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  • Geebo 9:05 am on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kurt Stokinger, lawsuit,   

    Armslist sued by Boston cop shot by illegal gun 

    Armslist sued by Boston cop shot by illegal gun

    Armslist, the so-called ‘craigslist of guns, is back in the news once again. Previously, Armslist has been tied to a domestic violence-related murder and the murder of a Chicago police commander. In both cases, the guns used to commit these crimes were purchased through Armslist by people who were forbidden by law from owning a gun. Much like Backpage did before it was seized by federal investigators, Armslist hides behind the Communications Decency Act of 1996 claiming that they’re not responsible for their users’ actions. A new lawsuit is looking to change Armslist’s tired tune.

    In 2016, Boston Police Officer Kurt Stokinger was shot in the leg by a known drug dealer. The incident left Officer Stokinger with considerable medical issues. The gun used to shoot Officer Stokinger was not only bought through Armslist but the seller had sold over 60 guns with the serial numbers removed. Officer Stokinger is suing Armslist, the shooter, and the seller. The lawsuit claims…

    “Armlist chose to establish an online firearms marketplace which facilitated sales to illegal purchasers and did not include reasonable safeguards to minimize the risks of illegal and dangerous conduct.”

    As has been mentioned before, Armslist falls under the gun show loophole where firearm sales from private sellers do not require a background check. In my opinion, there’s no way Armslist could have gotten into this business without realizing that their platform would be used for a plethora of illegal sales. Much like how Backpage was well aware that they were dealing in the human trafficking trade. And much like how the time eventually came for Backpage, the time will come for Armslist as well if they don’t change their policy of allowing anonymous firearm sales with no regard for human life.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lawsuit,   

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality 

    Internet providers file their own suit against California Net Neutrality

    If you were looking for a sign that the state of California was trying to protect consumers with its new net neutrality legislation, look no further. Four broadband industry groups that represent companies like AT&T, Verizon, Charter, Comcast, and T-Mobile, have joined with the DOJ in suing California. Much like the DOJ, the internet providers are arguing that California is violating federal mandates by imposing their own regulations against providers that perform interstate services.

    Once again, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tries to spin the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality as pro-consumer. Pai issued a statement that read in part

    “The Internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area,” Pai said. “Not only is California’s Internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers.”

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra fired back by referring to the industry groups as ‘power brokers’ who have an ‘interest in maintaining their stronghold’. AG Becerra also released a statement of his own regarding the latest suit.

    “California, the country’s economic engine, has the right to exercise its sovereign powers under the Constitution,” he said in a statement, “and we will do everything we can to protect the right of our 40 million consumers to access information by defending a free and open Internet.”

    It has been shown in the past that the FCC has given little input to the American people who were opposed to the repeal of net neutrality protections ever since they announced their intention to do so, going as far as forbidding the states from make their own net neutrality legislation. This has not stopped the states from defying this edict with California being at the forefront of that movement. With the federal government siding with the major internet providers over the protection of consumers doesn’t it fall to the individual states to do what they can to protect their citizens? This is what ‘states’ rights’ is really about.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , lawsuit,   

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking 

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking

    A woman from the Houston, Texas, area, only identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit against Backpage where she was allegedly trafficked while she was underage. This should come as no surprise as former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer had admitted to the fact that Backpage knowingly made money off of the sex trafficking of girls and women. Jane Doe is also suing two area Houston hotels which is also not unheard of as many trafficking victims believe that the hotels should do more to be aware of trafficking victims. What is really making headlines about this suit is that the victim has also filed a suit against Facebook for allegedly failing to prevent her from being approached by a pimp.

    The victim claims that she was 15 in 2012 when a pimp first approached her through Facebook. As online traffickers tend to do, the pimp consoled her after a fight with her parents. The pimp was said to be Facebook friends with a number of her real friends and promised the victim a job as a model. When the victim met the pimp she was beaten and sexually assaulted before being advertised on Backpage. The suit claims Facebook allows traffickers to “stalk, exploit, recruit, groom … and extort children into the sex trade.” Even though I’ve been a very vocal critic of Facebook, at first glance I thought the suit against Facebook may have no merit, however, the victim makes a very valid point when it comes to the social media kingpin.

    The victim claims that Facebook allowed her abuser to use a false identity that allowed him to approach the girl. For some time, Facebook has prided itself on having its users use their real names, even going as far as to ban accounts that use pseudonyms. As has been demonstrated in the past, Facebook seems to enforce their own policies rather arbitrarily and haphazardly. While I’m far from being a legal expert it seems that since banning false accounts is a well established and practiced Facebook policy, this policy may allow the suit against Facebook to proceed.

    What’s your opinion? Do you feel that Facebook should be doing more to prevent human trafficking on its platform or is this lawsuit without merit? Please leave your comment and let us know.

     
    • S. B. 5:15 pm on April 27, 2019 Permalink

      I believe we all seen this coming for a while . Just a matter of when I’m not sure if she has a tight case as fare as Facebook however , if she does I’m sure that Facebook will settle out of court and the media giant will insure a gag order is in place to insure they take know legal responsibility .

  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Jeff Sessions, lawsuit,   

    California sued by the Trump administration over new net neutrality laws 

    California sued over new net neutrality laws by the Trump administration

    California Gov. Jerry Brown

    This past Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed what’s being called the strictest net neutrality laws in the country for his state. Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration has a problem with this because when the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations earlier this year, they unilaterally proclaimed that states could not enact their own net neutrality legislation. Almost immediately after Governor Brown signed the legislation into law, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state of California.

    FCC Chairman, and former Verizon employee, Ajit Pai told reporters that the repeal of net neutrality will lead to “better, faster, cheaper Internet access and more competition.” Right, because there was so much competition in the internet service market prior to net neutrality being enacted. How many internet service providers are available in any given market? While many larger cities may have a choice between the phone company or the cable company when it comes to getting their internet. Many smaller towns only have one provider and that’s it. That’s because many of the big ISPs have entered into agreements with municipalities making them a virtual regional monopoly. Rates haven’t gotten any cheaper either as the big providers like Comcast, Cox, and Verizon continue to raise their rates.

    Commenting on the lawsuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “the Justice Department should not have to spend valuable time and resources to file this suit today, but we have a duty to defend the prerogatives of the federal government and protect our Constitutional order.” He’s right but not in the way he thinks he is. The DOJ should not be wasting time and resources in this suit because the majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality. Not that I think the Federal Government will spend too much money on this suit as it appears like a big portion of the Trump Administration has been bought and paid for by the internet service conglomerates, and they’re not even trying to hide it very well.

     
  • Geebo 11:10 am on August 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , lawsuit,   

    Indicted Backpage heads start suing each other 

    Indicted Backpage heads start suing each other

    Speaking of Backpage and Delaware, the top brass at the former Backpage are now suing each other in Delaware’s Chancery Court over access to funds allocated for their criminal defense. Through their respective holdings companies, Backapge founders Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are suing former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer and 19 others for alleged actions that prevented Lacey and Larkin from accessing legal funds they believe belong to them. For a heavy legalese take on the suit, you can check this article from Law 360.

    If you’ll recall, when Backpage was seized by the Federal Government back in April, Ferrer almost immediately pleaded guilty to various charges of facilitating prostitution through Backpage. Shortly after that, the government froze most if not all of Backpage’s assets. Now, Lacey and Larkin seem to be accusing Ferrer of sitting on retainers to various law firms that could possibly aid Larkin and Lacey in their various legal defenses.

    I’ll be honest, corporate and financial law has never been my strong suit so I can’t give an opinion on if any of these suits have merit. However, in my opinion, it feels like Larkin and Lacey are starting to experience a slight degree of Karma. Many of Backpage’s victims could not take legal action against Backpage for facilitation human trafficking because of either cost or the pre-FOSTA protections that Backpage was undeserving of. Although, I’m pretty sure Lacey and Larkin are far from destitute. Since they have been charged with allegedly laundering money, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had an emergency legal defense fund squirreled away in some offshore holding the government hasn’t found yet.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , lawsuit   

    Facebook sued by shareholders over after stock plunge 

    Facebook sued by shareholders over after stock plunge

    As if losing $150 billion in last week’s stock drop wasn’t enough, Facebook is now facing another threat to its bottom line. A number of class action lawsuits have been filed against the social media industry leader by major shareholders of the company. The lawsuits allege that Facebook misled shareholders in the time leading up to last week’s biggest ever stock drop in US history.

    Three lawsuits have been filed in New York while one has been filed in California. These suits allege that Facebook understated the cost of complying with the EU’s GDPR privacy laws, and the lack of disclosure over the monetization of Instagram Stories which the lawsuits claim Facebook allegedly overstated its success.

    It also doesn’t help Facebook that many of its top executives sold off large amounts of their stock during the second quarter of the year, the same quarter where Facebook earnings fell causing the historical stock drop. Some of those executives include Mark Zuckerberg himself and COO Sheryl Sandberg. While these sales were not considered to be insider trading, the timing of the stock sale couldn’t be more inconvenient for Facebook.

    Whether or not these lawsuits will have any major financial impact on Facebook remains to be seen. After the stock dropped last week, many financial analysts were urging new investors to jump on the stock after the drastic price decrease. Before we know it, it could be business as usual again at Facebook in little to no time.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lawsuit,   

    Backpage ordered to pay trafficking victims, may have to pay more 

    Backpage ordered to pay trafficking victims, may have to pay more

    The now-defunct Backpage is no stranger to lawsuits. The controversial classifieds site has been taken to court by sex trafficking victims for many years now. For the longest time, Backpage would largely escape having to pay any settlements by hiding behind section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. However, even before FOSTA was passed Backpage was starting to lose whatever goodwill they had in the courts when Congress began revealing evidence they were knowingly facilitating prostitution and profiting from it. When this evidence was made public, it started a multi-state set of lawsuits in early 2017.

    Now, in one of those states, a judge has sanctioned Backpage and ordered them to pay $200,000 each to two underage trafficking victims in Washington State. The ruling in Pierce County came earlier this week when attorneys for the victims argued that Carl Ferrer’s admission of guilt contradicts Backpage’s earlier stance of having done nothing wrong. The judge also gave Backpage 60 days to produce 1.2 million documents sought in the lawsuit or pay a fine of $1.2 million.

    Hopefully, more financial penalties will be levied against Backpage and its string-pullers as that may be the only justice they’ll truly understand. Let’s be reasonable, Carl Ferrer, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey will probably not see the prison time they deserve. They can afford high-priced lawyers that could potentially keep them out of jail. The only true way to exact justice on them is to take away the money they greedily made off the blood of their victims.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , lawsuit,   

    Backpage lawsuit against Cook County Sheriff dismissed 

    Backpage lawsuit against Cook County Sheriff dismissed

    Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff Tom Dart oversees law enforcement in the second most populous county in the country. He has long been an outspoken opponent of the website formerly known as Backpage. Not only did he dedicate a large part of his career to help rescue victims of Backpage’s trafficking, he also often took to the media to try to inform the public about how much of a menace Backpage actually was. Sheriff Dart was obviously relieved when Backpage was finally shuttered.

    One of Sheriff Dart’s more controversial acts against Backpage happened in 2015 when Sheriff Dart wrote to both MasterCard and VISA requesting they stop letting Backpage use their cards as forms of payment for Backpage’s adult ads. The problem with this is Sheriff Dart did not write to these companies as a private citizen but instead as the Cook County Sheriff by using official county letterhead. Backpage saw this as a violation of their right to free speech and a government intrusion. A lawsuit was then filed against Dart by Backpage and an injunction was placed on Sheriff Dart stating he could no longer contact the credit card companies. However, the damage had already been done as the two companies ceased doing business with Backpage. Many consider this decision by VISA and MasterCard as the beginning of the end for Backpage.

    Now, with Backpage being seized by the Federal Government and former CEO Carl Ferrer admitting that Backpage was well aware of its role in human trafficking, the lawsuit against Sheriff Dart has been dismissed. This past Thursday, a federal judge dismissed the suit with Sheriff Dart claiming that the dismissal contained a “certain level of vindication”. While we may not have always agreed with Sheriff Dart’s way of doing things, we’re happy to see that Backpage won’t be able to claim a victory over this tireless defender of the people.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on May 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 13th Amendment, , , Florida Abolitionist, , lawsuit   

    Anti-trafficking group uses new approach to sue Backpage 

    Anti-trafficking group uses new approach to sue Backpage

    Backpage has been no stranger to lawsuits in its controversial history. In the past, many of its lawsuits have been dismissed due to protections afforded them by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which stated that a website was not responsible for third-party content posted by a user. Even with the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) being passed into law and the criminal charges being filed against Backpage, a lawsuit win against Backpage still isn’t a slam dunk. However, an anti-trafficking group from Florida is trying a new tactic in an attempt to ensure judicial success against the website.

    In one of their arguments, Florida Abolitionist is claiming that Backpage violated the 13th Amendment rights of the women FA is representing by allowing them to be trafficked on Backpage’s listings. For those of you who may not be familiar with the 13th Amendment, it’s the Amendment that was supposed to end slavery in the United States. The text of the Amendment states…

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    While the 13th Amendment was designed to end slavery in the wake of the Civil War, the Amendment has rarely been used to show a violation of rights has been committed. With Former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer recently admitting that Backpage was complicit in the practice of sex trafficking, maybe we’ll see a new landmark case where the 13th Amendment is instrumental in addressing the future rights of trafficking victims.

     
  • Geebo 9:22 am on April 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , lawsuit,   

    Leading Backpage opponent wants lawsuit dropped 

    Leading Backpage opponent wants lawsuit dropped

    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

    Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff Tom Dart was one of the leading voices in the fight against Backpage. Not only did Sheriff Dart do everything within his power to combat the human trafficking committed through Backpage by conducting various stings and rescue operations, but he also stepped outside of his job to convince credit card companies to stop accepting payments for Backpage ads. While it wasn’t a deathblow for Backpage, it did hurt them where it mattered most, in the wallet. Backpage fought back against Dart by filing a lawsuit over lost profits due to Dart’s interference and had a restraining order placed against him which prevented Dart from further contacting the credit card companies.

    Now, with the federal seizure of Backpage, Sheriff Dart is asking that the lawsuit against him be dismissed. Dart is now arguing that since Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer has admitted that Backpage was predicated on human trafficking and money laundering this should render Backpage’s lawsuit against Dart null and void. Dart himself called the lawsuit a fraud and that it was not based in fact or law.

    While some of Sheriff Dart’s tactics can be considered questionable, the closure of Backpage could not have been done without him. Because of his constant vocal opposition to Backpage in the country’s second most populous county, the Backpage situation may never have received the media attention it did and we would still probably be trying to make people more aware of the problem. Sheriff Dart should be commended for his work against Backpage trafficking and this suit should be dropped immediately since it came to light that Backpage was complicit in the sex trade all along.

     
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