Posts Tagged 'lawsuit'

Cover Model Sues Vampire Weekend

It turns out that lovely 80s blonde staring out on Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” album cover wasn’t in on that. Or so she says — Kirsten Kennis is suing the band for unauthorized use of her photo and she wants $2 million. The band got a release from the photographer, but Kennis claims the signature was forged.

I guess that’s what you get for trying to be all indie ironic. They’re wishing now they just went with the four-guys-against-a-wall shot….

Story from TMZ

LA Pays $1.7m to Fox Camera Operator

Fox TV camera operator Patricia Ballaz has been awarded $1.7 million in damages stemming from the May Day 2007 Immigration Rights rally in Los Angeles where she was beaten by the LAPD.

In her testimony, Ballaz described seeing the LAPD unexpectedly attack reporters in attendance at the rally in MacArthur Park: “He was just an average man doing nothing. I had no idea why this was happening. It was like a war zone.” She was struck repeatedly by an officer with a baton and reported sustaining severe physical and emotional injuries. She has not returned to her job since the May 1, 2007 rally and her lawyer said she will not work in the industry again.

Deputy City Attorney Jessica B. Brown argued that Ballaz and other reporters ignored police instructions to get out of the way. “They are not kings; nobody gives them special rights,” she said.

The jury also awarded KPCC reporter Patricia Nazario $39,000 but were unable to reach a verdict on Ballaz’s fellow Fox colleague, reporter Christina Gonzales.

The city has already agreed to pay almost $13 million in lawsuits connected to that event, which makes it a very expensive, very bad day for the LAPD.

Article from

News Photographer Sues Oakland PD

A former news cameraman for the Bay Area’s KGO-TV (the ABC affiliate) is suing the Oakland Police Department after several officers assaulted him in 2009. Douglas Laughlin was outside Highland Hospital trying to film an ambulance carrying a wounded officer when several officers attacked him and broke his camera. (See the video for  the angry mob of officers shoving Laughlin, threatening him with arrest for “interfering with a crime scene,” and trying to tear his battery pack, among other things.)

Police officials say emotions were running high and that explains their behavior; it was the deadliest day in Oakland PD history with four officers killed on the job. But Laughlin was on a public sidewalk covering a big news story, and trying to block and/or physically impair the media does nothing productive. In fact, the only thing they achieved was a big, fat lawsuit and years of headaches.

I get police have a difficult job, and that was a tragic day for their department. What I don’t get is the uncontrolled rage and flagrant disregard for the law that officers like this display. It gives all police officers a bad name.

Article from San Francisco Chronicle

Chevron Forces Documentarian to Spill

In an effort to defend itself in a $27.3 billion lawsuit, Chevron is trying to get 600 hours of raw footage from the filmmaker behind the 2009 documentary “Crude.” The lawsuit involves 30,000 Ecuadoreans who are suing Chevron for polluting a big chunk of the Amazon rainforest through drilling and dumping, and the documentary covered the ongoing fight.

The “Crude” filmmaker was fighting the request, citing the First Amendment and journalist privilege, but a judge overruled him last week and is allowing Chevron to subpoena their footage. Documentarians and filmmakers are worried the case sets a dangerous precedent. Michael Moore weighed in, claiming the ruling would amount to a chilling effect on whistleblowers. Ric burns told the New York Times that the decision “contributes to a general culture of contempt for investigative journalism.”

The result, he said, would be that “next time, there won’t be a ‘Crude.’ There won’t be a film. That’ll be good for Chevron, I guess. Because the next time you go, you’re going to have a much leerier group of informants.”

Article from New York Times (via The Click)

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