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December 14, 2011

Suit Over Towels Left in Abdomen Settled

Suit: Therapy Dog Denied Residence with Student

Medtronic Agrees to Pay $23.5M to Settle Kickback Allegations

Federal Judge Dismisses Suit by Troops Who Allege Rape

Victims of Ex-basketball Assistant Fine Sue Syracuse, Boeheim for defamation

Cameron Asks Court to Derail February BP Gulf Spill Trial

Doctors' Legal Remedies Can Defeat Online Attacks

More Texas Teens Die in Traffic Wrecks

NTSB: Ban Use of Cellphones While Driving

Insurance Claim Delays Deliver Massive Profits To Industry By Shorting Customers

 

 

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Laws/Cases

 

Suit Over Towels Left in Abdomen Settled

An Ohio man has been awarded $275,000 in a lawsuit against the federal government over two towels left inside him by doctors at a Veterans Administration hospital during a surgery. The plaintiff complained of stomach pains days after his kidney operation and a CAT scan revealed the two towels. As a result, the VA Medical Center in Cleveland, where the operation occurred, has purchased new equipment to better track surgical devices.  Douglas Stanglin, USA Today  12/14/2011

Read Article: USA Today    

 

Suit: Therapy Dog Denied Residence with Student

A student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney has filed a lawsuit against the school for denying her request to keep a therapy dog in her university apartment. The student, who has a psychological disability, uses the dog as part of her therapy, but the suit claims the university doesn't recognize therapy dogs under their policy for service animals in school buildings. The lawsuit said school officials called the dog a pet, despite medical documentation of the plaintiff's condition and the role the dog played in her treatment.  Allie Grasgreen, USA Today  12/13/2011

Read Article: USA Today    

 

Medtronic Agrees to Pay $23.5M to Settle Kickback Allegations

Medtronic Inc., the world’s largest maker of medical devices, has agreed to pay $23.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors to implant its pacemakers and defibrillators, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday. The government alleged that Medtronic caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid by using two post-market studies and two device registries as vehicles to pay illegal kickbacks to doctors.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  12/14/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Federal Judge Dismisses Suit by Troops Who Allege Rape

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen current and former service members who say they were raped and abused by their comrades. The suit was filed in February and named former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Donald H. Rumsfeld. Those who filed the suit said they wanted to force the Pentagon to change how it handles such cases. They say there is an atmosphere in the military conducive of rape and assaults. U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady in Alexandria, Va., says in an order dated Dec. 9 that the current and former troops don’t have a right to sue under the law they cited.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  12/14/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Victims of Ex-basketball Assistant Fine Sue Syracuse, Boeheim for defamation

Two men sued Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and the school for defamation Tuesday, saying they were vilified as liars out for money after they accused his longtime assistant of molesting them. Former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang said they were molested by Bernie Fine, who has since been fired and has denied the allegations. A third man also has accused the 65-year-old Fine, who had been Boeheim’s top assistant since 1976.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  12/14/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Cameron Asks Court to Derail February BP Gulf Spill Trial

Cameron International Corp. asked a federal appeals court to derail a trial set for February to determine which companies should be blamed for the 2010 BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameron, which made the blow-out prevention equipment used for the Macondo well, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to throw out the existing trial plan and rule that claims against the company should be tried before a jury. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing much of the spill litigation, has scheduled a nonjury trial for Feb. 27 in New Orleans to determine liability and apportion fault.  Margaret Cronin Fisk and Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg  12/14/2011

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Issues

 

Doctors' Legal Remedies Can Defeat Online Attacks

Reviews by patients have become common as blogs and review websites proliferate on the Internet. But doctors are seeking legal remedies to battle alleged online libel and defamation. Taking legal action against Internet posters is not always ideal, legal experts say. However, doctors who do so should be aware of how best to navigate the judicial process. Before claiming defamation, physicians should understand its meaning. Though gray areas exist, defamation generally is a statement that can be proven true or false, said Enrico Schaefer, an Internet defamation and copyright attorney who founded the law firm Traverse Legal PLC in California.  Alicia Gallegos, American Medical News  12/14/2011

Read Article: American Medical News    

 

More Texas Teens Die in Traffic Wrecks

More teenagers in Texas die in traffic accidents than in any other state. According to a report just released by Allstate, 556 teens lost their lives on Texas roadways in 2009. The report also said Texas needs to strengthen its teen driving laws. A lot has changed throughout the last 10 years when it comes to teen driving laws in Texas.  Erin Cargile, KXAN Austin News  12/14/2011

Read Article: KXAN Austin News    

 

NTSB: Ban Use of Cellphones While Driving

Texting, emailing or using a cellphone while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed anywhere, federal safety investigators declared Tuesday, recommending that all states impose a ban except for emergencies. Inspired by recent deadly crashes — including one in which a teenager sent or received 11 text messages in 11 minutes before an accident — the recommendation would apply even to hands-free devices, a much stricter rule than any current state law. The unanimous recommendation by the five-member National Transportation Safety Board would make an exception for devices deemed to aid driver safety such as GPS navigation systems.  Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News  12/14/2011

Read Article: The Dallas Morning News    

 

Insurance

 

Insurance Claim Delays Deliver Massive Profits To Industry By Shorting Customers

Unlike many other businesses, the insurance industry is bound by law to act in good faith with its customers. Because of their protective role in the lives of ordinary citizens, insurers have long operated as semi-public trusts. But since the mid-1990s, a new profit-hungry model, combined with weak regulation, has upended that ancient social contract.  Huffington Post, Center for Justice & Democracy  12/14/2011

Read Article: Center for Justice & Democracy    


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