Court Roundup

Ohio
University asks judge to dismiss white nationalist's lawsuit

CINCINNATI (AP) - The University of Cincinnati is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the organizer for white nationalist Richard Spencer's campus tour, calling it meritless.

The lawsuit filed last month says the school won't rent space for Spencer to speak on campus unless a nearly $11,000 security fee is paid.

The lawsuit says requiring such payment because a speaker is controversial or prompts hostile reaction is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The university on Thursday questioned the lawsuit's timing, saying the organizer hadn't yet paid the fee or obtained required insurance.

UC previously said it would let Spencer speak. His attorney, Kyle Bristow, says the visit is planned March 14, during spring break.

Bristow has lawsuits pending against several other schools for not allowing Spencer to speak.

South Carolina
Law protects companies from nuisance lawsuits

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lawmakers in South Carolina want to protect manufacturers from "nuisance lawsuits" by neighbors upset with the practices of nearby businesses.

The Senate on Thursday approved a measure to protect the companies from nuisance lawsuits, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported. The measure goes back to the House, which will consider changes the Senate made in the bill.

The measure would protect existing companies from lawsuits when subdivisions locate around the plants.

The bill says industrial plants cannot be deemed a nuisance if their licenses and permits are current and they're complying with all local, state and federal laws and regulations.

If "somebody moves in beside them, that person can't sue them and say, 'We don't like the noise in your facility, or we don't like the odor,' when they've moved next door," said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey from Edgefield. "This gives protection to long-established manufacturers. A Lot of these facilities locate in rural areas so they're not disturbing people, and people have come up around them."

The protections would include expansions or renovations of existing plants, even if a new owner purchased them, as long as the projects are "reasonable." Reasonable changes are those that do not substantially affect nearby landowners.

Opponents worry the bill would limit homeowners' rights.

"It's a bad idea to take property rights away from homeowners, and the right to enjoy your property without a nuisance is an ancient, fundamental right," said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat.

Massey said the Volvo plant under construction in a rural area of Berkeley County is a good example of a company that could need the law, although he says the Swedish vehicle manufacturer did not push for the legislation.

"Right now, it's in the middle of a very rural area, but you know there's population growth coming up," Massey said. He said it would be unfair to the company if new construction brought residents who might try to sue because of noise from the plant.

California
Wrongful death suit against Jim Carrey dismissed

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A wrongful death lawsuit filed against Jim Carrey by the husband and mother of his ex-girlfriend has been dismissed.

The suit was dismissed on January 25 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mark Burton and Brigid Sweetman had sued the actor, claiming he provided the prescription drugs Cathriona White used to overdose in September 2015 in one of Carrey's homes. Coroner's officials ruled the 30-year-old makeup artist's death a suicide.

Burton and Sweetman's attorney Michael J. Avenatti said the pair had no comment on the voluntary dismissal. Burton and White were married in 2013.

The dismissal averts a court battle for Carrey, who dated White in 2012.

Carrey's publicist confirmed the dismissal but did not have any additional comment.

Arkansas
Lawsuits over herbicide dicamba to be heard in St. Louis

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A special panel of judges says 11 lawsuits filed in four states against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in federal court in St. Louis.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation made the determination Thursday regarding farmers' lawsuits filed in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. The lawsuits argue that the makers of dicamba are responsible for damage caused by the herbicide to their crops, especially soybeans.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , attorneys for the companies that make dicamba opposed the centralization of the lawsuits but said that if it had to be done, St. Louis was their preferred location.

Arkansas has banned dicamba use from April 16 through Oct. 31 after the state received nearly 1,000 complaints last year about the weed killer.

Published: Mon, Feb 05, 2018

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