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Verdicts of the Month: Deaf Woman Awarded a Dollar in $4.5M Suit

The verdicts across the country in March ranged from stingy to strange.

Check out the verdicts we thought you would find most interesting and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.  

Most Stingy: Deaf Woman Awarded a Dollar in $4.5M Suit

A woman was awarded a lone buck for having her Fourth Amendment rights violated in a strange case out of Washington. LaShonn White, who called police using a video phone to report an assault, was apparently thought to be a threat by officers arriving on the scene. White was subdued with a Taser and brought a case against Tacoma police and Pierce County, according to information in the story. The $4.5 million she was asking for was apparently too much for the jury to sign off on, so instead she was awarded $1 for what was said to have been an arrest made without probable cause.

Most Social: Girl Breaks Confidentiality Clause with “Suck It” Post

The daughter of a former headmaster, Patrick Snay, may have jeopardized an $80,000 settlement he won regarding an age-discrimination case by posting to Facebook the case’s outcome. Despite the requirement to keep the settlement against Gulliver Preparatory School, in Florida, under wraps, the headmaster’s daughter instead advertised the proceedings via social media, leading to an appellate ruling that the terms of the initial agreement were violated. According to the story, Snay’s daughter posted: “"Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT." She later said she was joking. Until further appeal, if any, perhaps holding off on those plane tickets for the time being might be wise.

Most Scandalous: Playboy Ordered to Pay $6M to Whistleblower in Wrongful Termination Case

Playboy Enterprises will pay out a hefty $6 million to a former controller for supposedly firing her for reporting requests that she prepare $1 million executive bonuses without proper authorization. A jury determined the firing was retaliatory and she was protected under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. They also determined she was discriminated against due to her age, 56 at the time of her 2012 firing, and targeted as part of a plan to cut costs by removing older employees, the article states. Playboy officials claimed they stand by their decision and are considering an appeal.

Most Vindicating: Charity Fundraiser Pays $39K for Alleged Personal Use of Tornado Disaster Cash

A New Orleans-based fundraiser has agreed to pay $39,200 for using money she collected for the victims of a deadly 2011 tornado for her own personal use, according to media reports. Sidnay Ray-Bazan of Relief Spark was said to have used the funds for clothes, food, daycare, veterinary bills and at “upscale clothing boutiques.” The money won in the settlement, if approved by Jasper County Circuit Court, will go toward the rebuilding of Joplin, Missouri, where the 2011 tornado killed 161 people. The story notes Ray-Bazan’s home phone and Relief Spark’s numbers were, not surprisingly, disconnected.

Most Expedited: Jury Hands Down Heroin Verdict in Half-Hour Flat

A West Virginia man was found guilty in just 30 minutes in a heroin case in Hampshire County. Jurors were privy to both audio and visual evidence of Robert Glenn Ford purchasing heroin, and it was learned through an investigation he had between 15 and 20 pills. Assigned a public defender after having claimed no income, warrants led to the discovery of $10,000 combined between his home and bank account. The money could be forfeited and if it is eventually turned over to authorities it will be used to combat drugs, according to information from the story. Ford is expected to be sentenced in late April. The judge did not grant bail.

Dan Sabbatino is an award winning journalist whose accolades include a New York Press Association award for a series of articles he wrote dealing with a small upstate town’s battle over the implications of letting a “big-box” retailer locate within its borders. He has worked as a reporter and editor since 2007 primarily covering state and local politics for a number off publications.

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