National Roundup


Unruly passenger forces Southwest airliner to divert 
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. on Sunday after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door.
The captain of the Chicago-to-Sacramento flight landed on Eppley Airfield to "have an unruly passenger removed" before continuing on to Sacramento, the airlines said in a statement.
The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived safely at its destination about two hours behind schedule.
"Some gentleman just decided that he wanted us to visit the Lord today and ... open up the back hatch while we were all already up in the air," Monique Lawler told KABC-TV after reaching her final destination in Los Angeles.
She said the man acted strangely during the flight, and that at one point he came out of the bathroom soaking wet. She said when he went to the back of the cabin to try to pry open the door, a flight attendant screamed for help.
A doctor told KCRA-TV in Sacramento he and two other passengers tackled the man and restrained him until air marshals led him in handcuffs off the plane.
"He was going to do bad things to the plane so it was pretty scary," Scott Porter said.
West Virginia
CSX line seeks dismissal of train fatality lawsuit
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Railroad company CSX is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the death of a Putnam County teenager who was hit by a train.
The company says in its response to the lawsuit that it wasn't negligent. The company also says Jacob Ball was trespassing.
Ball died in 2012 after being hit by a train while walking home from school. The 16-year-old's father, Richard Dwayne Ball, sued CSX, the city of Hurricane and the Putnam County Board of Education.
The lawsuit alleges that there weren't enough warnings to prevent pedestrians from walking along the tracks.
The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Richard Ball originally filed the lawsuit in Putnam County Circuit Court. Earlier this month, CSX moved the case to federal court.
Appeals judge will hear traffic camera case
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A veteran northeast Ohio appellate judge will sit in when the Ohio Supreme Court decides in a lawsuit against traffic camera enforcement.
Court records show that Judge W. Scott Gwinn of the Fifth District Court of Appeals will fill in for Justice Terrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell last week removed himself from the Toledo traffic cameras case for an unspecified reason.
Gwinn was first elected to the appeals bench in 1988.
The court has set oral arguments for June 11 in a motorist's challenge of a red-light citation in Toledo. The motorist says the city's system is bypassing the judiciary and violating his constitutional due process rights. 
New York
Authors Guild asks court to rule on Google
NEW YORK (AP) — Saying Google Inc. is stealing business from online book retailers, the Authors Guild asked a federal appeals court Friday to reinstate its lawsuit contending that the Internet giant is violating copyright laws with its massive book digitization project.
The Guild filed papers with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, saying that Google's effort to create the world's largest digital library was violating the rights of authors and stifling competition in the busy Internet book sales market.
Google declined to comment on the Authors Guild's effort to reverse a November ruling in favor of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.
The Guild asked the court to hold Google liable and to return the case to the lower court for remedies. Its lawsuit sought $750 for each of the more than 20 million copyright books that Google has already copied.
In appeals arguments, Guild lawyers argued Google was also unfairly boosting its advertising revenues and stifling competition.
Judge rules in favor of Indian casino projects
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state which challenged the rights of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to operate three casinos in Alabama.
U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins ruled Friday that the state has no authority to prohibit the activity on Indian lands, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.
"The bottom line is that even if Defendants are operating illegal class III gaming at the Poarch Band casinos, (state law) does not provide the State authority to prohibit such gaming," Watkins wrote in his ruling.
Alabama officials intend to appeal the court ruling, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement. A spokesperson in Strange's office said that appeal would be filed as quickly as possible with the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka. Their casinos have electronic games, but no table games. The Poarch Creeks are among 243 tribes conducting gambling in 28 states.
Friday's ruling was an important victory for the Poarch Creeks, as it shot down the biggest threat to Indian gambling — a recent Supreme Court decision that appeared to challenge the legality of tribal lands held in trust by the U.S. federal government for tribes that weren't federally recognized in 1934 or before.
West Virginia
Trial set for coal contract amount in legal battles 
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A long-running legal battle between two coal companies is headed for trial in Virginia.
The Charleston Gazette says an April 21 trial is set in Grundy, Va., for a lawsuit filed by Hugh Caperton against Massey Energy.
Caperton claims his companies, Harman Mining Corp. and Sovereign Coal Sales, were financially damaged when Massey cut the amount of coal it had agreed to buy from them.
Caperton originally sued Massey in 1998 in Boone County, W.Va. A jury awarded $50 million to Caperton in 2002 but the West Virginia Supreme Court rejected that verdict three times.
Caperton filed a new lawsuit in Buchanan County Circuit Court in Virginia in November 2010. Last year, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the circuit court judge erred when he dismissed the lawsuit.