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Watercooler Stories

Jan. 17, 2008 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Man sues after rectal exam arrest

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A New York man who was arrested after loudly protesting a rectal exam is suing the hospital for malpractice.

Brian Persaud visited New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell in May 2003 after he was struck in the head by a plank while working at a construction site, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

Hospital records say Persaud was "alert and oriented times three" when he arrived at the hospital and was informed that he would need a rectal exam.

Persaud objected loudly to undergoing the procedure and smacked a doctor during the struggle, leading to his sedation and arrest.

The rectal exam was performed while Persaud was sedated.

The charges against the construction worker were later dropped and he filed a malpractice suit against the hospital for forcing the procedure on him.

"This poor guy goes in for eight stitches and he ends up in jail," said his lawyer, Gerard Marrone. "He had the right to say no."


Cat's 'wellness plan' alive after it dies

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Chicago woman is upset she's on the hook to pay monthly bills for a veterinary "wellness plan" for her cat months after the animal died.

Sarah Harper, 29, told the Los Angeles Times she paid an enrollment fee last year of $69.95 and agreed to $16.95 monthly payments to Banfield, the Pet Hospital, for her cat to receive regular vaccinations, exams and discounts on a variety of veterinary services.

Her cat died in October, and when she contacted Banfield, was told she's locked into a one-year contract regardless.

"Charging for his healthcare after he's dead? That's just evil," she said.

Banfield spokeswoman Kathy Baumgardner said the company doesn't sell the packages as insurance, the Times said.

"This is an issue we run into once in a while, when a client hasn't read the contract," Baumgardner said.

Banfield is the largest chain of veterinarian operators with 655 facilities nationwide, mostly attached to PetSmart pet-supply stores, the Times said.


Artist dumps 500,000 balls in Rome

ROME, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- An Italian activist and artist faces charges after dumping 500,000 small red plastic balls down Rome's Spanish Steps.

Graziano Cecchini and volunteer helpers tipped over barrels releasing the balls early Wednesday, angering city officials, the ANSA news agency reported.

Cecchini said the stunt was an artistic protest of lies he claims the government tells. ANSA said the Italian word for ball is "palle," which can also mean lies.

Police cordoned off the area and called in city sanitation workers to scoop up the balls with nets, the report said.

A police spokesman said Cecchini would likely be fined for creating a mess in a public place, and fined the amount it cost to clean up.

City hall official Jean Leonard Touadi was angry as he surveyed the cleanup.

"This behavior is not acceptable," he said. "Trying to get publicity at the expense of the city's image is not funny."


Celebrity chef livid over regular egg use

LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has vowed "heads will roll" after one of his restaurants used regular eggs instead of free-range eggs.

The timing of the revelation was embarrassing, as it came days after a critical documentary he did about the commercial egg industry, "Jamie's Fowl Dinners," aired on national television, The Mirror reported.

Oliver is trustee of the 15 Foundation charity and founder of all four Fifteen restaurants that employ trainee chefs from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Adding further to Oliver's embarrassment, it was a chicken farmer eating at the Fifteen Cornwall restaurant who recognized the so-called battery chicken eggs in the kitchen and photographed them with his cell phone, the report said.

"I am speechless. We have cast iron rules on what any chef can and cannot buy in all Fifteens," Oliver told the Mirror. "I've never been so disappointed. Heads will roll."

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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