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Legal Report Resources June 2016

Discrimination. The Chicago Police Department will pay more than $2 million in back pay and pension benefits to settle allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it discriminated against entry-level police officer applicants. The settlement, however, is separate from the DOJ's investigation into allegations about the department's methods of policing and use of force.

Negligence. A Nashville jury awarded broadcast journalist Erin Andrews $55 million following a two-week trial against a hotel where a stalker was able to reserve a room next to Andrews' and secretly record her activities. Andrews has since settled the case with Marriott International for an undisclosed amount.​ 

Disaster Relief. President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop and implement a plan to control and reduce administrative costs for delivering assistance for major disasters. Under the law (P.L. 114-132), FEMA is required to compare the costs and benefits of tracking administrative cost data for major disasters by public assistance, individual assistance, hazard mitigation, and mission assignment programs.

Prisons. President Obama signed into law legislation that requires the director of the Bureau of Prisons to issue oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) to designated individuals. The law (P.L. 114-133) requires the director to issue the spray to any bureau officer or prison employee who may respond to an emergency situation in the prison. Minimum and low security prisons are excluded from the requirement.

Terrorism. France's lower house of Parliament passed a bill that would punish technology company executives for refusing to provide investigators with data in terrorism-related cases. If enacted, the bill (No. 3515) would allow companies operating in France to be fined up to 350,000 euros (about $386,000) and its executives to be jailed for up to five years if they deny investigators access to data requested in terrorism-related cases.

Protests. The New South Wales Parliament passed legislation that gives police greater powers to search without warrants, seize items, and fine protestors. Under the Inclosed Lands, Crimes, and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016, the maximum penalty for unlawful entry on inclosed lands increased from AUD $550 to $5,500. The bill also allows police officers to search suspects on reasonable grounds without a warrant, and seize and detail all or part of a "thing found as a result of a search" that the "police officer suspects on reasonable grounds is a thing" that could be used in a manner to increase serious risk to the safety of any person.

Corruption. For the first time, FIFA said that votes were bought in World Cup hosting contests and is seeking to claim "tens of millions of dollars" in bribe money seized by U.S. federal prosecutors. FIFA, in a recent court filing, asked for a large share in restitution from more than $190 million forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who have pleaded guilty in the corruption case, saying it is a victim of corrupt individuals.

Terrorism. A federal jury found an Air Force veteran guilty of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and obstructing an official proceeding in the first conviction of its kind. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 48, of Neptune, New Jersey, faces a maximum sentence of up to 35 years in prison.

Discrimination. A Minnesota-based medical device and equipment manufacturer will pay more than $1 million and other relief to settle an age and sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC charged that the manufacturer—PMT Corporation—engaged in a pattern or practice of systematic hiring discrimination when it hired more than 70 individuals as sales representatives, but not a single applicant who was female or more than 40 years old.

Cybersecurity. The U.S. Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill (S. 2658), which requires the FAA to integrate cybersecurity measures "at all levels" of the air traffic control system as it moves to NextGen programs.

Compensation. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Iran must pay nearly $2 billion in frozen assets to victims and relatives of those killed in attacks blamed on the nation. In its ruling, the Court upheld a lower court ruling that said Iran must pay the relatives of 241 U.S. Marines and other service members who were killed in the 1983 barracks bombing in Beirut, along with other attack victims.