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Legal News Roundup: December 9

Here’s a roundup of recent legal stories in the news.

U.S. government calls for breakup of Facebook

NBC News – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to break up Facebook on Wednesday, asking a federal court to force the sell-off of assets such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Facebook has maintained its monopoly position by buying up companies that present competitive threats and by imposing restrictive policies that unjustifiably hinder actual or potential rivals that Facebook does not or cannot acquire,” the commission said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Attorneys general from 48 states and territories said they were filing their own lawsuit against Facebook.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full story.

Texas sues over election results in Four States

The Texas Tribune – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block battleground states from casting “unlawful and constitutionally tainted votes” in the Electoral College.

Paxton is suing four states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.

In the suit, he claims that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law.

Legal experts have characterized the last-minute bid as a longshot.

Read the full story.

RagingBull stock-trading site accused of $137 million fraud

CBS News – The founders of a company called RagingBull tout themselves as expert stock traders who teach customers how they, too, can become millionaires.

Federal regulators say the company operators — Jeffrey Bishop and Jason Bond — have defrauded consumers out of more than $137 million over the past three years.

FTC attorneys are seeking federal court orders freezing company assets, halting the alleged fraud scheme and awarding relief to consumers, including refunds and restitution.

The FTC says RagingBull used celebrities — including former baseball star Jose Canseco and former stockbroker Jordan Belfort — to promote their services. Belfort was the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Read the full story.

Patient can Continue Lawsuit Against Local Hospital

Court News Ohio – A patient allegedly assaulted by a doctor while sedated does not have to prove the doctor is guilty of a crime or civilly liable before suing the hospital for lack of oversight, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled.

The Supreme Court ruled that Malieka Evans can continue her lawsuit against Akron General Medical Center for the negligent hiring, retention or supervision of the doctor who allegedly assaulted her in 2012.

The decision reversed a Summit County Common Pleas Court decision. The ruling said that because police had not pressed charges against the physician and Evans did not file a personal injury lawsuit against him, she could not sue the hospital.

Read the full story.

Cheesecake Factory Settles With SEC

CNBC – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled with the Cheesecake Factory for misleading investors with its COVID-19 disclosures. The restaurant company agreed to pay a $125,000 fine.

According to the SEC, Cheesecake Factory violated reporting provisions when it failed to disclose how much cash it was burning through and that it would not pay its April rent.

Internal documents showed that Cheesecake Factory — at the time — was losing about $6 million in cash per week, with only 16 weeks of cash remaining.

The company is the first business to be charged by the SEC for misleading investors about the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impacts.

Read the full story.