthy — New legislation in Congress announced Thursday would make it easier for consumers to decipher often-misleading health claims on food labels.
In what would be the first major overhaul of food-labeling laws in almost 25 years, the Food Labeling Modernization Act is aimed at clarifying how and when certain terms can be used.
One such term is "healthy," which would have to be based on updated federal dietary guidelines.The bill would ban purveyors from describing foods as "natural" if any artificial ingredients are present. Claims such as "made with whole grain" would be allowed only if whole grain as a percentage of total grain is disclosed conspicuously on the label.
The law also would require that food be labeled with a "simple, standard symbol system that displays calorie information related to a common serving size," visible on the front of packages.
One of the sponsors, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said the nation's growing childhood-obesity epidemic inspired the bill. "[It] is important that when families make the effort to eat nutritious, healthy food, the labels on food products help them make the right choices — not confuse or mislead them," he said in a press release.
Pallone's co-sponsors are Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
— Compiled by Jennifer Genova