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  January 9, 2013

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Utilizing a Qualified Settlement Fund: what are they, how they work, and when they should be considered


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FDIC Capping Amount of Money Insured in IOLTA Accounts Starting Jan. 1, 2013

Excerpt from Texas Lawyer: Starting on Jan. 1, lawyers need to take extra steps to protect clients’ money in their Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA). Lawyers holding more than $250,000 for a client in such an account need to research the bank to ensure it won’t fail or consider depositing the cash in multiple IOLTA accounts at separate banks. For the past two years, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has insured an unlimited amount of money in IOLTA accounts, but starting in the New Year, the FDIC will only insure up to $250,000 per client per bank, says Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the administrator of the IOLTA program in Texas. Click on the headline to learn more.  





San Bruno Explosion Lawsuit Settlement Requires New PG&E Safety Measures

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PG&E must strengthen its gas pipeline safety regimen as part of a lawsuit settlement with a family that lost a mother and daughter in the deadly 2010 explosion, an attorney said Tuesday. The agreement with the Greig family forces the utility to keep a closer eye on the life span of its pipelines, which will help prevent another San Bruno-type disaster, said family attorney Steve Campora. Pacific Gas & Electric also made a payment to the family as part of the September settlement, but the exact amount is confidential.
Joshua Melvin, Contra Costa Times 01/09/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Supreme Court Considers State’s Quest for One-Third of Girl’s Med-Mal Settlement

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Justices heard oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, according to McClatchy Newspapers and SCOTUSblog, which previewed the case. Armstrong, of Taylorsville, N.C., was injured at birth, allegedly as a result of medical malpractice. She is deaf and blind and suffers from cerebral palsy. Her parents sued and obtained $2.8 million in a 2006 settlement. Lawyers for North Carolina say the state spent more than $1.9 million in Medicaid funds providing care for the girl, and it’s entitled to one-third of the settlement. North Carolina makes the claim under a state law permitting it to seize the lesser of: one-third of a med-mal settlement, or the total Medicaid spending on a patient. The federal Medicaid law, however, bars state governments from imposing liens on Medicaid patients’ property. The federal law has been interpreted to bar liens on portions of a settlement that don’t cover medical costs, such as pain and suffering. The settlement in Emily Armstrong’s case doesn’t have a breakdown of how much was attributable to medical costs.
Debra Cassens Weiss, American Bar Association Journal 01/09/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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AIG Board to Weigh Joining $25B Shareholder Lawsuit Against US

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AIG is considering Wednesday whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse. American International Group Inc. said its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government’s $182 billion bailout of the New York-based insurer. If AIG decides to join the complaint, which seeks $25 billion in damages, it would pit the company against the government that in 2008 kept it from buckling under the weight huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets.
Associated Press, The Washington Post 01/09/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Suit: School Gave Student Drug without Permission

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The mother of a second-grade Cincinnati student has filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging school officials gave the boy a drug without permission that put him in the hospital. The suit alleges that a school aide gave the boy an anti-hyperactivity pill that was not prescribed to him, causing "rapid heartbeat, excessive blinking, involuntary movement of his limbs and labored breathing." The mother is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit.
Janice Morse, USA Today 01/09/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Police Taser Suit Tossed in West Virginia

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A federal judge in West Virginia has dismissed a suit against Martinsburg police who were accused of "violating a man's civil rights" by using a Taser to subdue him. In his dismissal, the judge found that officers had used "reasonable force" in subduing the plaintiff during a May 2011 arrest.
Wire Report, The Charleston Gazette 01/09/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wal-Mart to be Defendant in Wage Lawsuit

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A federal judge has ruled that retail giant Wal-Mart can be listed as a defendant in a class-action suit filed by temporary warehouse workers in the Inland Empire. The suit, which lists about 1,800 plaintiffs, accuses Wal-Mart, warehouse operator Schneider Logistics and two staffing agencies of failing to pay minimum wage or overtime. The judge ruled that despite the plaintiffs not being directly employed by Wal-Mart, the retail company is responsible for the actions of all its contractors.
Shan Li, LA Times 01/08/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Man Attacked in Hotel Restaurant Files Lawsuit

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A Chicago doctor has filed a lawsuit against a local restaurant in the Westin Hotel after he was "violently attacked and stabbed" by another man in the bathroom of the restaurant. The suit accuses hotel officials of negligence, saying they allowed "unauthorized persons to gain access to their hotel, restaurant and restroom facilities" without performing proper security checks. The suit also names the attacker as a defendant and is seeking unspecified damages.
Jennifer Delgado, Chicago Tribune 01/08/2013   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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