A 61-year-old man in southern Sweden beat a drunken-driving charge in February even though his blood-alcohol was five times over the legal limit. The man told the judge he is a hearty drinker and normally starts imbibing before work every day, with “no effect” on his performance. According to the newspaper, that must have impressed the judge, who tossed out the charge.
A longtime high school teacher of French and Spanish is suing the Mariemont, Ohio, school district for having pressured her to resign in the face of what she calls her phobia, a “fear of kids” disorder, which she says should be protected by disability-discrimination law. Maria Waltherr-Willard, 61, had been reassigned to teach some junior high students, but doctors said she suffered hypertension, nightmares, chest pains and vomiting when around the younger-age children.
The trees did it?
In September 2010, a speeding, intoxicated driver ran a stop sign near Dade City, Fla., ran off a highway, and rammed two trees along a private road, instantly killing himself and his passenger. In January, the estate of the passenger filed a lawsuit for wrongful death, charging the residents along the private road with letting the trees grow in a dangerous location where they could be easily hit, especially since the residents had failed to light the area adequately. “How it’s our fault, I have no idea,” said one surprised resident, who noted that the neighborhood had mourned the strangers at the time of the crash.
Speedy mail delivery
A 53-year-old postal worker in Rosenheim, Germany, was relieved of criminal charges in January when a judge ruled him innocent of discarding mail after concluding that the carrier finished routes early simply because he worked faster. Although the charge was dropped, he was reprimanded for taking unauthorized — that is, simpler — routes.
Twist of faith?
Faith healer Ariel Ben Sherman, 78, died in November in a South Carolina hospital after suffering respiratory arrest while being treated for small-cell cancer. He had been found guilty in May 2012 of neglect in the cancer death of a 15-year-old girl for his insistence that the girl’s mother reject medical care and treat the girl only with prayer.
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