Entertainment

Judge Allows Kids to Sue ‘Empire’ For Filming At Their Jail

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BY SUSAN JOHNES

It is hard to judge the actual quality of the 21st Century Fox “Empire,” which has faced numerous legal plate at the moment, in particular, sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

The film is written and directed by Danny Strong who comes up with new scenes every season. Empire is a series about a feuding music-industry family led by Lucious Lyon and plays out new angles on the central theme of conflict.

However, recently an Illinois federal judge refused to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit over the way Empire shot a scene using a detention center in the summer of 2015.

In August 2016, two minors brought a 12-count complaint alleging that officers at the “Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center” intentionally put the place on lockdown to shoot some scenes and film some episodes.

The plaintiffs say they were restrained in a room at the detention center. They sat there for several days and at the end, they were deprived ordinary school, their recreation yard, access to the library, the infirmary and the chapel.

The two minors’ further state that during that time, their requests were ignored including a denial of their family to visit them.

The kids reported that most of them were incarcerated, with a majority diagnosed with a mental disorder due to the lockdowns that they claim were psychologically damaging.

The U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve wrote an opinion supporting the Plaintiffs’ allegations regarding the denial of access to the infirmary and the rejected sick-call requests. Eve noted that it was an actionable claim.

St. Eve decided that the plaintiffs had failed to sufficiently allege that the Fox Defendants and the government Defendants reached an understanding to deny the juvenile detainees’ constitutional rights. Eve stated that the officials were acting as Fox agents.

However, she allowed the plaintiffs to try again against Fox concerning a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On their defense, the plaintiffs argued that they were protected by qualified immunity which shields government officials from civil damages liability.

However, St. Eve decided that the plaintiffs’ allegations “fall squarely” within protections. She observed that the Defendants had no legitimate governmental reason for the lockdowns that took place in June, July, and August 2015.

Read the original story here.

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