Haimes and Vandevender

Research the Haimes and Vandevender cases, and in 10-12 double-spaced pages compare and contrast the facts, law, and merits of the two lawsuits by answering the following questions. Include an introduction and a conclusion in your paper. 1. What are the facts? 2. What are the issues? 3. What laws apply? 4. What did the judge and jury decide? 5. Did the judge and jury make the appropriate decision based on the applicable laws controlling the case? Why or why not? 6. What are the ethical issues in the cases? Do the ethical issues differ from the legal issues? If so, how? 7. Both of these cases have been described as “frivolous” lawsuits. Based on your research what do you think? Is either one or both of these cases frivolous? 8. Regardless of what you think of the lawsuits, how could the business owners have prevented them? What advice can you give them for the future?

Haimes Case 

Judith Richardson Haimes, who claimed a CAT scan she received at Temple University Hospital robbed her of her psychic powers, may recover more than $1 million as a result of a Common Pleas jury verdict.  The eight-member jury deliberated about 45 minutes yesterday before deciding that Haimes should receive $600,000.  Judge Leon Katz said state law also provides for delay damages.  According to the law, the winning party is entitled to 10 percent of the award per year since the suit was filed, Katz said.

(Locy, T. (1986, March 28).  Lawyer sees $1m in psychic’s future.  Philadelphia Daily News.  Retrieved from http://articles.philly.com/keyword/psychic-powers)

Vandevender Case

A convenience store company will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a multimillion-dollar award to a fired Berkeley County worker who hurt her back while opening a large pickle jar.

The state Supreme Court in July upheld $2.52 million of the $2.99 million verdict against Sheetz Inc.

On Thursday, the court voted 4-1 to halt the enforcement of its order so Sheetz can appeal.  Justice Larry Starcher was absent.

Sheetz is an Altoona, Pa., company with more than 100 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

Sheetz announced earlier this month it plans to double its operations within six years.  It wants to build another 200 stores and create more than 4,000 jobs in those four states, and expand into Ohio.

Cheryl Vandevender alleged Sheetz discriminated against her and retaliated against her.

The court said that one part of the punitive damage award should be reduced by $466,260 because it was excessive.  The court sent the case back to Berkeley County for Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. to make the change.

The court upheld the rest of the jury award, which included $124,166 in compensatory damages, $170,000 for emotional distress and embarrassment, and $2.7 million in punitive damages.

The company says Vandevender essentially missed only four weeks of work.

The state Supreme Court’s earlier decision marks the first time it upheld punitive damages in a Human Rights Act case, said Vandevender’s attorney, David Hammer of Martinsburg. (Company appealing award – Worker alleged discrimination and retaliation by chain.  (1997, August 5).  Charleston Daily Mail(West Virginia), p. P5B.)