Male Penn Grad Says He Was Sexually Assaulted After 2013 Phi Kappa Psi Party

Photo by Hayley Virgil

Reginald Stewart says he was assaulted after attending a rush party at Phi Kappa Psi in 2013. Photo | Hayley Virgil

Recent University of Pennsylvania graduate Reginald Stewart has sued Penn’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity as well as fraternity brother Charles Gibson over a January 2013 incident in which he claims Gibson sexually assaulted him. Read more »

Dutch Rubber Duck Artist Cries Foul Over Giant Philly Rubber Duck

Dutch rubber duck artist Florentijn Hofman with his giant hippo sculpture floating in the background. Photo: Steve Stills

Renown Dutch rubber duck artist Florentijn Hofman with his giant hippo sculpture floating in the background. Photo: Steve Stills

You’d think that a giant rubber duck could waddle its way into Philadelphia without inciting controversy or starting a potential international legal war. But that is not the case. We learned this lesson on Monday afternoon when an email popped up in our inbox with the ominous subject line: “Unauthorized rubber duck project in Philadelphia.” The author was Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who is none too happy with the giant 61-foot, 11-ton rubber duck set to visit our shores the last weekend in June as part of the Tall Ships festival. Read more »

Class-Action Suit Filed Against Mayweather and Pacquiao Over “Fight of the Century”

In this May 2, 2015, photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, hits Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, during their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

In this May 2, 2015, photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, hits Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, during their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

Like millions of other Americans, Center City attorney Allan H. Gordon and Rittenhouse Square realtor Seth Lamb wanted to watch last Saturday night’s “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. So each man plunked down Showtime’s pay-per-view fee, which ranged from $89 to $100, and sat back in their respective homes — Gordon at his second home in Florida — and watched the match. And less than a week later, the men have joined forces to file a class-action lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against the fighters, the the cable network, and others. Read more »

Benihana Tells Philly’s Raw Sushi to Change Its Name… Or Else!

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Raw Sushi is being sued.

The popular Sansom Street Japanese restaurant — more formally known as 1225 Raw Sushi & Sake Lounge — finds itself defending a federal lawsuit filed by none other than Benihana, the Florida-based corporation behind all those Benihana restaurants, as well as the Haru and RA Sushi restaurants. And it is on this latter brand that the lawsuit focuses. Read more »

Court Strikes Down Anti-Mumia Law

ABU JAMAL

A federal judge has struck down a new state law that attempted to keep convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and other Pennsylvania prisoners from having their voices heard by the outside world.

The law, passed in the wake of Abu-Jamal’s October commencement speech to students at Goddard College in Vermont, lets crime victims — or prosecutors — sue inmates whose behavior behind bars continues to create anguish for the victims. But a federal court says the law violates the First Amendment rights of Abu-Jamal and other prisoners.

“The fact that certain plaintiffs have been convicted of infamous or violent crimes is largely irrelevant to our First Amendment analysis. A past criminal offense does not extinguish the offender’s constitutional right to free expression,” Judge Christopher Conner wrote. “The First Amendment does not evanesce at the prison gate.” (See the full opinion below.) Read more »

Suit: Cops Broke Down Man’s Door, Beat Him While Looking for His Brother

A Philadelphia man has filed a federal lawsuit against the police department claiming that the Internal Affairs division routinely ignores allegations of wrongdoing by officers.

Luis Gelpi filed the suit this week. His complaint stems from a May 2013 incident in which he says a group of officers raided his home while looking for his brother, Juan. The family had endured and, according to the suit, cooperated during several days of inquiry from officers before the raid.

The officers came to his house on May 8th, Gelpi’s attorney, Brian Humble, writes in the complaint.

“On this occasion, Mr. Gelpi, demanded that the Police Officers named herein produce a warrant, or go away and stop harassing his family and disrupting his life. In response, one of the Defendant Officers ordered Mr. Gelpi to ‘open the fucking door,’” the complaint alleges. “Mr. Gelpi justifiably demanded that the individually named defendants produce a warrant. Rather than obtaining and/or showing a warrant, the Defendant Officers broke the front door and forcibly entered the Gelpi home.”

Gelpi, who according to the suit had his right arm in a full cast at the time, alleges he was thrown to the floor where one officer allegedly hit him in the head, face, and back and twisted his injured arm, while other officers searched his home. Eventually, the complaint alleges, one of the officers announced, “oh it’s not him.”

Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

Hero Firefighter Sues NY Daily News for Use of Photo in Sex Scandal Article

In late January, many media outlets were busy reporting on the sex scandal surrounding the Philadelphia Fire Department, among them New York’s Daily News, which ran two articles about it on its website. The trouble is, according to a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia’s federal court, they chose to illustrate the stories with an Associated Press photo of heroic Philadelphia firefighter Francis Cheney II, whose name hasn’t been mentioned in connection with the scandal. Read more »

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