Shareholder Derivative Suit Against GM Over Ignition Switch Defect Dismissed By Delaware Chancery Court

Reportedly, GM Shareholders filed suit against the company in Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that the “board of directors did not perform its duty in preventing the mounting losses from the sale of vehicles with faulty and deadly ignition switches.” Specifically, the shareholders sought to recover “losses due to expenses, fines, lawsuits and damages to the company as a result of the 119 deaths and 234 injuries associated with faulty parts and a huge and costly recall.” GM filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock III.  Judge Glasscock found that “the GM board ‘did not consciously fail to monitor’ or oversee GM operations and thus he could not find ‘substantial likelihood of personal liability on the part of a majority of the board.'” Judge Glasscock also “concluded GM had adequate risk-assessment systems in place and there were not obvious problems or ‘red flags’ that the board knew of but ignored, nor was there evidence of bad faith on the part of the directors.” Apparently, Judge Glasscock’s decision could have impact outside of the Delaware case, as there are three “similar cases” pending in Michigan, which were “waiting for the outcome of the Delaware case.” We’ll keep our eyes on these cases for you.

Pink Panties v. Colonoscopy: Office Prank Gone Awry

According to a report from The Huffington Post, a Delaware man has filed suit after waking up from a medical procedure wearing women’s underwear.  The plaintiff, Andrew Walls, claims that surgeons from the Delaware Surgery Center dressed him in pink panties while he was under anesthesia to have a colonoscopy.  According to the complaint filed the the New Hanover (DE) Superior Court:

When the plaintiff recovered from the effects of the anesthesia administered by defendants, he awoke to realize that while he was unconscious pink women’s underwear had been placed on his body.  . . . When the plaintiff initially presented for his colonoscopy he had not been wearing pink women’s underwear and at no time did the plaintiff voluntarily, knowingly or intentionally place the pink women’s underwear upon himself.

Walls was apparently an employee of the medical facility and the underwear switch was a part of an office prank.  Nonetheless, Walls claims that he suffered from severe emotional distress as a result of the 2012 incident which ultimately cost him his job.

We here at Abnormal Use understand how Walls might be angry by the office prank gone wrong.  Even good natured fun can cross the line at times.  However, is waking up in pink panties really lawsuit worthy and, if so, what are his damages?  It would certainly be unnerving to undergo surgery and wake up wearing someone else’s underwear, men’s or women’s.  But, in the context of an office prank, it loses some of its bite. In this case, Wall already subjected himself to having his co-workers conduct the colonoscopy – probably the most humiliating procedure in the book.  How emotionally traumatized can one be over some lacy underwear after that?  We can appreciate the anger, but mental anguish to the point he can’t function on the job is going to be difficult to prove.

With that said, we appreciate the fact that no one wants to be on the wrong end of a prank – particularly during a medical procedure.  Walls has every right to be miffed.  Somewhere in the Hippocratic Oath it states that, co-workers or not, people should trust a medical staff not to dress them up in pink panties during a medical procedure.  However, the legal standard states that it is hard to recover with no damages.