Controversial lawsuit protection pulled from Florida ‘eyeball wars’ compromise

By Matt Dixon TALLAHASSEE -- A Senate panel pulled a hotly contested measure Tuesday from legislation touted as the peace accord to end the nearly four-decade-long “eyeball wars.” The skirmish put certified optometrists, who think they should be able to prescribe medicine to patients, at odds with eye doctors — ophthalmologists — who say only they are qualified. The compromise would give the optometrists what they want and hand the Florida Medical Association, which represents ophthalmologists, long sought lawsuit protections. Read more at … [Read more...]

SoBe Entertainment record head accused of toe-sucking, sexual assault in performer’s lawsuit

By Michael E. Miller Thursday, Mar 1 2012 What do an aspiring pop star, a South Beach music mogul, Florida's most powerful lobbyist, and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade have in common? They're all involved in one of the most bizarre, sordid recording-industry lawsuits ever filed in Miami-Dade County, complete with allegations of backstabbing, unsolicited foot-licking, and sexual assault. The sketchy court affair began last October, when up-and-coming pop singer Phyllisia Ross sued SoBe Entertainment International LLC. The gorgeous, mocha-skinned Haitian-American with a soaring voice claimed the record company had blown its promises and broken the terms of her contract. She also said SoBe Entertainment blocked her from signing with Haitian hip-hop star Wyclef Jean's … [Read more...]

Occupy Orlando supporter files federal lawsuit over arrest for writing on sidewalk

By Jon Busdeker, Orlando Sentinel An Occupy Orlando supporter arrested for writing on a sidewalk in December has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Orlando. Timothy Osmar, 26, filed a suit in U.S. District Court this month that claims a city ordinance prohibiting writing advertisements on streets and sidewalks was unconstitutionally applied to him. Osmar claims the city's acts of enforcement are "clearly content-based prohibitions of speech that is protected under the First Amendment.",0,1798241.story … [Read more...]

Drug Testing Bill Targets Florida State Workers, Excludes Lawmakers

By Arthur Delaney A Florida state lawmaker is pushing a bill requiring state agencies to test their workers for drugs. But the bill wouldn't mandate testing for all public sector employees; members of the Florida legislature would get a pass. Rep. Jimmie Smith (R-Lecanto), the bill's sponsor, said he supports drug testing for lawmakers, but requiring them to pee in cups like everyone else would violate their constitutional rights. In an email to The Huffington Post, Smith cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 1997 decision in Chandler v. Miller, which struck down tests for political candidates in Georgia. … [Read more...]

Banks Colluding with Insurers to Rip Off Homeowners, Lawsuit Alleges

by Cora Currier, ProPublica A class-action lawsuit in Florida that moved forward this week highlights a little-appreciated aspect of the housing market — the cozy relationship between banks and insurance companies that often results in overpriced home insurance for already struggling borrowers. As American Banker reported, a federal judge in Miami on Tuesday opened the door to a class action against Wells Fargo. More than 20,000 Florida homeowners can now sue Wells Fargo and an insurance company, QBE, for allegedly overcharging for insurance. More than $50 million in insurance premiums are at issue, according to American Banker. … [Read more...]