Recent verdicts and settlements that have caught our eye include incidents involving a lesbian teacher who showed students a picture of her "future wife," an Air Force vet and his dog who were refused service at a bar, a farmer who notched a nine-figure verdict against an agrochemical giant, and a 98-year-old clergyman who settled a sex-abuse lawsuit.
Suspended Lesbian Teacher Gets $100,000 Settlement
During a 2017 "Get to Know Your Teacher" presentation in Mansfield, Texas, elementary school art teacher Stacy Bailey, a two-time Teacher of the Year at the school, showed students a picture of her "future wife." When a parent of one of the students heard about it and complained to the school that Bailey was promoting a "homosexual agenda," she was placed on leave.
Bailey filed suit, and on Feb. 24 she reached a $100,000 settlement agreement with the school after a judge ruled that her suspension was unconstitutional.
Bar Settles Case With Man It Turned Away Along With His Service Dog
An Air Force veteran and his American Bulldog service dog, Whopper, were turned away by a Phoenix bar in 2018 because the bar has a policy against animals. The vet, Bill Larson, tried to explain that he has a disability that causes him to experience "mini-strokes" that Whopper is trained to detect in order to alert Larson to take remedial steps.
The bar refused, and O’Brien initiated legal action through the Attorney General’s office with an Arizonans With Disabilities Act lawsuit. On Feb. 28, the Attorney General’s office said the bar had agreed to pay $7,500 to Larson and a $2,500 civil penalty to the state, and to place a poster at the bar’s entrance that service animals are welcome.
Farmer Wins Big Verdict Against Monsanto
A Missouri peach farmer scored a $265 million verdict against Monsanto for damages caused to his orchards by dicamba, an herbicide used by neighboring farmers. The lawsuit by the farmer, Bill Bader, is one of many by farmers claiming that dicamba drift has damaged their crops.
98-Year-Old Clergryman Settles Sex-Abuse Suit
A 98-year-old televangelist, Ernest Angley, and a former pastor in his church, Grace Cathedral Inc., settled a sex-abuse lawsuit and countersuit Feb.18 in Cleveland, their lawyers announced.
The pastor Brock Miller had filed a suit claiming that in 2004, when he was 18 and Angley was 82, Angley asked him to show his penis and masturbate. The suit also said that two years later Angley had Miller come to his home, where he was required to strip naked while Angley gave him a massage. The suit said these actions made Miler feel "terrified and uncomfortable."
The details of the settlement were not announced.