Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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  January 31, 2014

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The Ethics of Medicare Secondary Payer: How Present Practices Pose Practical Problems for Plaintiff Practitioners


Dealing with Protective Orders – Another View


New Strategies for Hospital Acquired Infections


From First Consult to Complaint: Basic Tips for Representing a Client With a Sexual Harassment Claim


Social Media: Identifying the Ethical Pitfalls of the Communications Revolution




TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar | April 3-4 | Royal Sonesta, Houston

In April 2014, something BIG is coming to TTLA! Planning is underway, and the 2nd Annual TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar will be bigger and better than ever. You won’t want to miss this sell-out seminar with its lineup of in-demand topics, storied speakers and unparalleled insight. Watch your e-mail for more information coming soon and save the date: April 3-4 in Houston. Think BIG. Think TTLA PMD.  





Family Settles with Pa. Med Center for $400K

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A $400,000 settlement has been reached between a Pennsylvania family and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey. The lawsuit was filed by the family of a man who was left paralyzed after an auto accident. The lawsuit alleged that "he was not properly diagnosed or treated for a spinal cord injury when he was brought to the center after the November 2006 accident." He died later from cardiac arrest. The settlement came without any admission of liability by the hospital.
Matt Miller, 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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$3.15M Settlement Reached in Chicago Sexual Abuse Suit

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A $3.15 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George by a sexual abuse victim. The lawsuit alleged that a former reverend, who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault in 2007, sexually abused the plaintiff beginning when he was in the 8th grade. It also accused the Archdiocese of failing to remove the former reverend and giving him access to children after reports of sexual abuse.
Deanese Williams Harris, Chicago Tribune 01/30/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Federal suit: Baylor Failed to Stop Cocaine-Using Surgeon from harming patients

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A federal lawsuit is accusing Baylor Health Care System of failing to properly monitor or investigate a Plano neurosurgeon – recently barred from practicing in Texas – despite repeated warnings about his “drug problem†and “lack of competence.†Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano didn’t seek Dr. Christopher Duntsch’s resignation amid months of botched spinal treatments until one of his patients died in March 2012, according to the suit. The malpractice case was brought by Kenneth Fennell of Denton County. He claims Duntsch harmed him and several other patients over a nine-month stretch beginning in July 2011. The lawsuit portrays Baylor as embracing Duntsch for “the enormous profits it hoped to reap.†The health system recruited him, helped establish his practice at a spine institute with a $600,000 advance and tens of thousands of dollars in perks. Baylor also marketed and promoted his practice to the public, encouraging other doctors to refer patients to him.
Miles Moffeit (blog), The Dallas Morning News 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Judge Dismisses Suit Accusing Yeshiva University of Hiding Abuse

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A federal lawsuit accusing Yeshiva University of covering up the sexual abuse of dozens of high school students has been thrown out by the judge hearing the case. The lawsuit sought to hold the school, former administrators and former trustees accountable for hundreds of acts of abuse by two rabbis and an alumnus during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. But the judge, John G. Koeltl of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled on Thursday that it could not proceed because too many years had elapsed since the abuses took place.
ARIEL KAMINER, The New York Times 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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7th Circuit Pokes a Hole in Prosecutorial Immunity

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A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit just issued an opinion on absolute immunity, the policy that makes it impossible to sue prosecutors who engage in misconduct, even when that misconduct results in a wrongful conviction.
Radley Balkob (blog), The Washington Post 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Woman Accuses Texas Police Officer of Rape in Lawsuit

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A lawsuit has been filed against a San Antonio, Texas police officer by a 19-year-old woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her inside his patrol car. The lawsuit alleges that the police officer should have been fired after he was caught having a relationship with a high school student. The police officer was suspended for three days. About 70 days after his suspension, he allegedly raped the 19-year-old woman in the back of his patrol car. The $10 million dollar lawsuit names the police officer, the city and the police chief.
Staff Report, Fox 29 San Antonio 01/30/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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2 W.Va. Agencies Join Lawsuit Against Drug Company

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Two West Virginia agencies are joining a lawsuit against an Ohio drug company, alleging its negligent practices have helped fuel the state's pain pill abuse epidemic. The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety recently signed on as plaintiffs in the attorney general's lawsuit against Cardinal Health. The lawsuit alleges that the Columbus, Ohio-based drug company helped fuel Southern West Virginia's problem with prescription drug abuse by shipping excessive numbers of pain pills to the region.
Associated Press, Yahoo News 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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$2.25M Settlement Reached in Brain Damage Lawsuit

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A settlement of $2.25 million has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of an Ohio man who suffered brain damage when police used a Taser on him while he was atop an 8-foot fence. The unarmed man was being chased by police when he was hit by an officer's Taser gun. The man suffered brain damage after falling from the fence and landing head-first onto the concrete below.
Amanda Lee Myers, The News-Herald 01/29/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Group: Toxic Chemical Releases Going Unreported

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In the middle of a massive U.S. oil and gas boom, the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project says the release of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals is going unreported in Texas and other states.The group looked at a handful of the busiest states for oil and gas production: Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. It found 395 oil and gas facilities that each emitted more than 10,000 pounds of at least one toxic chemical in a year — the threshold at which many other industries must report to the Toxic Release Inventory. It used information from state agencies to determine emissions. Texas had the most sites with toxic emissions in excess of 10,000 pounds — 209.
Jennifer Hiller, San Antonio Express News 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Fire Department Bolstered as Boom Presents Hazards

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New drilling technology has thrust La Salle County, which sits atop the oil-rich Eagle Ford Shale, into the center of an energy boom, bringing extensive growth and a new set of hazards — including a sharp increase in traffic accidents. LaSalle County firefighters now answer hundreds of 911 calls a year, about 90 percent of which are related to oil and gas development. Local officials are hiring professionals to bolster the county’s fire department, providing relief to the handful of volunteers who struggle to meet increased demands.
Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Restrooms or Wetlands: How Should Texas Spend BP Spill Money?

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Bad as the BP Deepwater Horizon spill was with its oil tainting miles of Texas beaches (36 miles to be exact, according to the state), there is now restoration money floating into Texas. As part of an agreement reached in 2011 for “early oil spill restoration,†BP is paying Texas and four other Gulf Coast states a total of $1 billion. Texas’s portion is $100 million. But in Texas, there is disagreement over what deserves the most immediate attention, a debate that goes something like this: Restrooms v. Wetlands.
Dave Fehling, StateImpact Texas, Texas Tribune 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Redberg & Smith-Bindman: We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer

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The use of medical imaging with high-dose radiation — CT scans in particular — has soared in the last 20 years. Our resulting exposure to medical radiation has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. The relationship between radiation and the development of cancer is well understood: A single CT scan exposes a patient to the amount of radiation that epidemiologic evidence shows can be cancer-causing.
RITA F. REDBERG and REBECCA SMITH-BINDMAN, The New York Times 01/31/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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