Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored exclusively by Trialsmith

  February 19, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


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


The Power of Words


Jury Bias: Teaching Lawyers How to Battle the Misperceptions of Tort Deform


Persuasion in the 21st Century



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

In April 2014, we prove EVERYTHING is BIGGER in Texas (even our seminars). Click the headline to see the unprecedented lineup of speakers coming to the 2nd Annual TTLA Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Seminar. You won’t 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  


CPI Investgation: Big Oil, Bad Air: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas

Center for Public Integrity Release: “The Big Oil, Bad Air: Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas investigation was produced through a first-ever collaboration among the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News, and The Weather Channel. Deep in the heart of South Texas, oil and gas wells and related industrial facilities are sprouting at an unprecedented rate, making the Eagle Ford Shale one of the biggest energy booms in America, if not the world. But the boom could be a bust for local residents who fear for their health. Big Oil, Bad Air is a package of in-depth articles and an online documentary revealing a regulatory system that does more to protect the industry than the public.” Click on the headline to learn more.  





Oakland, Calif. to Pay $2M Settlement in Crash Suit

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The city of Oakland, California has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who was hit by a city public works van. Several people were injured in September 2012, when a city van driver ran a red light, sending an SUV into the front of a nail salon, and striking two pedestrians. The plaintiff suffered rib fractures, spleen lacerations and other injuries as a result of the crash. The other pedestrian injured in the accident has also filed a lawsuit against the city.
Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle 02/18/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

Read Article: San Francisco Chronicle    


Ark Families Sue Oil-and-Gas Operators Over Earthquakes

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Fourteen families in central Arkansas have filed a lawsuit in connection with a series of earthquakes that prompted the state in 2011 to ban the use of four injection wells in a large area mostly north of Conway. The lawsuit against Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Operating and BHP Billiton Petroleum of Australia alleges that their natural gas disposal wells resulted in thousands of earthquakes in Arkansas in 2010 and 2011, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The lawsuit contends that the disposal wells, which get rid of drilling fluids and wastewater by pushing the liquids back into the earth at high pressure, “caused thousands of earthquakes in mini-clusters and swarms in central Arkansas in 2010 and 2011.”
Associated Press, Star Telegram 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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CA: Church to Pay $13 Million in Abuse Cases

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The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay $13 million to 17 people who say they were sexually abused by clergy members. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said Tuesday that the diocese moved to settle 11 cases involving a visiting Mexican priest named Nicolas Aguilar Rivera rather than go to trial. He fled to Mexico in 1988. The settlement also involves six other lawsuits involving four other clergymen.
Associated Press, The New York Times 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

Read Article: The New York Times    


US Judge Rules for Company in W.Va. Mesh Lawsuit

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A federal judge has ruled in favor of a manufacturer in a lawsuit brought by a Texas woman who claimed her pelvic pain was caused by implanted surgical mesh. U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin on Tuesday dismissed Carolyn Lewis' lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon in the middle of a jury trial that began Feb. 10. The 2012 lawsuit alleged that the pelvic mesh has high rates of failure and can shrink, degrade or break off in the body.
Associated Press, Yahoo News 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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GM Knew of Cobalt Ignition Problem


General Motors knew in 2004, a decade before it issued a recall, that its Chevrolet Cobalt had an ignition switch that could inadvertently shut off the engine while driving, according to depositions in a civil lawsuit against GM. The stall also would cut off the driver's power steering and brakes, as well as safety systems such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. At least one GM engineer had the problem while testing the new car, which went on sale in 2004 as a 2005 model, say documents obtained by USA TODAY from the lawsuit over a crash that killed pediatric nurse Brooke Melton. She died in 2010, on her 29th birthday, in the Cobalt she bought new in 2005.
James R. Healey and Fred Meier, USA Today  02/19/2014  Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

Read Article: USA Today    





Toxins Leaking From 2nd Pipe at NC Coal Ash Dump

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NC officials said that groundwater containing unsafe levels of arsenic apparently leaching from a Duke Energy coal ash dump is still pouring into the Dan River, which is already contaminated from a massive Feb. 2 spill. The state ordered Duke to stop the flow of contaminated water coming out a pipe that runs under a huge coal ash dump at its Eden power plant. A nearby pipe at the same dump collapsed without warning two weeks ago, coating the bottom of the Dan River with toxic ash as far as 70 miles downstream. State regulators expressed concern five days ago that the second pipe could fail, triggering a new spill. The water coming out of that pipe contains poisonous arsenic at 14 times the level considered safe for human contact, according to test results released by the state on Tuesday.
MICHAEL BIESECKER, AP, Yahoo News 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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A Month After Spill, W. Virginians Wary of Water

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More than a month after chemicals seeped into West Virginia's biggest water supply, Jeanette Maddox would rather bundle up, drive to a shopping center parking lot and fill jugs of water from the spigot of a tanker truck than trust the tap in her kitchen. For weeks, government officials have said the running water in nine counties is suitable for all daily needs. But Maddox, like many of the 300,000 residents whose water was contaminated Jan. 9, is not convinced. Residents have struggled to track, let alone trust, mixed messages and muddied information from government officials and Freedom Industries, the company involved. Despite public pressure, officials have been reluctant to call the water "safe" and have started arguing that the term is subjective. Instead, they use phrases such as "appropriate to use."
JONATHAN MATTISE and ALEX SANZ, AP, Yahoo News 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Train Accidents, Explosions Stir Worries About Oil Transports Through Major Cities

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At least 10 times since 2008, freight trains hauling oil across N. America have derailed and spilled significant quantities of crude, with most of the accidents touching off fires or catastrophic explosions. The derailments released almost 3M gallons of oil. And the deadliest wreck killed 47 people in the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Those findings, from an AP review of U.S. and Canadian accident records, underscore a lesser-known danger of America’s oil boom. Experts say recent efforts to improve the safety of oil shipments belie an unsettling fact: With increasing volumes of crude now moving by rail, it’s become impossible to send oil-hauling trains to refineries without passing major population centers, where more lives and property are at risk.
MATTHEW BROWN, AP, The Dallas Morning News 02/19/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

Read Article: The Dallas Morning News