Southern California breaking news and trends

Blinded by the Knight? Medieval Times sued after sparks fly in Buena Park

niXerKG via Flickr

The White & Black Knight vs the Yellow & Red Knight send sparks flying during a battle at a Medieval Times in Schaumburg, IL in 2012.

R. Rex Parris

The Wiseman's at Medieval Times in Buena Park

R. Rex Parris

Dustin Wiseman's blinded left eye.

R. Rex Parris

Melissa and Dustin Wiseman on their wedding day.

A newlywed couple spent a few extra dollars to sit close to the action at the Medieval Times in Buena Park last year. But when sparks flew off the swords of the mounted knights, metal lodged into the eye of the new husband and blinded him, according to a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed in Orange County.

Lawyers representing Dustin and Melissa Wiseman argue that the Texas-based entertainment restaurant did not take sufficient measures to protect its patrons from being injured. They pointed to the titanium swords used by actors who pretend to be knights. In order to produce the sparks, they say, little bits of metal have to fly off the swords.

Typically, netting is lowered to stop the shavings from striking the audience. But the netting wasn't lowered far enough according to Jason Fowler of The R. Rex Parris Law Firm who is representing Wiseman.


ACLU lawsuit claims DA, sheriff supress evidence of deputy-on-inmate violence

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Mark Rosenbaum, ALCU/SC chief counsel, announces lawsuit against the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and the Sheriff's department.

The ACLU of Southern California announced Tuesday a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office is hiding and withholding evidence that could help an inmate facing charges of assault against a deputy.

The lawsuit alleges that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department hides evidence of deputy assaults on jail inmates by filing complaints improperly. The ACLU says complaint reports against deputies are not filed in deputy employment folders. Instead, they are filed in the folder of whichever inmate submitted the compliant. Therefore, when searching for a deputy’s record of previous alleged assaults or investigations, the ACLU says the search comes up blank or incomplete.

“The response by the Sherriff’s Department is 'we have no such file.' We have no such information because that information has been buried, deliberately buried,” said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel for the ACLU/SC. 


Ashton Kutcher co. sues DMV for backing out of TV contract


Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

People wait in line outside of CA Dept. of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles.

With a lawsuit filed this week, dreams of an Ashton Kutcher-produced DMV show have crashed headfirst into the tent-pole of reality television programming.  

Ashton Kutcher's production company, Katalyst Media Inc., sued the California Department of Motor Vehicles for breach of contract accusing the agency of backing out of a reality series focused on the government agency and its parallel parking patrons. 

The company, which produced Kutcher's show "Punk'd" and some of the actor's other projects, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles claiming it's owed more than $1.4 million on the deal. According to the filing, the DMV peeled out of the program on claims the show was no longer in the agency's best interests.

Katalyst says the series had already been promised to the TruTV channel. The DMV does not comment on active lawsuits, said spokesman Mike Marando.


Bogart vs. Burberry: The beginning of a beautiful lawsuit

Humphrey Bogart

AP Photo

A studio publicity photo of actors Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a scene from the 1943 classic film "Casablanca."

Of all the trench coats, in all the towns, in all the world, they had to promote mine.

The company controlling Humphrey Bogart's publicity rights is suing the British clothing company Burberry for using the actor's name and image without permission to promote a trench coat via social media.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Bogart LLC, alleges that Burberry Group PLC used the iconic Hollywood star's name and image for "the express purpose of commercially linking their Burberry brand and products to the persona and character of Humphrey Bogart in the minds of (Burberry's) potential and actual customers," notes an official release.

"This is such an incredibly disappointing and disrespectful action by Burberry," said Stephen Bogart, son of the Hollywood legend.  "Apparently they believe a shoe company can advertise the fact that Brad Pitt wore its brand while jogging down the street, or a beverage company can claim George Clooney drank its product in one of his movies – all without even asking, much less obtaining, the actors' permission. 


The proof is in the... Stallone pudding lawsuit

stallone pudding high protein low carb

Product advertising

At the center of a years-long pudding mix up is Pasadena inventor William Brescia and Sylvester Stallone.

The convoluted story goes something like this: In the salad days, Brescia hired a marketing executive and food scientist to help develop a bodybuilding pudding. 

Then the actor of Rocky fame and a business partner started the nutritional supplement company Instone, and became somehow involved. Trade secret accusations came next. Followed by assertions that the secrets were just common knowledge.

Somewhere in middle of all this a "Sylvester Stallone Pudding" happened.

Then it was "breach of contract" this, and "misappropriation" that, and then there was suing and trials and appealing and settling and reversed decisions and this has been going on since 2004.

Today, less than two weeks after a state appeals court panel reversed the $4.9 million award given to Brescia (when his scientist and marketing cohorts were found jointly liable during a 2008 jury trial), the plaintiff's attorney told a judge on Friday that the case may soon settle to avoid another trial.