On February 7, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner rear-ended a car on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu driven by Kim Howe, forcing Ms. Howe’s car into oncoming traffic where it collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction occupied the Wolf-Millesi family, a series of Los Angeles County lawsuits allege. Ms. Howe was killed and members of the Wolf-Millesi family were injured, according to court documents. Another driver in a third car has also sued alleging injuries.
The gold medal Olympian was not charged with vehicular manslaughter by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, but is facing at least three civil lawsuits for money damages stemming from the car crash.
No. 3: Scientist Who Discovered GMOs Cause Toxicity in Rats Wins Landmark Defamation Lawsuit in Paris
In 2007, a team led by French scientist Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini published controversial research findings regarding the potential health risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in lab rats. The report re-examined raw research data originally supplied by Monsanto, and announced liver and kidney toxicity among rats fed with genetically modified corn known as “MON863.”
The Séralini team’s report was attacked as a “scientific fraud” in a 2012 article authored by journalist Jean-Claude Jaillette, but originating from Monsanto lobbyist Henry I. Miller in Forbes magazine. Miller has previously lobbied to discredit research linking tobacco to cancer and heart disease on behalf of the tobacco industry.
Séralini sued in French court for defamation and, in November 2015, won. The French court fined Jaillette and the magazine where his article appeared, and later indicted a former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission relating to the alleged misuse of a scientist’s signature to publish a paper critical of Séralini’s GMO findings.
No. 4: Univision asks court to drop Trump’s $500M lawsuit, cites mogul’s ‘disgraceful allegations’ about Mexicans
Univision dumped Trump’s Miss Universe pageant broadcast after the New York billionaire espoused and later reaffirmed what Univision calls in its court papers “extreme and controversial opinions on race and national origin.” Univision argued in its legal filings Trump’s “anti-Mexican” and “anti-immigrant” oratory “destroyed the value of those broadcast rights,” thus justifying cancellation of the contract. Univision is a Spanish-language television network with some 52 million Hispanic viewers.
Trump’s lawyer called Univision’s attempt to dismiss the suit “laughable,” vowing Univision “will pay in the end.” Trump has previously pointed to similar remarks he made in 2011 before the Miss Universe broadcast rights contract was executed.
In June 2015, CNN network legal analyst and attorney Jeffrey Toobin said he read the contract and, unusually, found no clause explicitly allowing Univision to cancel for immorality or embarassing behavior by Trump. Toobin added, Trump’s lawsuit is “not frivolous.”
Mercer, former owner of a now-shuttered eponymous construction company, was forced to close down and lay off his 20 to 40 employees after performing work on six construction projects for the State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). Mercer, a subcontractor on the public works projects, was owed $9 million for work he completed.
According to sworn affidavits filed in court by Mercer and three of his former employees, state inspector Willis Jenkins demanded in 2007 Mercer either “put some green” in his hand or that Mercer place a new electric generator “under his carport” the following day. Mercer complained and Jenkins was removed from the job, but the new inspector assigned to the job continued the shakedown: “Y’all had my buddy removed and we’re going to make the rest of the job a living hell.”
After Mercer refused to pay the bribe, he lost state contracts leading to the closing of his business, which was first established in 2003. Mercer claimed in his lawsuit there was collusion among DOTD officials to “make the jobs as costly and difficult as possible” for him. The 12-person jury unanimously agreed, awarding Mercer $20 million in damages.
“I did everything they told me to do,” Mercer told LouisianaVoice in 2014. “But because I refused to allow one DOTD employee to shake me down, they put me out of business. They took reprisals and they ostracized me and broke me but now I’m fighting back.”
The reprisals included refusals to pay for Mercer’s work, threats of federal criminal prosecution when he demanded payment, and reports to the FBI that ultimately went nowhere.
Because the litigation has been ongoing for eight years, the $20 million jury award is expected to increase by several million dollars due to accrued interest.