In January, an appeals court in Newark, N.J., reinstated Doris Sexton's worker-compensation lawsuit against a county-owned nursing home where Sexton had claimed that breathing a co-worker's perfume one day in 2004 had made her permanently disabled and tethered to an oxygen tank. A lower court had decided that it was far more likely that her disability was caused by Sexton's 43-year, pack-a-day cigarette habit than by the brief exposure to perfume.
Inadvertently, Raed Jarrar, 30, made his August 2006 airline flight from New York to Oakland, Calif., pay off handsomely for him, despite some inconvenience and harassment. Jarrar, an Iraqi-born U.S. resident married to an American citizen, was wearing a T-shirt with Arabic lettering at the JetBlue gate at JFK airport when the airline denied him boarding. After negotiating, he was allowed to board provided he cover the shirt and sit in the back row. In January 2009, JetBlue and two officials of the Transportation Security Administration agreed to pay Jarrar $240,000 to settle his racial profiling lawsuit. (The T-shirt read "We Will Not Be Silent" and was in both English and Arabic.)