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January 18, 2012

Suit: Casket Company Improperly Using School Logos

SC Supreme Court to Immediately Hear Lawsuit Challenging Charleston Cruise Industry

Top Ten Jury Verdicts of 2011

Plaintiffs Allege 'Gruesome Conditions' at Lap-Band Clinics

Lawsuit Charges That Tolland Boy Lost His Eyesight After Doctor Failed To Diagnose Meningitis

CA Blues Will Pay Los Angeles $2M in to Rescission Suit

Ore. AG: Philip Morris to Pay State $56M

Wichita Falls City Council Approves Wreck Settlement

Feds Challenge Credibility of Former BP Executive

Wal-Mart Seeks End to Refiled Gender-Bias Lawsuit

Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Applebee's Suit

Man Guilty of DUI Fatality Says Crash Not His Fault

Wind Turbines and Health Hazards

Once-Common Diseases Slipping Past Younger Doctors

 

 

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Laws/Cases

 

Suit: Casket Company Improperly Using School Logos

A Georgia company that has licensing contracts with the University of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit against a casket company that is using the OU logo on caskets. The lawsuit claims the casket company is "improperly using university logos." The lawsuit is seeking $75,000 in damages.  Staff Report, NewsOK.com  01/17/2012

Read Article: NewsOK.com    

 

SC Supreme Court to Immediately Hear Lawsuit Challenging Charleston Cruise Industry

The South Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to hear complaints brought by local residents, preservationists and an environmental group over Charleston’s expanded cruise industry. A lawsuit filed last year against Carnival Cruise Lines alleges, among other things, that the company’s vessels are a public nuisance in this historic city, that they amount to illegal hotel operations and that the liner’s signature red, white and blue smokestacks violate city sign ordinances. The court has agreed to hear the case without it first going to a lower one. No date for arguments has been set.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  01/18/2012

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Top Ten Jury Verdicts of 2011

The year’s top verdict went to a Philadelphia radiologist on his claim that a medical stent manufacturer willfully infringed his patent. The #2 award – the largest single plaintiff’s asbestos verdict in U.S. history – went to a Mississippi man who sued two companies for failing to warn of the dangers of asbestos particles he claimed he inhaled at work. (That award was vacated in December 2011.) And two of the Top Ten this year involved a rash of hepatitis C infections caused by contaminated vials of anesthetic at Las Vegas colonoscopy and endoscopy clinics, the same litigation that gave rise to the #1 verdict last year.  Lawyers USA Blog, Lawyers Weekly USA  01/18/2012

Read Article: Lawyers Weekly USA    

 

Plaintiffs Allege 'Gruesome Conditions' at Lap-Band Clinics

Workers at weight-loss surgery centers affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign persuaded patients to have medically unnecessary surgeries and billed insurance companies for procedures that were never performed, a new lawsuit alleges. Two women who formerly worked at surgery centers associated with the Lap-Band ad campaign also alleged that executives covered up mistakes that contributed to the Sept. 8 death of Paula Rojeski, a Lap-Band patient from Orange County.  Stuart Pfeifer, LA Times  01/18/2012

Read Article: LA Times    

 

Lawsuit Charges That Tolland Boy Lost His Eyesight After Doctor Failed To Diagnose Meningitis

A Tolland boy's family has sued his pediatrician, charging that she failed to diagnose his bacterial meningitis, resulting in his losing his eyesight. The boy, Adam Mlodzinski, and his mother say the then-7-year-old's complaints went nowhere when presented to Healthwise Medical Associates, doing business as Vernon Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and Dr. Judy Huang-Bulger, according to the complaint filed in Superior Court. Instead of recognizing that Adam had life-threatening bacterial meningitis Huang-Bulger first diagnosed Adam with an ear infection, the suit charges.  DENISE BUFFA, The Hartford Courant  01/18/2012

Read Article: The Hartford Courant    

 

CA Blues Will Pay Los Angeles $2M in to Rescission Suit

Blue Shield of California has agreed to pay $2 million to the city and county of Los Angeles to settle claims that the company improperly rescinded coverage from hundreds of sick members before 2008. Critics of the insurance industry accused insurers of using "post-claims underwriting" to avoid paying claims. They were accused of retroactively canceling coverage for members who became seriously ill, saving the insurer the cost of paying those members' expensive medical bills.  Emily Berry, American Medical News  01/18/2012

Read Article: American Medical News    

 

Ore. AG: Philip Morris to Pay State $56M

The Oregon AG says Philip Morris USA Inc., has agreed to pay $56 million to a state crime victims fund after more than a decade fighting punitive damages awarded to the family of a Portland smoker who died of cancer. The decision follows an Oregon Supreme Court ruling in December that rejected the tobacco giant's challenge to a portion of the punitive damages from a 1999 case. Under Oregon law, 60% of punitive damages go to a state fund to compensate crime victims and the rest goes to plaintiffs. Philip Morris paid $61 million to the family of Jesse Williams in 2009 while continuing to fight the state's share of damages.  Associated Press, Oregon Associated Press  01/18/2012

Read Article: Oregon Associated Press    

 

Wichita Falls City Council Approves Wreck Settlement

Wichita Falls city councilors Tuesday approved a $500,000 settlement related to the July 30 wreck involving former officer Teddie Whitefield. The wreck killed two local teenagers, Gloria Montoya, 13, and Yeni Lopez, 18, who was eight months pregnant. Texas Tort Claims Act laws put a limit of $500,000 per settlement.  Alyssa Johnston, Wichita Falls Times Record News  01/18/2012

Read Article: Wichita Falls Times Record News    

 

Feds Challenge Credibility of Former BP Executive

U.S. officials say a former BP executive was paid $107,000 a month to do consulting for a company lawyer, but allege the money may have been designed to influence her testimony during a deposition in litigation over the Gulf oil spill. The allegations were made in a court filing Tuesday by government lawyers who want to challenge her credibility at trial with the compensation details. The filing says she was "responsible in great part for actively preventing" implementation of essential safety programs on such rigs as the Deepwater Horizon that exploded, killing 11 workers and prompting the spill.  Associated Press, Houston Chronicle  01/18/2012

Read Article: Houston Chronicle    

 

Wal-Mart Seeks End to Refiled Gender-Bias Lawsuit

Women who refiled a gender discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc have failed to come to grips with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended their nationwide class action against the company, Wal-Mart argued in a court filing. Plaintiffs alleging the world's largest retailer denied them pay raises and promotions because of their gender are regrouping after the high court last year dismantled a class of up to 1.5 million current and former Wal-Mart workers. The Supreme Court's decision has since rippled out beyond Wal-Mart and curtailed the ability of plaintiffs to sue collectively in other cases.  Associated Press, Chicago Tribune  01/18/2012

Read Article: Chicago Tribune    

 

Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Applebee's Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from Applebee's International Inc. over a lawsuit filed by more than 5,500 bartenders and servers who claim they are being underpaid. The lawsuit claims that since the plaintiffs spent "more than 20%" of their hours cleaning and preparing, they should earn minimum wage for that time. "It's really a different occupation," said one of the lead lawyers in the lawsuit.  Tiffany Hsu, LA Times  01/17/2012

Read Article: LA Times    

 

Man Guilty of DUI Fatality Says Crash Not His Fault

A Florida man has filed a lawsuit claiming he was not to fault in a DUI accident that killed three people. The man, who pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter charges in August, claims that the driver of the vehicle he crashed into was responsible for causing the wreck. The suit is seeking compensation for medical bills incurred after the crash as well as pain and suffering.  Staff Report, United Press International  01/16/2012

Read Article: United Press International    

 

Issues

 

Wind Turbines and Health Hazards

There is no conclusive evidence so far that wind turbines are responsible for health problems ranging from balance problems to diabetes, an independent panel of health experts reports. With turbine farms on the rise, complaints and lawsuits brought by communities where they have been placed have mushroomed. Apart from more serious ailments, residents have cited the swooshing of the blades as a factor in problems like disturbances in the vestibular system that affect the inner ear and balance.  LESLIE KAUFMAN, The New York Times  01/18/2012

Read Article: The New York Times    

 

Healthcare

 

Once-Common Diseases Slipping Past Younger Doctors

As rates of now-preventable diseases have plummeted with the success of vaccines, infectious-disease experts worry that doctors no longer have the experience to diagnose them and that many parents now fear the vaccines more than the diseases. Younger doctors, according to a recent study, don't take vaccines as seriously as their older colleagues.  Lisa Pevtzow, Chicago Tribune  01/18/2012

Read Article: Chicago Tribune    


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