Most Religious Verdict: Court Rules That Flying Spaghetti Monster is Not a God
A federal court in Nebraska ruled the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" is not a deity, and its worshipers are not entitled to the same exemptions as other recognized religions, according to a recent article from Newsweek.
Stephen Cavanaugh, a prisoner in a Nebraska penitentiary, sued the state in 2014 over the right to practice "Pastafarianism." The U.S. District Court of Nebraska found, though, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a religion, but instead a parody "intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education."
Bobby Henderson, a physics graduate student is the founder of FSMism and said at first, he thought the lawsuit may have been frivolous, but upon reading the court documents, saw a more legitimate case of a man trying to pursue his faith.
Most Medical Verdict: $50M Awarded to Mom for Injuries Sustained During Birth
Llaulin Cruz, 38, was awarded $50 million after a jury found she was wounded by her doctor during child birth at Barnabas Hospital in 2009, according to an article from the New York Daily News.
Obstetrician Michael Ihemaguba was said to have been primarily responsible for damage that requires Cruz to wear underwear liner at all times. According to the story, Cruz was unaware of the damage done during the 2009 delivery and exacerbated the issue during a subsequent vaginal birth aided by a midwife.
The lacerations and damages from the birth, she said, forced her to leave her physical therapy job and also have impacted her romantic relationship with her husband. Ihemaguba contests he did nothing wrong and the procedure that led to the cuts was medically necessary.
Most Affluent Verdict: ‘Affluenza Teen’ Gets Almost 2 Years in Jail
Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who killed four people while driving drunk and claimed his privileged upbringing left him ignorant of the consequences of his actions, will spend nearly two years in jail, barring additional court proceedings, according to an article from The Washington Post.
Couch’s defense included a psychologist who claimed the teen suffered from “Affluenza,” a condition that inhibits the well-off from understanding right from wrong. Couch fled to Mexico, in violation of his probation following the incident, and his mother has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon as a result in her part in his fleeing.
He initially pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault while intoxicated and was sentenced to 10 years of drug-and-alcohol-free probation, which triggered widespread outrage. He reportedly had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system as well as traces of Valium at the time of the incident.
Most Gemini Verdict: Twins Convicted of Manslaughter After Stabbing Altercation
Teenage twins Juan and Darvis Mojena were found guilty of first-degree manslaughter after the stabbing death of Trenton Nelson last summer, according to an article from the Democrat and Chronicle.
Juan was sentenced to 15 years, while Darvis got 10. Nelson, who was 15 at the time of his death, died from stabbing wounds at a nearby hospital after an altercation with the brothers. The trio were one-time friends and Nelson shared classes with one of the twins. He played football and basketball and aspired to be a veterinarian, his family said.
Most Fiery Verdict: 9/11 Widow Wins $3M From NYC
The widow of an FDNY lieutenant won an estimated $3 million lawsuit after a judge ruled the city acted improperly by denying her husband’s pension, according to an article from The New York Post.
Jackie Kaht Fernandez reportedly fought the Fire Department’s pension board for nine years, trying to prove her husband, Cruz Fernandez, died due to his time spent at Ground Zero. Fernandez was diagnosed with acid reflux and had periodontal disease, but his conditions were attributed to allergies from sinus problems, his wife said.
Eventually, he drowned to death after having a heart attack sparked by anthracosis, or “coal miners’ disease.” His wife contested his heart and lungs were weakened from his time at Ground Zero, but doctors and the pension board denied there was even a “presumptive link” between his death and his work. The judge ruled the city operated in “bad faith” by not siding with Jackie Kaht Fernandez sooner and she was awarded back pay and her late husband’s pension.