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April's Top Verdicts Feature Acid and Fertility Fraud

From acidic hate crimes to alleged fertility fraud, here are some notable verdicts from last month.

Most Acidic Verdict: Milwaukee Jury Convicts Man for Tossing Acid in Immigrant’s Face

gavel 3577254 1920Clifton Blackwell, of Milwaukee, was convicted of a hate crime after throwing acid in the face of a Peruvian immigrant, according to an article from WISN 12, an ABC Affiliate. As such, Blackwell was convicted of “first-degree reckless injury as a hate crime.” Blackwell said he threw the sulfuric acid drain cleaner in the face of the man, Mahud Villalaz, who is actually a U.S. citizen, in self-defense after an altercation regarding where Villalaz parked his car.

Most Woodsy Verdict: Oregon Court of Appeals Reverses $1.1B Jury Award in Battle Over State Timber

The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a verdict awarding timber counties and tax districts $1.1 billion, according to an article from Oregon Public Broadcasting. The initial award came as Oregon loggers said they were owed the money as compensation for lost revenue after donating land to the state. However, the court said the state is permitted to use the 700,000 acres of land for all sorts of activities including recreational and wildlife-related, and the value of the land is not tied exclusively to logging revenue. An appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court is expected.

Most Deceptive Verdict: Ex-doctor Liable for Fertility Fraud for Using His Own Semen to Impregnate Women 

Former Dr. Paul Jones and the fertility clinic he worked for were held liable for $8.7 million in damages after Jones allegedly secretly used his own semen to impregnate women seeking services at the clinic, according to an article from CBS News. Jones gave up his license to practice medicine in 2019. At least nine individuals believe they are the offspring of Jones, and said they discovered as much after taking commercial DNA tests.

Most Military Verdict: Air Force General Convicted On Sex Charges in First-of-its-kind Trial

Maj. Gen. William Cooley was tried and convicted in the first-ever military trial of an Air Force general, according to an article from Politico. Cooley was convicted by a judge of “one of three specifications of abusive sexual contact,” according to the article. The general was charged after receiving a ride home from a civilian woman following a barbeque in New Mexico approximately four years ago.

Most Unhealthy Verdict: NYS Court of Appeals Tosses $16.5M Cancer Verdict Based on Lack of Evidence

New York state’s Court of Appeals overturned a $16.5 million verdict in a case brought by Florence Nemeth and her widower after the woman died from cancer, according to an article from Reuters. Nemeth and her husband said Florence developed mesothelioma from using “asbestos-contaminated products” made by Whittaker, Clark & Daniels for cosmetic powder, although, the Court found there was insufficient evidence tying her death to the products. Initially, a state court jury ruled in favor of Nemeth in 2017, assigning half the liability to Whittaker and half to Shulton Inc, the cosmetic company that made the product in question.

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