Texas Trial Lawyers Association

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February 10, 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


UPDATED “ VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE! TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar | April 3-4 | Royal Sonesta, Houston

Coming April 2014: The Next BIG Pharmaceutical Seminar is Here! REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. Click the headline for detailed information on the 2nd Annual TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar or visit You wont want to miss this sell-out seminar with our lineup of in-demand topics, storied speakers and unparalleled insight. Think BIG. Think TTLA PMD. Follow us on Twitter @ttla_ #ttla2014pharma

Take a moment to watch a video message from Mike Guajardo, TTLA President.

Click on the headline to watch a video message from the 2014 TTLA President.


Roman Catholic Teacher Fired For In Vitro Fertilization

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A former Roman Catholic schoolteacher has filed a lawsuit after she was fired for using in vitro fertilization. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that her rights under the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated when the church, who shuns in vitro fertilization, fired her for using the procedure. She alleges that the church discriminated against her based on gender and on infertility, which is considered a disability. The lawsuit was filed against the northern Indiana diocese and the plaintiff claims that church documents concerning the in vitro procedure should not be presented to the jury.
Charles D. Wilson, Kansas City Star 02/06/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Filed Against Texas Bar for Overserving Man

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The parents of a Longview, Texas man have filed a lawsuit after their son died with a blood alcohol level six times the legal limit. The plaintiffs filed suit against the bar at which their son was served an excessive amount of alcohol before his death at a friend's house hours later. The lawsuit alleges that servers at the bar violated the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code by continuing to serve alcohol to the "obviously intoxicated" man. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages.
Sarah Thomas, Longview News-Journal 02/07/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Energy Company Settles with Family of Burned Kids

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CenterPoint Energy has settled a lawsuit filed by the Texas family of two children who were critically burned by a loose wire. As part of the settlement, the energy company has agreed to inspect all 220,000 of its guy-wire installations in the area surrounding Houston, Texas. The two children, ages 3 and 5, had to undergo multiple skin grafts and surgeries as a result of the severe burns they received when a loose guy wire contacted the utility pole's energized components and electrocuted them. The confidential settlement reached last month includes trusts for the children in undisclosed amounts.
Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle 02/08/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Mo. Woman Listed As "Deceased" in Bank Records

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A St. Louis woman has filed a lawsuit after her bank mistakenly listed her as deceased and allegedly refused to help fix the problem. The plaintiff alleges that the bank and a credit bureau have been uncooperative in helping resolve the issue, resulting in the plaintiff being unable to refinance her mortgage or obtain a credit card. The defendants repeatedly told the plaintiff that they would change her status from "deceased" but the issue was never resolved, causing the plaintiff other issues. The lawsuit was filed last Monday in federal court.
Wire Report, San Francisco Chronicle 02/09/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Exxon Trial Begins Over Air Pollution at Nation's 2nd Largest Oil Refinery

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A trial to determine whether Exxon Mobil Corp. broke federal air pollution laws at its sprawling Baytown refinery and chemical plant is set to begin in federal court in Houston on Monday. The case is the latest chapter in a years-long legal campaign by Texas environmental groups to clean up refineries and petrochemical plants along the Houston Ship Channel. n 2010, the Sierra Club and Environment Texas sued Exxon, claiming Baytown had broken its federal air permits. Using the companys own reports to regulators, the groups claimed that between 2005 and 2010 there had been thousands of accidental releases at the refinery. By their calculation, Baytown unlawfully emitted more than 8 million pounds of pollutants, including benzene and sulfur dioxide, into the atmosphere.
JAMES OSBORNE, The Dallas Morning News 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Toyota Nears $1 Billion Deal to End Probe

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Toyota Motor Corp. is close to a deal to pay more than $1 billion to end a U.S. criminal probe of how it disclosed drivers' complaints of unintended acceleration, according to people familiar with the matter. An agreement could come within weeks barring setbacks and would cap a four-year investigation by U.S. authorities. There are still a few sticking points in Toyota's negotiations with prosecutors, people familiar with the matter said, and the potential deal could fall apart. The amount of the potential settlement also could change.
Charles Levinson and Christopher M. Matthews , Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Girl Hit by SDG&E Truck Files Lawsuit

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The family of a 4-year-old girl who was struck by an SDG&E work truck has filed a lawsuit claiming the driver was talking on a cellphone when the crash occurred. Jaslene Arias was walking in the crosswalk on Cottonwood Street with another girl and the girls mother, Ana Herrera Rodriguez, when they were struck on Jan. 22. Rodriguez, 39, was killed, and both girls were injured.
Kristina Davis, San Diego Union Tribune 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Pelvic Mesh Lawsuit Set for Monday

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The latest lawsuit over the implantation of pelvic mesh, which is set for trial Monday is one of about 50,000 cases pending nationwide that have all been assigned to a federal judge in West Virginia. Women claim the mesh produced by multiple companies degrades and shrinks, requiring replacement and causing other medical problems. Monday will mark the first time Johnson & Johnson goes to trial over its Ethicon-produced TVT Retropubic and Gynecare Prolift pelvic meshes. More than 10,000 lawsuits have been filed against the company.
Kate White, The Gazette Online 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Baby Walkers Recalled Over Fall and Entrapment Hazards

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BebeLove has issued a recall on their baby walkers due to fall and entrapment hazards. According to the recall, the walkers have failed to meet safety standards. One style of the walkers does not prevent infants from falling if they reach the edge of a step. The other style of the recalled walkers has the potential to entrap a baby's head in an opening. The recall states that, "Babies using these walkers can be seriously injured or killed." The company has not received any reports of incidents. The walkers were sold between November 2011 and July 2013 at retail stores in California, Utah and Arizona and also online through and
Staff Report, PR Newswire 02/06/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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California Company Recalls Nearly 9 Million Pounds of Beef

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Rancho Feeding Corp. of California has recalled almost 9 million pounds of beef because œit processed diseased and unhealthy animals without a full federal inspection. Although no illnesses have been reported, this is the companys third recall of the year and includes a variety of products shipped to Texas, California, Florida and Illinois.
Staff Report, KVUE-TV 02/07/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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One Month After Toxic Spill, West Virginians Face Crisis of Confidence

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Weeks after health authorities had told West Virginians that their water was safe to drink again following a toxic spill, schools in Charleston sent students home abruptly last week when students and staff members detected the telltale licorice odor of the leaked chemical. Officials have repeatedly backtracked since lifting a tap-water ban about a week after the Jan. 9 spill, first advising pregnant women not to drink the water and then resuming the distribution of bottled water. The spill continues to arouse fear and outrage, and it threatens a political crisis in a state where lawmakers have long supported the coal and chemical industries.
TRIP GABRIEL, The New York Times 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Tests Show Different Arsenic Levels in NC Spill

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The nation's largest electricity provider, state regulators and an environmental group issued differing data Thursday about the levels of toxins detected in a North Carolina river following a massive spill of coal ash. Test results released by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Duke Energy showed arsenic and other potentially harmful contaminates were detected in the Dan River, but at levels considered safe for both people and fish. Water samples tested by a lab hired by the Waterkeeper Alliance contained levels of arsenic nearly nine times higher than the state's results, along with readings for other hazardous chemicals at levels far above state standards. Those samples were collected Tuesday just feet from where the toxic waste spewed into the river, the environmental group said.
MICHAEL BIESECKER, AP , Yahoo News 02/10/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Suit Over Boy's Ocean Death Settled

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A settlement has been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a teenage boy who died when he was swept out to sea in Hawaii in July 2012 during a hiking tour. The parents of the boy filed the lawsuit against Bold Earth Teen Adventures and Hawaii Pack and Paddle alleging that tour guides were negligent for leading teenagers to a dangerous area. The group was hiking near the Captain Cook monument at Kealakekua Bay when they stopped to swim in a tide pool and the boy was swept away. His body was never recovered.
Staff Report, 02/04/2014 Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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