Ice House

November's Perfect Party: Everybody's Suing Somebody Edition

Some legit lawsuits, some not-so-legit

By Catherine Matusow October 30, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Not involved in a lawsuit? You may well be in the minority in these parts. There’s all the Harvey suits being filed—for starters, by homeowners in the path of the Addicks/Barker reservoir release, first responders in the path of the Arkema fire in Crosby (“Toxicity is a relative thing,” company exec Richard Rennard probably now regrets saying at the time), and residents of Sweeny (including lead plaintiff Neal Bess Jr.) in the path of waters they say Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. diverted from their own facilities into area neighborhoods. In non-hurricane news, Pasadena finally dropped its appeal of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s successful lawsuit—led by Nina Perales, the fund’s L.A.-based VP of litigation—on behalf of the city’s Latino voters, and thank goodness. Also, tiny octogenarian Marlene Spencer is suing a Webster-area Red Lobster for allegedly allowing her to get so hammered that she broke multiple bones in the parking lot (and yes, we know it’s wrong that we want to hang out with her). Okay, this one doesn’t involve a lawsuit, but we are powerless in the face of its majesty; attorney/Trump-fundraiser host Tony Buzbee bought a World War II–era tank and parked it on his front lawn, right on River Oaks Boulevard, inciting fury from his neighbors, who would no doubt sue him if they could. And finally, Tilman Fertitta, who cried when he officially became the new owner of the Rockets last month after purchasing the team for $2.2 billion—we want to like you, Tilman, we really do—is being sued for animal cruelty by local activist Cheryl Conley, over the too-small underground quarters where, for years, his Downtown Aquarium has housed its four white tigers. You have got to fix this, man. We know you will.

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