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Legal News Roundup: February 17

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

Citi will have to live with its $900m gaffe

Al Jazeera – A United States federal judge said banking giant Citigroup Inc is not entitled to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars of its own money that it mistakenly wired to the lenders of a cosmetics company.

The case stemmed from an incident where Citigroup, acting as Revlon’s loan agent, wired $893m to Revlon’s lenders, appearing to pay off a loan not due until 2023. Citigroup had intended to send a $7.8m interest payment and attributed the mistake to human error.

Judge Jesse Furman said that wire transfers to lenders of Revlon Inc were “final and complete transactions, not subject to revocation,” calling the mistake “a banking error of perhaps unprecedented nature and magnitude.”

A spokeswoman for Citigroup said the bank strongly disagrees with this decision and intends to appeal.

Read the full story.

Supreme Court Partnership First to Monitor Drug Court Participants

Court News Ohio – The Ohio Supreme Court is helping to bridge the information gap between the criminal justice system and healthcare providers as part of a landmark achievement for treating people struggling with substance use disorders.

In a collaboration with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, the Supreme Court will utilize information from active adult drug court participants and report it to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program known as OARRS – the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System.

It’s the first such program in the United States to have a direct notification method between the judicial and healthcare realms to prevent pharmaceutical misuse.

“The specialized docket courts and the treatment community have always sought innovative ways to tackle the drug epidemic,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said. “This is the latest example of Ohio being at the forefront with alternative measures to address complex issues.”

Read the full story.

New York Sues Amazon Over Worker Pandemic Safety Issues

The Guardian – New York is suing Amazon, claiming the company failed to provide workers with a safe environment at two warehouses in the state as Covid-19 infections surged nationwide.

In the suit, New York Attorney General Letitia James claims that Amazon showed a “flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements” and retaliated illegally against employees who raised alarms.

The suit landed just days after Amazon preemptively sued to block the suit over its coronavirus safety protocols and the firing of one of its employees who objected to working conditions.

Read the full story.

Black McDonald’s franchise owner files racial discrimination lawsuit against fast-food giant

Fox 8 – Former pro-baseball player Herb Washington, who built the largest Black-owned McDonald’s franchise operation in the nation, filed a civil rights suit against the fast-food giant.

The lawsuit accuses the company of racial discrimination by pushing Black store owners into its least desirable locations and forcing Washington to sell seven stores in the last few years to white owners.

At one point, Washington owned 27 McDonald’s restaurants in several states, including Ohio. He currently owns 14, three of those in Cleveland.

McDonald’s responded to the lawsuit with a statement:

“This situation is the result of years of mismanagement by Mr. Washington, whose organization has failed to meet many of our standards on people, operations, guest satisfaction and reinvestment. His restaurants have a public record of these issues including past health and sanitation concerns and some of the highest volumes of customer complaints in the country.”

Read the full story.