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April 27, 2011

Toyota Recalls 51,000 Trucks to Fix Drive Shaft

Nissan Recalls Vehicles with Corrosion Risks

Two Suits Against Williamson County Allege Abuse

Jury Returns $13.8M Judgment Against Credit Repair Firm, Owner

Lawyers Seek to Depose Combs on Data Security Lapse

Court Vacates One Award Against EchoStar, Affirms Another

Former Silicosis Clients Sue Law Firm, Estate

Judge OKs $12.4M Deal in 2003 Oil Spill

Abbott Labs Sued on Claim Humira Caused Lasting Nerve Damage

$30M Judgment in Lawsuit Against Nebraska Broker

Judge Voids BankAtlantic Investor Lawsuit Verdict

Family Cries Foul After Fatal Bacterial Infection in Grapevine

 

 

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Announcements

 

TTLA Annual Conference has moved to June 1-3 in Austin

We’ll be hosting all the events you’ve come to expect from our December conference. Between the 2-day CLE, parties, meetings, legislative update & special events, you’ll leave the live music capital of the world feeling energized, connected, and bad to the bone! Check out the CLE program agendas for Wednesday and Thursday, which include a live video presentation with David Ball plus family friendly events to make this a true vacation opportunity. Click on the headline to register!  

 

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BP reports profit of $7.2 billion, Posted on April 27, 2011, Fuelfix Blog, Houston Chronicle. LONDON — BP PLC posted a 16 percent rise in first-quarter net profits on Wednesday as gains from the sale of major assets to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill outweighed the ongoing cost of that disaster. Click on headline to read more.  

 

Products

 

Toyota Recalls 51,000 Trucks to Fix Drive Shaft

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced a recall of 51,000 Tundra pickups due to a potentially defective drive shaft. The company reported that part of the truck's rear drive shaft could break due to improper casting during the manufacturing stage. Toyota said it is aware of one instance in which the drive shaft failed, but no injuries occurred.  Jonathan Welsh, WSJ Blogs  04/26/2011

Read Article: WSJ Blogs    

 

Nissan Recalls Vehicles with Corrosion Risks

Nissan has issued a recall of 195,991 Infiniti QX4 and Nissan Pathfinder vehicles due to potential corrosion caused by salted roads. The company said that in cold-weather states, road salt may cause corrosion problems that could interfere with steering. The corrosion could eventual lead to the steering column breaking off completely.  Staff Report, United Press International  04/25/2011

Read Article: United Press International    

 

Laws/Cases

 

Two Suits Against Williamson County Allege Abuse

Two federal lawsuits filed against Williamson County this month both allege abuse by sheriff's deputies one by a woman who says a deputy broke her hip in the county jail, another by a man who claims deputies broke his collarbone.  Claire Osborn , Austin American Statesman  04/27/2011

Read Article: Austin American Statesman    

 

Jury Returns $13.8M Judgment Against Credit Repair Firm, Owner

A Harris County jury has returned a $13.8M verdict against a credit repair business and its owner, finding they defrauded indebted Texans and failed to register with authorities in violation of state law. The jury found that Jubilee Financial Management LLC, The Credit Card Solution, Freedom from Debt Alliance and Robert M. Lindsey used illegal "debt invalidation" schemes that purported to help financially struggling Texans. The AG's office said the defendants assured customers they could eliminate their credit card debts and restore their credit ratings.  ROBERT STANTON, Houston Chronicle  04/26/2011

Read Article: Houston Chronicle    

 

Lawyers Seek to Depose Combs on Data Security Lapse

Two Austin lawyers with the Texas Civil Rights Project announced they have taken legal action against the Texas Comptroller over a security lapse that exposed 3.5M Texans’ personal information, including names, addresses and Social Security numbers, for about a year online without protection. The lawyers haven’t filed a lawsuit, but rather a petition to seek depositions in a possible lawsuit. The proceeding would allow them to get information on who has liability for the security lapse. They have asked a Travis County district court to allow them to question Combs and a designated representative of her office under oath.  Colllin Eaton, Austin American Statesman  04/26/2011

Read Article: Austin American Statesman    

 

Court Vacates One Award Against EchoStar, Affirms Another

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, ruling en banc, has vacated a $110 million award against EchoStar Corp. for continued infringement of TiVo Inc.'s patents after a permanent injunction and clarified the contempt standards in patent infringement cases. The April 20 ruling in TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Corp. also affirmed Eastern District of Texas Chief Judge David Folsom's $90 million award against EchoStar as a sanction for its contempt finding.  Sheri Qualters, Texas Lawyer  04/27/2011

Read Article: Texas Lawyer    

 

Former Silicosis Clients Sue Law Firm, Estate

A group of 187 former clients of the O'Quinn Law Firm has sued the Houston firm, the late John M. O'Quinn's estate and others, alleging the defendants overcharged them for expenses in silicosis suits, failed to distribute some silicosis settlements and communicate information about them, and were negligent in handling claims against some bankrupt silica defendants.  Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, Texas Lawyer  04/27/2011

Read Article: Texas Lawyer    

 

Judge OKs $12.4M Deal in 2003 Oil Spill

A Suffolk County Superior Court judge has approved a $12.4 million settlement for hundreds of property owners affected by the Bouchard oil spill that affected parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastlines. Judge Raymond Brassard signed off on the agreement after a review of the settlement. Uner the terms of the agreement, more than 800 property owners with an interest in the oiled beaches will receive between $5,000 to $30,000 for the loss of the use of the beaches in April 2003.  Associated Press, Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required  04/27/2011

Read Article: Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required($)    

 

Abbott Labs Sued on Claim Humira Caused Lasting Nerve Damage

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) was sued on claims that its top-selling drug Humira caused permanent nerve damage in the feet of a Montana woman who took it for Crohn’s disease. Two doctors who treated Kara Mae Pletan at the Mayo Clinic in 2008 said the nerve damage in her feet “was most likely due to Humira,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed today in state court in Chicago, near the company’s headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois.  Laurel Brubaker Calkins & Margaret Cronin Fisk , Bloomberg  04/27/2011

Read Article: Bloomberg    

 

$30M Judgment in Lawsuit Against Nebraska Broker

A federal judge awarded $30 million Monday to more than 200 investors who claim they were defrauded by a pair of Nebraska City brokers. The decision came in a class-action lawsuit filed in 2007 by former clients of Rebecca Engle and Brian Schuster in U.S. District Court in Omaha. It accuses them of improperly selling risky investments.  TIMBERLY ROSS, Bloomberg  04/27/2011

Read Article: Bloomberg    

 

Judge Voids BankAtlantic Investor Lawsuit Verdict

Overturning a jury verdict, a federal judge has rejected claims by investors that BankAtlantic Bancorp. executives in 2007 intentionally made misleading statements about the bank's financial health. U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro found there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict that investors overpaid by $2.41 per share for BankAtlantic stock during much of 2007.  CURT ANDERSON, AP, Bloomberg  04/27/2011

Read Article: Bloomberg    

 

Healthcare

 

Family Cries Foul After Fatal Bacterial Infection in Grapevine

Despite the threat posed by MRSA infections community-based facilities in Texas are not required to report such cases to local, state or federal health officials. Nor are hospitals required to report cases or notify residents of the same facility. Only 10 states have legislation specifically regarding MRSA, a bacterium that killed 15,249 people in 2008, according to the CDC. Although Texas approved an information reporting system for hospital-acquired infections in 2007, it was never funded.  Jan Jarvis, Fort Worth Star-Telegram  04/27/2011

Read Article: Fort Worth Star-Telegram    


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