County's court records found in open recycling bin

Court administrators in Madison County say they'll do a better job of disposing of public records after court documents turned up in an open recycling bin.

The Alton Telegraph reports that one of its reporters responding to a tip found hundreds of the court records plainly visible in the container outside the county's complex in Wood River.

The records showed names of victims, including minors, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, detailed accounts of why an order of protection was needed and Social Security numbers.

Madison County Interim Circuit Clerk Judy Nelson says a hauler who waited a couple of weeks to cart off the documents won't be used again. Nelson says the records instead will be disposed of immediately.

Appeals court reinstates lawsuit against Glock

A California appeals court has reinstated a now-retired paralyzed Los Angeles police officer's product liability lawsuit against gun manufacturer Glock.

Enrique Chavez was paralyzed from the waist down when his 3-year-old son accidentally shot him with his service pistol.

The lawsuit claims the .45-caliber Glock 21 pistol lacks adequate safeguards against accidental discharge. There is no grip safety on the Glock.

A Los Angeles judge dismissed the suit two years ago, saying a Police Department review of the gun's design found the Glock's advantages outweighed any inherent risks.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the 2nd District Court of Appeals on Tuesday reinstated the suit, saying a jury could conclude that a grip safety strong enough to withstand a child's grasp would minimize the risk of accidental discharge.

Class-action lawsuit filed against Mountain State

Three students are suing Mountain State University, former President Charles Polk and the Board of Trustees over the school's revoked accreditation, saying it renders their degrees worthless.

Dale Burger and his two children, Amanda and Jeff Burger, are seeking class-action status for their case, filed late Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Some 3,000 students were enrolled as of April, the lawsuit says. But the plaintiffs contend that the class should cover anyone who enrolled since July 10, 2008. That's when the school first learned it might be in trouble.

The lawsuit says Mountain State told students it was in sound shape when it knew otherwise.

A spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit Thursday.

The private Beckley-based school has campuses in West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Mountain State is appealing the Higher Learning Commission's decision to withdraw general accreditation.

Pa. high court denies Orie Melvin request

A Pennsylvania state Supreme Court justice who is fighting political corruption charges has lost a request for her fellow justices to intervene in her criminal court case and require that an out-of-county judge preside over it.

The state Supreme Court issued the one-page order denying the request from suspended Justice Joan Orie Melvin on Tuesday. Melvin had sought to keep Allegheny County judges from hearing her case, complaining that one Allegheny County judge is married to a key prosecution witness, Lisa Sasinoski.

Melvin also had objected to a local district judge presiding over her preliminary hearing, saying the case may be too complex. Melvin asked her colleagues on the state Supreme Court to intervene after an Allegheny County judge denied her initial request.

Japan whistleblower sidelined despite court ruling

An employee at Japanese medical equipment maker Olympus said Wednesday
that his humiliating treatment has not changed despite a Supreme Court
ruling that his demotion for whistleblowing was illegal.

Masaharu Hamada said he is still isolated in the office and after last
month's court judgment is not given any work. His was the first
whistleblower case to reach Japan's highest court.

His lawyer Koichi Kozen said Hamada may have to file another lawsuit,
complaining of human rights violations. Japan remains behind Western
countries in penalizing companies that fail to abide by court rulings,
and some fines are so small companies would rather pay up than abide,
Kozen said.

"We would hope the company would respond quickly, but there has been
no response," Kozen said. "We want Mr. Hamada to get a new assignment,
where he can be happy."

Hamada, 51, an Olympus salesman with experience in the United States,
first sued in 2008, alleging punishment for relaying a supplier's
complaint.

He is considered a whistleblower in Japan because he raised questions
about colleagues' professional behavior and was subjected to bizarre
and humiliating punishment, such as taking rudimentary tests.

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