On Monday, Madia Law filed suit in United States District Court on behalf of Plaintiff Tammy Liddle against Bloomington Police Officer Jeff Thibert. Ms. Liddle’s federal lawsuit (14-CV-431-JNE/JSM) alleges unreasonable search and seizure, unlawful arrest, and excessive force. Ms. Liddle is also in possession of squad cam video of the subject incident.
Bloomington City Hall
Below is a copy of the Complaint, with some names redacted: [click to continue…]
The ability to safely, calmly and professionally interact with the public without rage and violence is an intrinsic and basic part of law enforcement. According to a lawsuit filed by Madia Law on behalf of Walter Tournat, an 85-year-old disabled Navy veteran who had called police to his own home, on November 16, 2013, Baxter Police Officer Trent Westerlund showed a complete lack of these essential skills and a disregard for laws of the United States.
Mr. Tournat’s allegations indicate that Westerlund acted with an outrageous disregard for Tournat’s rights and dignity when, in an abhorrent fit of rage, Westerlund publicly assaulted Mr. Tournat, throwing him onto his back and onto pavement, where Mr. Tournat hit his head and suffered injury. The following are the background allegations from the Complaint. [click to continue…]
Madia Law settled an age discrimination case on behalf of “Joan” after defeating her former employer’s motion for summary judgment.
The terms are confidential pursuant to the parties’ settlement agreement.
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Historically, owners and managers of strip clubs have adhered to a business model that classifies exotic dancers (often called “strippers”) as independent contractors rather than employees. By classifying dancers as independent contractors, employers are able to reap the financial benefits of having dancers work for them (and, as a result, turning a profit) while simultaneously avoiding having to pay the dancers for their work, paying into social security, and potentially paying unemployment insurance and workers compensation. This business model, however, may be quickly eroding.
In November, 2012, a federal court approved a roughly $13 million settlement in a nationwide class-action lawsuit against 16 strip clubs which were classifying their dancers as independent contractors. Stephanie Hoops, Spearmint Rhino Exotic Dancers Settle Suit For Nearly $13 Million, The Huffington Post (November 11, 2012 1:32 PM) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/spearmint-rhino-exotic-dancers-settle-suit_n_2128458.html. Moreover, recent court decisions have nearly unanimously ruled that exotic dancers are employees, not independent contractors. See Hart v. Rick’s Cabaret International, Inc., 2013 WL 4822199 (2013); Clincy v. Galardi South Enterprises, Inc., 808 F.Supp.2d 1326 (2011); Thompson v. Linda And A, Inc. 779 F.Supp.2d 139 (2011). That notwithstanding, there are still many strip clubs which continue to classify their dancers as independent contractors. [click to continue…]
The Stolen Lives Project determined that during the entire decade of the 1990′s, over 2000 deaths occurred at the hands of police officers. Seven years ago, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Justice released a similar report that focused only on the years 2003 thru 2005. That report indicated that over 2000 people died while being arrested by police officers during those three years alone, and that during each of those three years, the rate of such deaths increased by 13%. There is also myriad evidence to indicate that police officer deaths at the hands of suspects is increasing at an alarming rate; for example, the FBI determined that from 2007 to 2008, the rate of officer deaths at the hands of suspects jumped 25%.
Although evidence indicates that lethal interactions between police and suspects are increasing, and although it is increasingly common for federal prosecutors to criminally target officers, it is still, overall, exceptionally rare for criminal charges to be filed against police. Significant spikes in civil liability and lawsuits (i.e., New York, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Minneapolis) suggest that a closer look at police officers by prosecutors might be warranted. [click to continue…]
On behalf of the United States and multiple State governments, Madia Law has filed a federal qui tam action in federal District Court. The filing alleges fraud against the government by multiple corporate Defendants. Pending potential intervention by the United States, the suit remains under seal for at least 60 days.
In a qui tam action, a private party known as a relator brings a whistleblower suit on behalf of the government; thus, the government, not the relator, is considered the plaintiff. If the action is successful in prosecuting the fraud, the relator receives an award, generally based on a portion of the amount recovered for the government. The False Claims Act, Title 31 U.S.C. § 3279 et seq., authorizes qui tam actions and requires that parties wishing to bring such actions retain counsel.
Lessors, Inc. is a national trucking company based in Eagan, Minnesota. On October 16, 2013, on behalf of current and former Lessors employees, Madia Law filed a class and collective action wage and hour lawsuit against Lessors in United States District Court. The plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and other employees, allege that Lessors has purposely denied employees overtime pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act both require higher wage rates for hours worked over 40 and 48, respectively. Although there are exceptions to these rules, Plaintiffs allege that Lessors has purposefully misclassified them and other employees as falling under such an exception in order to avoid paying them the overtime wage rates for which they are entitled. The following is a summary of the allegations in the Complaint, which is titled Luis Felix, Donald Knutson, and Juan Vazquez-Perez, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals and the Proposed Minnesota Rule 23 Class, Case No. 13-CV-2854 (DWF/JJG). [click to continue…]
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in the business of keeping people from being treated unfairly in the workplace. Somewhat ironically, the vast majority of the EEOC’s employees are at home today, having been forced out of work since the federal government shut down 11 days ago. Their lack of employment during the shutdown is also affecting thousands of employees in the private sector who have been harassed, discriminated, retaliated again, and underpaid.
Due to the EEOC’s shutdown contingency plan, approximately 100 of the EEOC’s nearly 2200 employees are working during the furlough period. According to the agency’s plan, those employees will simply stamp claims of discrimination with their receipt dates as they are filed. Investigation of those charges, however, will not continue until the federal government is reopened and funding is properly restored. [click to continue…]