Lawyers representing the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa withdrew special defenses Monday in a lawsuit involving a woman who was raped at gunpoint in the hotel's parking garage in front of her children. In court documents, the hotel originally argued that the woman was negligent and "failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities," reported the Stamford Advocate. Four other "special defenses" were also outlined in court documents, including that the woman, known as "Jane Doe," and her children failed to "mitigate their damages."
Attorneys for Jane Doe released a statement regarding the special defenses that stated,
"Under the facts of this case, blaming the victim is without any justification whatsoever. It never had any place in this litigation and it has re-traumatized the victim," reported the Connecticut Post. A lawyer for Mariott’s insurance company told the Connecticut Post that "no one wants to blame this woman for this" and that lawyers had not completed a deposition of the victim when they filed the claims. "We did not know what actually transpired in the garage that day," he said.
Jane Doe's lawsuit against Mariott alleges that the hotel did not appropriately monitor the parking lot, train employees in security, or take sufficient security precautions, according to the Associated Press. Her attacker, Gary Fricker, pled guilty to aggravated sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping, and risk of injury to a minor and is currently serving 20 years in prison.
Media Resources: Connecticut Post 8/17/09; Stamford Advocate 8/14/09; Associated Press 8/17/09
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .