City Will Pay $2.75 Million to Family of Killed Rikers Inmate

Ronald Spear was arrested and charged with burglary in September 2012. He awaited trial at Rikers Island. He was 52-years-old and had health problems. He had a kidney disease and he walked with a cane. He needed dialysis and other treatment.

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Fromer BK D.A. Charles Hynes Must Testify in Cy Greene's Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit

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Wikimedia Commons
Former BK DA Charles Hynes
In 2006, a judge vacated the conviction of Cy Greene, who had spent more than 22 years in prison for a 1983 murder in Brooklyn. Greene had produced evidence suggesting that prosecutors had hidden information pointing to his innocence.

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Family of David Ranta, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 23 Years, Sues City for $15 Million

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The police line-up in which David Ranta was falsely identified as a murderer.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's review of 90 questionable convictions, the tarnished reputation of former detective Louis Scarcella, the seven exonerations in Brooklyn in 2014, the renewed focus on police and prosecutiorial misconduct during New York City's crack era--it all started with David Ranta.

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Brooklyn Man, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 24 Years, Sues City for $162 million

Categories: Justice, Lawsuits

Surrealize via Compfight cc
For 24 years, Jonathan Fleming was in prison for murdering a man in Brooklyn. All those years he claimed that he was innocent and that he was in Florida on the day of the crime.

And all those years, the evidence proving his innocence lay untouched in his case file.

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Two Long Island Men Get $18 Million in Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit

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Flickr / RĂ¼diger skINMATE
John Restivo and Dennis Halstead spent 18 years in prison after a jury convicted them on charges of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl on Long Island in 1984. In 2003 DNA evidence showed that somebody else actually committed the crime, and Nassau County prosecutors dismissed the charges, setting the men free.

They sued the county. Jurors in federal court in Central Islip heard testimony suggesting that a detective planted evidence on Restivo and hid evidence that worked in the defendants' favor. On Thursday, the jury awarded Restivo and Halstead $18 million each.

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Empire State Building Says Photographer of Topless Ladies Is Making a Mockery of Its Very Serious Lawsuit

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Photo by guy being sued Allen Henson, obviously
The offending photograph
Back in January, as you may recall, we told you about Allen Henson, the fine art photographer who was slapped with a million-dollar lawsuit after he took photographs of a model, Shelby Carter, topless atop the Empire State Building's observatory deck. Not to be outdone, Henson roundly mocked the lawsuit in the press and then countersued the company behind the iconic building for $5 million.

Representatives for the Empire State Building have never publicly commented on the lawsuit. As it turns out, though, lawyers for very tall buildings have feelings, too, and those feelings are, at the moment, deeply bruised. In new court filings, the building's representatives accuse Henson of "relishing" the publicity around the lawsuit, and planning an in-court demonstration consisting of dozens of topless women.

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Local Strippers Also Horrified by Long Island Nursing Home That Hired a Male Dancer

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Photo via Ray, Mitev & Associates
The classiest news story of the week comes to us from West Babylon, Long Island, where a man named Franklin Youngblood is suing his mother Bernice's nursing home, on the grounds that they hired a male stripper to perform for the residents. Youngblood is suing East Neck Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on behalf of both himself and his mother, alleging that the strip show caused "disrespect, dishonor, embarrassment, ridicule and humiliation" in the residents, as well as "loss of dignity."

Franklin states in his suit, filed by attorney John Ray, that he went to visit his mother in January of 2013. It was then that he discovered the photo you see above, depicting a muscular, tighty-whitey-clad gentleman leaning over Bernice, hands on the back of her wheelchair, "clutching a wad of bills," as the suit notes. The elderly woman on Bernice's left, Franklin adds, "appear[ed] to be crying."

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Four Loko Promises Attorney General It Will No Longer Be Quite So Loco

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Image via Free Loko.
This would presumably fall under the category of banned user-generated content.
Surely each and every one of you remember where you were on the bleak day back in 2010 when insanely caffeinated, insanely alcoholic energy drink Four Loko was banned in New York. Pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer, who called Four Loko a "toxic and dangerous brew," the State Liquor Authority stopped allowing the caffeinated version of the drink to be sold here; New York was one of four states to do so.

But the youth of America still wanted Four Loko, probably because, in the sage words of one shopkeeper interviewed by NYU paper The Local, "It makes you crazy," or because, as the "Save Four Loko" Facebook page put it, "It makes your dick wet." (The Local found that nearly a year after the ban took effect, some bodegas were still selling the caffeinated version of the drink.)

So the attorneys general of 20 states, along with the city attorney of San Francisco, decided to band together and sue Phusion Projects, LLC, the Chicago-based maker of Four Loko. That suit was settled yesterday, after Phusion promised to keep caffeine, underage people and Santa out of the making and marketing of the drink.

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Allen Henson, Photographer of Topless Ladies, Countersues Empire State Building for $5 Million

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Photo by Allen Henson
In January, photographer Allen Henson was awoken one morning by a tabloid reporter bearing the news that the Empire State Building was suing him for a million dollars. Henson's sueable offense, according to the company, was taking a topless photo of Shelby Carter, who you see above, thus harming the building's reputation as family-friendly entertainment.

At the time, the amount of money, as well as Empire State's insistence that the photos were a "commercial venture," though Henson hadn't made any money from them, he said, struck him as a little weird.

"I would really like to take this seriously, but it just feels like somebody got drunk last night and said, 'Fuck it, let's sue him for a million dollars,'" he told us.

Henson must be in a "fuck it" mood of his own, because today he sent a group of reporters his answer to the suit, which countersues the company for $5 million.

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Esaul Ortiz, Student Shot at Bronx High School, Sues City

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NYC Department of Education
Bronx Regional High School
Around noon on December 10, 2012, 19-year-old Esaul Ortiz was shot in front of Bronx Regional High School. The bullet hit the student in the arm and he survived. Two days later, police arrested then-17-year-old Larry Adeyanju, who is currently awaiting trial for charges including criminal weapons possession and assault with intent to cause serious injury.

Meanwhile, Ortiz seeks to hold the school responsible as well. Last week, he filed a complaint against the Department of Education and the city for negligence and "their failure to provide a reasonably safe environment."

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