Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy…
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House Hearing Spotlights Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) as Drivers of Higher Drug Prices

Today, the House Oversight Committee is holding an important hearing entitled "The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Prescription Drug Markets Part III:  Transparency and Accountability."

For those unfamiliar, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) amount to middlemen that control prescription drugs for millions of Americans.  A majority of Americans receive health insurance through employer plans or government programs such as Medicare, which in turn cover prescription drugs through PBMs.  Those PBMs negotiate with drug companies and pay pharmacies, but throughout the process determine the drugs that insured patients may obtain and at what cost.

The problem is that PBMs operate in such an opaque and complex manner that they're able to inflate drug costs while claiming to be working…[more]

July 23, 2024 • 04:57 PM

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Jester’s Courtroom
The Next Big Gift: A Lawsuit
Wednesday, November 18 2020

Supermodel Naomi Campbell and her ex-boyfriend billionaire Vladislav Doronin are allegedly locked in competing lawsuits over millions of dollars of belongings and gifts given to one another.

According to news reports, Campbell and Doronin dated for five years, ending the relationship in 2013. Campbell reportedly threw a three-day party in India for his 50th birthday, flying in Diana Ross via private jet to perform. Meanwhile, Doronin is said to have built her "a multi-million dollar love nest in a Moscow forest" and given her a 25-bedroom house in Turkey shaped like the Egyptian Eye of Horus as a 41st birthday present.

Campbell filed suit in London in February against Doronin, seeking to retrieve “some of her things...that are in his possession.”  In September, Doronin filed his own suit in New York Supreme Court against Campbell on grounds she never repaid a loan he gave her and she still is in possession of approximately $3 million of his belongings.

"She's been asking for these things back for years, but they've had no recent conversation. And then he went and did this," said an unnamed source.

Though her rep had no comment, a friend of the two told news sources the legal back-and-forth "can't be just about the cash," given his billionaire status and her estimated $80 million net worth. "It's about the game. It's a power thing," the friend surmised.

Reportedly, Campbell and Doronin eventually split after he was caught "passionately embracing" a Chinese model in Ibiza. The model, Luo Zilin, was someone Naomi had previously mentored, according to the news sources.


Want Privacy? Try a Deserted Island
Tuesday, November 10 2020

Neighbors living in an affluent area of Laguna Beach, California, are locked in a lawsuit over ocean views, noise and aesthetics.

According to news reports, Bill Gross, co-founder of bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co, and his partner, Amy Schwartz, are the subject of a complaint filed by tech entrepreneur Mark Towfiq and his wife, Carol Nakahara, over an illuminated 22-foot-long art installation in Mr. Gross’ yard. Towfiq claims the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, which stretches as high as 10 feet and includes protective netting, was installed on Gross’ $32 million property without a permit. 

After filing the complaint with Laguna Beach authorities, Towfiq alleges that Gross and Schwartz have repeatedly played the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island” throughout the yard, constituting “harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Towfiq said the dispute has damaged his childhood memories of Gilligan’s Island. Towfiq and Nakahara are seeking a temporary restraining order. 

“It’s almost like being inside of a prison,” said Nakahara about the loud theme-song music that has kept her inside of her house. 

Gross and Schwartz have filed their own complaint seeking a restraining order, charging that Towfiq invaded their privacy by pointing cameras at their house.

A neighbor, Kian Khaloghli, who lives across the street has offered to mediate the dispute. “They can all come into my backyard and have a glass of wine, and we can figure this out,” he said.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Dancing Around a Difficult Lawsuit
Wednesday, November 04 2020

The New York City Ballet has been dropped from a lawsuit related to the sharing of explicit photos.

Alexandra Waterbury, a former student at the School of American Ballet, an affiliate academy of the New York City Ballet, sued the City Ballet and several other defendants. In her 2018 lawsuit, Waterbury alleges that the City Ballet condoned a culture that enabled “fraternity-like” behavior, fostering an atmosphere that allowed demeaning behavior toward women to occur. Waterbury contended that the company had shirked its responsibility to protect her.

According to news reports, Waterbury sued after discovering that her then boyfriend, Chase Finlay, a principal dancer with City Ballet, shared explicit photos and videos of her with other members of the company. Last month, 19 of Waterbury’s 20 claims were dismissed, with the State Supreme Court Judge in Manhattan ruling that City Ballet was not negligent in the handling of the situation and that it didn’t have a duty to protect Waterbury because she was not the company's student at the time. The only remaining defendant, Finlay,  recently offered an expansive rebuttal to Waterbury’s charges, acknowledging that he shared the photos but claiming he was the victim of abuse by Waterbury.

"Plaintiff’s emotional instability resulted in extraordinary fits of jealousy that would evolve into paroxysmal, violent rages and repeated physical attacks upon Mr. Finlay," the court filing said.

At the core of Finlay’s defense is the argument he never meant to cause Waterbury harm by sharing the images; Finlay claims, instead, that he was bragging to his friends.

"Mr. Finlay was frequently under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances when he sent the photographs but the dissemination was never done with malice," the court papers say.

Finlay has since left the company. Waterbury’s lawyer said there are plans to appeal.


They’re Just Doggone Funny
Wednesday, October 28 2020

Jack Daniels, a major whiskey manufacturer, has sued the manufacturer of a dog toy claiming its product associates Jack Daniels’ “image of sophistication” with “juvenile bathroom humor.”

The lawsuit filed against VIP Productions cites infringement on the company’s trademark for a squeaky dog toy in the shape of a bottle of Jack Daniels’ Old No. 7 Black Label Tennessee Whiskey with a label that replaces “Jack Daniels” with “Bad Spaniels” and describes the brand as “The Old No. 2 on your Tennessee Carpet.” Instead of alcohol-content descriptions, the label says “43% Poo by Vol.” and “100% Smelly.”

A trial judge sided with the whiskey company, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled differently.

“The toy communicates a humorous message, using word play to alter the serious phrase that appears on a Jack Daniels bottle — ‘Old No. 7 Brand’ — with a silly message — ‘The Old. No. 2,’ ” wrote Judge Andrew Hurwitz for the court. “The effect is a simple message conveyed by juxtaposing the irreverent representation of the trademark with the idealized image created by the mark’s owner.”

The company has appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Jack Daniels has invested substantial resources into an image of sophistication,” said attorney Lisa Blatt, who represents the company. “Accordingly, Jack Daniels has a strong interest in protecting its trademarks and trade dress from association with juvenile bathroom humor.”

Blatt also told the justices that the company “carefully licenses” its images on non-whiskey products, including pet products like branded dog leashes, dog collars and dog houses. She said the toy in question is likely to confuse consumers about who is sponsoring it.

What the court rules could have a spillover effect onto other products manufactured by VIP. The company’s web site features similar products, including Heine Sniff’n in something that looks like a Heineken bottle, Mountain Drool that mimics a Mountain Dew bottle, and Cataroma that bears more than a passing resemblance to Corona.


A Shot in the Dark
Wednesday, October 21 2020

A woman is suing television host Tamron Hall claiming Hall embarrassed her family on a nationally television episode about vaccinations that aired in September 2019.

According to news reports, during the Tamron Hall Show, a daytime talk show on ABC, Hall compared Jeanine DiAngelo’s unvaccinated son to a “leper”, saying she would not let her son anywhere near DiAngelo’s son, much less hug him, because he is not vaccinated. DiAngelo says Hall violated New York law by discriminating against their religious beliefs. DiAngelo further claims Hall was not educated on the issue, which added to the emotional distress suffered by the family.

DiAngelo is suing Hall, Disney and the production company for $16 million in damages. For the record, it is noted that Hall did hug DiAngelo's son.


Notable Quote   
"The astonishing political events of the last four weeks make plain, once again, how much of America's history depends on what voters have come to accept as the choice of one person: each presidential nominee's choice of a vice presidential candidate. Even as the nomination process was expanded, half a century ago, to include millions of primary voters, the choice of the vice presidential nominee…[more]
— Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and Longtime Co-Author of The Almanac of American Politics
Liberty Poll   

Should Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle be fired for the agency's unconscionable failures regarding the assassination attempt on President Trump?