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Thread: Sues for wrongful death

  1. #111
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    It does seem the judge was using this case to try to prove a point about celebrities in general rather than considering it on its own merit.

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  2. #112
    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    Quote Originally Posted by FreyFollower View Post
    I think it was wrong to suggest that this is a case of a celebrity wanting special treatment. While no one wants their personal and financial records public, regular folks don't have a horde of reporters anxious to tell all on the internet and in publications worldwide.

    It comes off to me as a way of attempting to strong arm Cindy to drop the suit. They could be provided the information without it being public fodder. They mistreated her husband, and now they're bullying her, IMO. Shame on them.
    I'm a little late to the party here, but I so totally agree with this comment, especially the bolded part, which I think maybe should entitle celebrities to some special considerations. Unfortunately, many lawyers are masters at bullying people when they are the most vulnerable. And the sad part is that they do it because it works. I've said all along that I believe the case will eventually be settled and this is one reason I believe that. Unfortunately, just like everything else these days, our justice system is being driven by money and power. Cindy may be wealthy, but she's not as rich and powerful as the hospital, so she'll probably be forced to settle. Bottom line is, yep, justice can be bought.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

  3. #113
    Border Rebel FreyFollower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    I thought the same thing about the hospital. Cindy's wealth is peanuts compared to them. She lost her husband and he suffered terribly due to their lack of attentiveness,etc. and yet they want to make an example out of HER because she's a celebrity. IMO, it's more a case of a large business using their power to get away with grievous behavior, and then having the gall to bully the injured party. Grrrrrrr!
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  4. #114
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    I feel Justice Silver's ruling was not only spot-on accurate in denying the request to seal the files until trial -- but it is one of the most beautifully written decisions I've ever read.

    He put into words my exact thoughts.

    I feel that while the justice system is far from perfect -- the ultimate goal should be that everyone -- regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, rich or poor, a public figure or a private citizen -- should be treated equally in a court of law.

    Every single day,there are ordinary citizens who pray their bosses, friends, co-workers,neighbors, etc., do not pick-up the local newspaper and read the published police log or court summary section in which it mentions their name -- or the name of a loved one. Sometimes, they want to avoid the embarrassment; other times they fear they could lose their jobs -- whether it is for a criminal matter, such as a DUI -- or a civil matter in which one neighbor is suing another neighbor for their dog biting someone; or a dispute about a neighbor having loud parties, or even something as simple as one neighbor claiming another neighbor built a fence that infringes on their property line.

    One never knows what a local paper, or even a local website, may decide to print or post -- and if the story catches fire in a local community and tarnishes the reputation of the individual, or their family, even if it is about something stupid that one of their children may have done -- they fear the possibility of losing their job, especially if they are an employee-at-will with no contract or union to back them.

    While I do feel there are certain matters that should be sealed for all people -- such as the privacy to some medical records -- I think it is of extreme importance that court proceedings remain open and public for all, as it is the only way to ensure transparency that everyone is being treated fairly.

    What I found interesting in Justice Silver's decision, was this statement,

    "Öhere defendants have yet to make a request for plaintiff or decedent's tax returns, let alone a request for any other financial information. Instead, plaintiff isseeking a preemptive declaration that plaintiff and decedent's tax returns are entitled to sealing protection In doing so, plaintiff is attempting to seal the entire court file rather than waiting to make an application for sealing as the need potentially arises once disclosure of specific documents that may be entitled to protection is actually sought."

    I also concur with Silver regarding the plaintiff's case law reference not being on-point when Silver noted, "Notably, contrary to plaintiffs interpretation, Matthews Indus. Pipinc Co., Inc., supra, had nothing to do with the sealing of tax returns. The case can more accurately be described as a case about the relevance of tax returns in a particular litigation rather than whether those records should be accessible to any court user. As such, plaintiffs proffered argument has nothing to do with whether plaintiff and decedent's tax returns are indispensable to the litigation. Instead, plaintiff is arguing that tax returns should simply be sealed because of the privacy concerns they unearth, especially where the parties to a litigation are famous. "

    In my opinion, I have more sympathy for some ordinary citizen fearing losing their livelihood --and ability to provide for their family -- more than I am concerned that thefamily of a celebrity not wishing to have their financial records revealed.

    Frankly, who really cares how much any celebrity is worth?

    Personally, my husband and I are both hard-workers who are more concerned in providing the best livelihood for our growing family, rather than worrying about how much someone else has in the bank.

    While I do feel there are certain matters that should be sealed for all people -- such as the privacy to some medical records -- I think it is of extreme importance that court proceedings remain open and public for all, as it is the only way to ensure transparency that everyone is being treated fairly.

    I adore Silver's reference in his finding to one of my favorite classics, "To Kill A Mockingbird," when he stated in his denial:

    "Lee's protagonist Atticus Finch stated in To Kill A Mockingbird, "[o]ur courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this county our courtsare the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal"(Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird [1960]). In the instant matter, the court finds that plaintiff has not established good cause for the sealing of the entire court file until the time of trial. Indeed, as mentioned, the record is devoid of facts supporting the need to seal the entire court file. Plaintiffs blanket statements regarding protections afforded to tax returns and other financial records are bereft of factual support within the record, and binding legal precedent within the Appellate Division, First Department. But more fundamentally than that, what this application boils down to is the notion of whether, in the eyes of the law, courts should treat those with greater means and renown differently from those with lesser means and prominence. This court refuses to countenance such unequal treatment. In the view of this court, if the scales of justice are tipped too heavily on one side, the perception of justice and fairness collapses for all."

    While I have absolutely no idea who is right or wrong in the lawsuit filed by Mr. Frey's widow, as I don't know anything other than what I have read in news accounts, Ithink there are other ways of proving a loss of future income, without revealing financial information they wish to keep private.

    One of the most simplest solutions would be to make a simple argument before the court that previous tax returns of the plaintiff are not relevant -- as they are notseeking money from the time-period when Mr. Frey was alive -- and, instead, ask the Judge to allow them to simply disclose records more indicative of the lossof future earnings, which they are seeking.

    In that regard, they can simply show financial records from the Eagles most recent tour, and have the band's manager and/or accountant testify as to how much Mr. Frey would have earned off of the tour and use that as a bench-marker as to how many other future projects Mr. Frey would have been involved in -- as, after all, the case is about future earnings he would have made -- not what he already accumulated in the past. They can also offer actual receipts for costs incurred, such as for funeral expenses, etc.

    For anyone interested in reading about the importance of courts not going overboard with sealing records, here is a link to a good story on this topic: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.16f068063e8b

    That story references one of the most famous quotes by Chief Justice Burger in the seminal case of Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, which established the public's constitutional right of access to court proceedings when he wrote, "People in an open society do not demand infallibility from their institutions, but is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing."

    Let there be no doubt about it -- the Supreme Court supports the public's right of access to judicial proceedings and records -- it is a First Amendment issue.


    While I do feel there are times when court records should be sealed -- I feel the bar to justify the sealing of records must be a lot more higher than requesting favoritism because someone is famous.

    Ask for what you want -- and be prepared to get it! ~ Maya Angelou

  5. #115
    Stuck on the Border Delilah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    Great post, Carolyn, thanks for the info. I havenít read the judgeís opinion but I knew he must have been responding to an argument made by Cindyís lawyers, that Glennís celebrity merited special protection of his records. What is unusual is that this was a preemptive request; apparently the defendant hadnít even asked for tax records yet.*

    One of the basic tenets of the U.S. justice system is openness and transparency of our courts. There are exceptions of course e.g. juvenile cases but the importance of the public knowing how or why a court ruling is made or whether proper adherence to due process or other legal proceedings has occurred cannot be overstated.

    I do sympathize with Cindy and her family and understand the desire to have their financial records sealed but I donít see how the judge was being unreasonable here.

    *incidentally the Page 6 article posted previously says that the defendant Dr. did ask for some financial info but Cindy Frey refused to disclose it b/c the he didnít sign a confidentiality agreement.

    Thinking of you and hoping for the best. Stay strong Randy!

  6. #116
    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    Carolyn Ė you make some good legal arguments in your post. And much of what you say, I agree with. Speaking for myself, I never intended my post to imply that the judges ruling was legally wrong. I actually didnít even read the ruling. My comment was directed more about our flawed legal system in general.

    Of course, I wholeheartedly embrace the idea of equal justice under the law, but the problem is that itís a very idealistic concept, and realistically there are many issues when putting this theory into practice. It is hard for anyone to convince me that wealth and power can't buy preferential treatment in our current justice system.

    Equal justice for all only works when there is equal opportunity and treatment under the law for everyone. So I will have to stand by my comments. I donít believe that a celebrity will always get the same treatment as I do when it comes to protection of privacy and I donít believe that a young black man will always get the same justice as I in do in our legal system. And, yep, sadly, I guess you could say I'm jaded.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

  7. #117
    Stuck on the Border WalshFan88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    To me the judge was very much in the wrong here. To me he made a very wrong choice here. I disagree with his comment about celebrities.

    Glenn deserved that special protection.
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    RIP Glenn Lewis Frey 1948-2016
    "People don't run out of dreams, people just run out of time"



  8. #118
    Stuck on the Border WalshFan88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...170518501.html

    I say - go Cindy.

    They have no right to that information.

  9. #119
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    Quote Originally Posted by WalshFan88 View Post
    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...170518501.html

    I say - go Cindy.

    They have no right to that information.
    Won't it help them more accurately estimate what he could have theoretically earned in a future tour, and thus help them come to a fair figure when reaching a settlement? Does she really expect them to just take her word for it when it comes to his potential earnings? My default position is to support her choices but I must admit, I am confused by this.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  10. #120
    Border Troubadour CAinOH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sues for wrongful death

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    Won't it help them more accurately estimate what he could have theoretically earned in a future tour, and thus help them come to a fair figure when reaching a settlement? Does she really expect them to just take her word for it when it comes to his potential earnings? My default position is to support her choices but I must admit, I am confused by this.
    Exactly, soda. Cindy is going to have to prove how much earnings were lost because of Glenn's death. The burden of proof is on her, otherwise she can pull a number out of the air.

    From this article (yes, I realize this makes me a Google lawyer, and this article is a thinly-veiled advertisement):

    In order to be awarded damages for loss of support, the family member must prove that the deceased supported him/her financially, and must prove the amount of the support. Minor children will receive loss of support through age 18 and generally for college if the child can prove that the deceased would have contributed to the childís college education. A widow will receive loss of support until the deceasedís presumed retirement age (usually 65). A widower can receive loss of support if he can show that his deceased wife supported him. Parents or other relatives can also receive damages for loss of support if they can prove that the deceased supported them.

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