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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Courts - Two interesting non-Indiana opinions today from 7th Circuit

Pella Corp. v. Saltzman, et al - 11-page, Per curiam:

Pella Corporation manufactures windows for homes and sells them through its subsidiary, Pella Windows and Doors, Inc. (collectively “Pella”). Over the last 18 years, Pella has sold more than six million aluminum-clad wood “ProLine” casement windows nationwide. Plaintiffs, owners of structures containing the windows in question, allege that the windows contain a design defect that permits water to seep behind the aluminum cladding and causes the wood to rot at an accelerated rate. In response to the number of windows needing replacement, Pella created the “Pella ProLine Customer Service Enhancement Program” to compensate affected customers. According to Plaintiffs, Pella attempted to modify its warranty through the program but never informed the end consumers of the program’s existence or of the defect. Plaintiffs brought suit against Pella, alleging that it committed consumer fraud by not publicly declaring the role that the purported design defect plays in allowing rot. After the district court certified two classes of plaintiffs, Pella sought permission to appeal the certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f). We grant Pella’s Rule 23(f) petition for permission to appeal and affirm the district court’s decision certifying the classes.
FTC v. Kevin Trudeau is a 16-page opinion from Judge Tinder. Here's a quote:
Trudeau is before us again. This time he’s been sentenced to thirty days in jail after he was found in direct criminal contempt of court for his conduct during the civil contempt proceedings. (We discussed the difference between civil and criminal contempt in our prior opinion in this case, id. at 769.) Trudeau, it seems, exhorted his devoted radio audience to send e-mails on his behalf directly to the court e-mail address of the district judge presiding over his case; he posted the radio broadcast on his web site, and followed it up with an e-mail blast asking his e-mail list to send e-mails to the judge. The district judge had not asked for any letters and the judge had not (he thought) made his e-mail address publicly available (it turns out Northwestern University Law School had listed it on its web site; the judge is an adjunct professor there). He was, therefore, surprised to see e-mail after e-mail come pouring into his inbox. He was also nervous. Most of the e-mails were polite and enthusiastic (“If loving the values Kevin Trudeau creates for society is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!”), but some had threatening overtones (“Leave kevin and his right to free spach alone. I wish carma on your soul this very moment. may god touch you today.” [sic throughout] and “More people than you know are keeping a close eye on this case, not just the special interests who will benefit from Kevin’s silence, but every-day regular people. We know that if he can be persecuted, so can we. We are awake to the tyranny slowly and quietly creeping into our society. We are watching.”). The judge alerted the marshal to the e-mails coming to his account, and the marshal performed a threat assessment to determine whether the judge was in danger. The judge received over 300 e-mails within a span of 36 or so hours.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2010 10:45 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions