Case won’t stick
Chemicals giant duPont faces a lawsuit brought by two Florida law firms, which have filed a $5 billion class action on the basis that the company did not inform consumers of the dangers of non-stick coating Teflon. There is, however, a slight flaw in the case — a complete and utter lack of evidence that anyone has been harmed as a result of using Teflon-coated products. Attorney Alan Kluger says duPont has known for more than 20 years that perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts (known as PFOA or C-8), which are used to produce Teflon, cause cancer in laboratory animals. He says he doesn’t have to prove that PFOA causes cancer in order to win the case, only that duPont lied to continue selling their product. DuPont says that although PFOA is used in the manufacturing process it is not actually present in the finished product. Folklaw will be interested to see which party manages to make their case stick.
Music to their ears
Indians in New Delhi most likely sang, beat drums and generally raised the roofs with their celebrations after a recent Supreme Court ruling. As long as their revelry ended by 10pm, they would have been perfectly within the law. The court banned the sounding of vehicle horns, firecrackers, loud music and parties between 10pm and 6am in response to a public interest lawsuit. The court heard that noise pollution has been identified as a major cause of heart ailments and other stress related diseases in India — in Delhi, the 14 million residents drive two million vehicles and the only road rule is that the loudest horn wins right of way. General noise levels range between 60 and 90 decibels, well above the official limit of 45 to 55 decibels, and have hit an incredible 200 decibels during religious festivals. The ruling will also put a dampener on wedding celebrations, which are renowned for lasting for days with firecrackers aplenty.
Twenty-one incensed teachers and translators in Japan have sued Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara for 10.5 million yen ($123,510) after he allegedly called French a “failed international language”. The litigants believe this is just compensation for the insult to the language. Surely a mature retort of “duh, is not”, would have done.
All’s fair in love and war
A New Jersey woman has overstepped the bounds of decency by filing an alimony case against her in-laws. Cynthia Idleman claims that after her husband Douglas lost his job and suffered a disabling medical condition, his parents took on the role of supporting the family, to the tune of more than $26,500 a month. So of course, now that she is divorcing their son, it is only natural that the generous in-laws should step up to the plate with child support and alimony so Idleman can maintain the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed.
The plaintiff lawyers said the hapless in-laws had created a financial dependency on the part of Cynthia Idleman and the couple’s two children. Call us brutal, but Folklaw thinks if Idleman adapted to having that financial support so quickly, she can re-adjust to not having it.
A Bulgarian thief who was facing a three-year jail sentence has escaped the clutches of prison wardens by becoming a woman. Stretko Ickov, from Dragor near Sofia, was charged with theft and released on bail last year. He used the lengthy period that it took for his case to come to court to undergo a sex change operation and turned up to face his charges as a woman, known as Albena Mihajlova. Under Bulgarian law, Ickov could not be prosecuted for his crime, as he is legally a different person. The reprieved man said he planned to embark on a crime-free life as Mihajlova. One thing is certain, he would be doing well to use the same defence again.