The Atlantic recently reported a company in Luxembourg is methodically suing public-transit agencies across the US, alleging real-time bus and train information violates patents it holds with a partner in the British Virgin Islands.
One transportation authority it won't sue, however, is our own MBTA.
The two companies actually sued the T in 2010 for alleged patent violations involving T alerts. Just four months later, however, both sides filed paperwork with US District Court in Boston that they had settled the case "with prejudice" - which means the two companies are barred from suing the T again.
"The settlement provides MBTA customers with uninterrupted access to the information they use regularly to make their commutes easier and more convenient," spokesman Joe Pesaturo said this morning. So did the T pay the two companies to leave it alone? "By mutual agreement, the parties are not discussing the terms," he said.
In 2010, the T's response to the lawsuit began: "This lawsuit offends any notion of justice," and called the lawsuit an attempted "shakedown" by companies that exist solely to attempt to extort money through lawsuits.
A federal appeals court ruled today that Dana-Farber can keep the $11.4 million a federal judge awarded it from a settlement pool for consumers overcharged for the cost of a prescription drug in the 1990s.
Heidi Erickson, who gained fame for her large collection of cats, several dozen of them stored in a freezer, has just lost her latest case before the Supreme Judicial Court.
And this time, the justices are signalling they're nearing the end of their patience with Erickson, now a South Shore resident who has now been involved in nearly a gross of cases to reach either the SJC or the Massachusetts Appeals Court:
Appeals judges to former court clerk who gave blank search warrants to robbers: Tough, you're not getting a pension or health insuranceBy adamg - 4/17/12 - 2:06 pm
A federal appeals court today refused to reinstate the pension and health benefits of a one-time Cambridge District Court clerk-magistrate even though he agreed to a plea deal because he thought it would let him keep his pension and benefits.
Arbitrator can't force Roxbury Community College to give a professor another shot at tenure, court rulesBy adamg - 4/6/12 - 4:40 pm
The Supreme Judicial Court today overturned an arbitrator's ruling that the college had to give a social-sciences professor a second crack at tenure after it told him he would be terminated.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Bain alleges that when its lawyers asked Him Woods to knock it off, he responded by telling them they could "kiss my black ass" and that unless Bain backed off - or paid him $20,000 for the bainconsultinggroup.com domain name - he would unleash "a social media onslaught" against the Boston-based firm.
A guy who bought stock in A123 Systems sometime over the past year wants his money back, and then some.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Scott Heiss charges the Waltham-based company, which makes large lithium batteries for auto manufacturers, knew about problems at a Michigan manufacturing plant well before it went public with them and that mean he bought stock at artificially high prices - the price tumbled after the news came out.
Heiss is seeking to be made lead plaintiff in a class-action suit that seeks lots of money for the alleged damages to the portfolios of investors like him.
A Brookline software company run out of its founder's house yesterday sued the makers of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty for patent infringement. Worlds Inc. alleges the two games violates patents it's received between 2007 and last December for creating and controlling 3D avatars in online environments. It's seeking unspecified, but not doubt large, damages and lawyer's fees.
Its most recent patent, issued Dec. 20, claims the rights to:
The city has agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees over the way he was arrested in 2007 while using a cell phone to record police making an arrest on Boston Common, the ACLU of Massachusetts reports.
News of the settlement of Glik's federal lawsuit comes several months after a federal appeals court ruled the officers involved could not claim immunity for doing their job because the public has the right to record police officers in public settings.
Judge: Government can't hire Catholic charity to aid sex slaves because it prohibits referrals for abortions, contraceptionBy adamg - 3/24/12 - 12:49 pm
A federal judge in Boston yesterday ruled a federal contract with a Catholic charity to administer a program to aid people brought here as prostitutes violates the First Amendment because the charity ordered subcontractors not to refer victims for abortions or birth control.
A Florida woman is suing Concord-based Vibram USA over its Vibram FiveFingers sneakers, claiming they not only fail to provide the health benefits the company claims, they can lead to injuries among people who fail to adjust their gait while using them.
In her suit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Valerie Bezdek does not specify how she became "damaged" while using the sneakers, but says she never would have bought a pair if she'd known the truth. She's asking to be named lead plaintiff in a class-action suit that seeks millions of dollars in damages and lawyer's fees.
Court rules Tufts wasn't horsing around with the First Amendment when it barred veterinarian who owed it money from a lectureBy adamg - 3/21/12 - 3:19 pm
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Tufts University had every right to bar the door to a lecture to a veterinarian who'd refused to pay its veterinary school for treating her horse.
The state's highest court ruled that at issue was strictly a non-paid bill, not any attempt to get at Margo Roman because she holds a different philosophy on veterinary care than her counterparts at the university veterinary school.
Ed. note: Post updated to clarify that the ruling was only on the poles between 2005 and 2009.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Verizon does not owe Boston $5.3 million in back taxes on its poles and wires over a four-year period.
The court said 150 years of telephone-related legislation in Massachusetts has consistently excluded overhead wiring along public ways from the personal-property tax - even as legislators have let cities and towns tax wiring that snakes under public ways.
The question became moot for future years in 2010, when the law was changed, city officials say.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Alexander Pring-Wilson was negligent enough in a fatal knife fight on Western Avenue in Cambridge in 2003 that he owes his victim's daughter $250,000 in damages.
An architectural firm in Wellesley hopes to become a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against ADT over what it says was an unsolicited fax ad it received in 2009.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Miller & Ford says the solicitation violates both federal telemarketing laws and a consent decree ADT had signed with the government to stop sending people unsolicited faxes.
Miller & Ford wants $500 in recompense for that ad and says everybody else who got one should get $500 as well.
Compare to the West Concord 5 & 10's junk-fax lawsuit.
The Supreme Judicial Court today sided with Boston in a battle with some police officers over reimbursement for college tuition.
Faced with a fiscal crunch in 2009, the state cut its payments to the city under the Quinn Bill, which rewards police officer who continue their eduction with higher pay grades and with payments toward their tuition. In turn, the city notified its police unions it would exercise a clause in union contracts dealing with the Quinn Bill and not make up the tuition difference - which amounted to almost $9 million in total payments that year.
Several police officers then sued the city, claiming the contract clause was illegal under Quinn Bill, arguing the law requires cities and towns to fully fund the payments, even if the state reduces its share.
The state's highest court, however, disagreed:
Man ordered to pay child support for twins conceived through IVF after he had separated from his wifeBy adamg - 3/6/12 - 1:11 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a Nigerian immigrant will have to pay child support for two children conceived with donor sperm and eggs even though his then separated wife had signed an agreement not to go after him for support payments.
The court said state law, which focuses on "intent to create a child," trumps Chukwudera B. Okoli's contention he never gave "consent to become a parent."
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a Wrentham man is not responsible for the permanent injuries a teen suffered when her boyfriend crashed their car after a party the man's daughter threw while he was away.
The state's highest court said that the family of Rachel Juliano had no claim against either Peter Simpson or his daughter Jessica under the state's "social host liability" laws, because there was no evidence Jessica actually supplied any of the beer or mixed drinks that Juliano's boyfriend consumed before they drove off and crashed into a utility pole in 2007. The crash put Juliano into a coma for three months and left her with permanent brain injuries.
A student at UMass Amherst is making a federal case out of the way the school promptly expelled him as part of a new crackdown on rioting after sporting events.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Cullen Roe charges the expulsion violates his 14th Amendment right to due process because officials ordered him out without even the disciplinary hearing he says is required by the school conduct code.
Sebastian Moore, who grew up in Roxbury, wants the makers of Newport cigarettes to pay him for his pain and suffering and for what he says are violations of state and federal consumer-protection laws.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court, Moore said Lorillard targeted young blacks like him in the 1970s and 1980s with free cigarettes and advertising that got him hooked for life:
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Peoples Federal Savings Bank has no grounds to immediately bar the Connecticut-based People's United Bank from opening branches in the Boston area under that name.
A federal appeals court today tossed a lawsuit by two people working for a Fidelity subscontractor who alleged they were fired for bringing up possible accounting irregularities, because a federal law intended to protect the public from securities fraud is limited to employees of companies that are publicly traded.
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld a state law that lets somebody take out a "harassment order" against a person who utters "fighting words" or "true threats."
A law passed in 2010 extended some of the protections accorded victims of domestic abuse to people feeling abused by people not in their immediate family, if they could show three examples of harassment.
One of its first applications came not long after in Northampton, where a police officer got one of the new orders against a long-standing acquaintance who seemed to have a grudge against him; the man appealed, saying he had a First Amendment right to flip the officer off and to blare his horn outside the cop's house.
A federal appeals court today ordered the government to pay nearly $3 million to the families of three people murdered by Whitey Bulger when he was under FBI protection.
In two rulings issued today, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said enough was enough, Bulger and pal Stephen Flemmi were able to kill people because they knew the government wouldn't touch him and that the government should pay for its role in the murders of Louis Litif, Debra Davis and Deborah Hussey.
Court: If you steal somebody's gun, then accidentally shoot yourself and die, your survivors aren't entitled to a centBy adamg - 1/6/12 - 12:47 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today a gun owner was not liable for the death of a man who stole one of his guns then died when the gun went off as he was putting it back at his sister's insistence.