Entries in Lawsuit (6)


Icelandic Girl Suing Government to Keep Her Own Name

Hemera/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A teen in Iceland has filed a lawsuit against her government because for her entire life, she legally hasn't been allowed to use the name her mother gave her.

In Iceland, as in several other countries, the government has a list of "approved" names -- in Iceland's case, a little more than 1,700 male and 1,800 female.

U.K.'s The Independent reports Blaer Eidsdottir's first name means "light breeze" in Icelandic, yet officially she's been known as "Stulka," or "girl" -- on all her official documents.  Her family is hoping the lawsuit will allow Blaer to finally keep her actual name.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Family of Slain Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki Sues Leon Panetta, David Petraeus

Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The family of an al Qaeda member is suing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus for the drone attack that killed Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year.

Others joining the lawsuit include the relatives of al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, and online jihadist publication editor Samir Khan.

Since al-Awlaki, his son and Khan were all American citizens, the suit alleges the drone strike "violated the Constitution's fundamental guarantee against the deprivation of life without due process of law."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the dead Americans by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

According to a report by The New York Times, the lawsuit "may face other procedural impediments before it would reach any substantive ruling on whether the strikes violated the Constitution."

Al-Awlaki, who was born in the U.S., was considered a key member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was tied to various attempts to plant bombs aboard planes bound for the U.S. and a car bomb that did not detonate in New York City's Times Square.  He also regularly communicated with Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Back in 2010, a federal judge turned back an attempt by al-Awlaki's father to block the Obama administration from targeting the cleric for assassination.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


KFC Must Pay $8.3M to Family of Brain-Damaged Girl

KFC/Hemera/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- The family of a girl who was left brain-damaged after eating a chicken wrap at a KFC restaurant was awarded $8.35 million ($8 million Australian) Friday by an Australian court.

Monika Samaan, then 7, and her family became ill from salmonella poisoning in 2005 after sharing a chicken wrap they purchased at a Sydney KFC. The girls’ parents and brother said they suffered from vomiting and diarrhea, but made a full recovery. Monika, however, spent months in a coma and is now confined to a wheel chair and unable to speak.

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The family’s attorney, George Vlahakis, praised the court’s decision and said Monika’s care had exhausted the family’s financial resources.

“Monika is now a big girl and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lift her and to look after her basic needs as well as look after Monika’s younger siblings,” Vlahakis told the Sydney Morning Herald outside of court.

In a statement posted on its website, KFC said it plans to appeal the case.

“This is clearly a very tragic case, but we are deeply disappointed and surprised by the judge’s decision,”  Sally Glover, KFC Australia’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said. "We feel deeply for Monika and the Samaan family; however we also have a responsibility to defend KFC’s reputation as a provider of safe, high-quality food.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wife Sues In-Laws, Says Arranged Marriage Turned to Slavery

Hemera/Thinkstock(ELK CITY, Okla.) -- Diptiben Mistry was a 20-year-old college student in India when she married Himansu Udwadia, then 24, who was working as an accountant in the United States.

Mistry says it was an arranged marriage, common even in Indian-American families, and that she was promised a good life and the opportunity to finish her education in hotel management in India.

But after a brief honeymoon, all those dreams vanished, according to a lawsuit Mistry filed on Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against her in-laws, Chandrakant and Nilam Udwadia.

Mistry's father-in-law allegedly told her she needed to return immediately to the United States with the family, and the couple eventually settled in the same house as her husband's parents in Elk City, Okla., in 2007.

There, she alleged that the Udwadias controlled her life -- rationing food, depriving her of medical care and forcing her into unpaid labor as a household servant.

In the federal lawsuit Mistry claimed that her in-laws kept her a "virtual prisoner" in their home and that the Udwadias took away all her personal belongings, including her passport, so that she could not leave.

Mistry, now 24, told ABC News in an email that she knew "early on" that her treatment by the Udwadias was "not right."

She alleged that her in-laws took away her cellphone and monitored all calls to her family back home in India.

Mistry said she became malnourished, losing 26 pounds during the alleged ordeal. The Udwadias even dictated how often she could use the toilet, monitored her every move with a webcam and on several occasions abused her physically, according to the complaint.

"By engaging in modern-day slavery, the defendants committed abhorrent acts condemned in all civilized countries," reads the lawsuit.

Mistry has asked the court for more than $75,000 to compensate her for "forced labor" and for "intense physical and psychological pain and suffering," and most of all, depriving her of her "basic human dignity" during the year she lived in Oklahoma and later in Georgia.

U.S. Justice Department statistics reveal human trafficking is growing nearly as fast as drug trafficking, with 2,525 cases under investigation, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. More than half the victims are women and children.

"This case is significant because it raises serious allegations of forced labor and human trafficking in a context, within a family, where those claims are rarely brought forward," said Allison Lefrak, litigation director for Human Rights USA, which advocates for women who have been victims of violence or gender-based persecution. The group is handling Mistry's legal case.

Mistry first sought help from Catholic Charities and local human trafficking groups in 2008, and they contacted the Oklahoma City FBI, which investigated her criminal claims but did not prosecute.

Today Mistry resides in another part of the United States and said she still struggles with depression and anxiety, and at times feels suicidal.

Chandrakant and Nilam Udwadia were served legal papers Jan. 17. They have 30 days to retain a lawyer and answer the complaint.

ABC News repeatedly called the Udwadia family, who now live in Suanee, Ga., to ask about the allegations.

On the first try, Chandrakant Udwadia said, after some hesitation, "You'd be better off calling my lawyer," and hung up the telephone. He did provide the name of a lawyer and did not respond to four more calls. Only an answering machine picked up.

Himansu Udwadia appears to live with his parents, according to public records.

The family still owns the house in Elk City, which is currently up for sale, according to neighbors.

The lawsuit alleges that barely a month into the marriage Mistry's husband left the family's Oklahoma home and moved to Georgia to work, leaving her alone with her in-laws.

The lawsuit alleges that the Udwadias were able to control Mistry by threatening her with divorce, which in her culture would carry "deep shame" and rejection.

Mistry's lawyers have alleged violations of a federal human trafficking law that was enacted in 2000 and has a victim's remedy provision, as well as an Oklahoma law that passed in 2005.

They say the lawsuit meets many of the legal criteria of human trafficking: involuntary servitude, misleading statements to induce a victim to enter a situation, threats of deportation, long work hours and restricted access to food and medical care.

Mistry alleged that she realized during her visa interview in Mumbai that her in-laws had begun the immigration paperwork long before their son had even met her, evidence that the Udwadias "were looking for any 'bride' that could fulfill a domestic servant role in their household," according to court documents.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


French Woman Sues Ex-Husband for Lack of Sex

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France) -- A 51-year-old Frenchman is going to pay up for not putting out.

His now ex-wife has successfully sued him over a "lack of sex over 21 years of marriage," according to the U.K. Daily Telegraph.  The man has been ordered to pay the equivalent of nearly $10,000 in damages.

A judge in Aix-en-Provence supported the wife's citing of article 215 of France's Civil Code, which states married couples must live a "shared communal life."  The code states that "sexual relations must form part of marriage."

The woman, 47, had been granted a divorce two years ago, but sought damages in a separate legal action.

Her ex-husband blamed their lack of sex on "tiredness and health problems."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dubai Woman Wants $12M from Husband Who Denied Her Sex

Comstock/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- An unidentified woman in the United Arab Emirates is suing her husband for the equivalent of $12 million because he withheld sex from her.

According to the Gulf News, the Dubai woman claimed in court her husband's rebuffing -- later found to have been caused in part by erectile dysfunction -- caused her mental anguish.

The woman eventually divorced her husband, who has reportedly been married more than 12 times, claiming he also made her resign from her job and "stripped her"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio