AAJ: Delay in Provision Targeting Medicaid Clients
Message from Linda Lipsen, AAJ CEO "We have achieved a two-year delay on a provision included in the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) that was harmful to Medicaid plaintiffs. The provision would enable a state to claim all of a Medicaid client’s settlement or judgment." Click on the headline to learn more.
Study: TX Health Officials Were ‘Too Quick to Dismiss’ Cause of Flower Mound’s ‘Cancer Cluster’
Four years ago state health officials dismissed concerns that there was a “cancer cluster” in Flower Mound caused by a carcinogen released by natural-gas drilling sites. Rachael Rawlins, a lecturer in the UT School of Architecture, who issued a study last week that says increased occurrences of childhood lymphoma are quite possibly the result of hydraulic fracturing and the release of benzene after all. The news caught Flower Mound officials by surprise. Rawlins’ study, which calls for better air monitoring in the Barnett Shale, appears in the new Virginia Environmental Law Journal. And immediately after its release, UT issued a press release that says the state “was too quick to dismiss the possibility of an association with toxic emissions.
Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Morning News 04/01/2014
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Lawsuit Over Boy's Escalator Death Settled
A settlement has been reached between the family of a 4-year-old Massachusetts boy who was killed in an escalator accident and the mall owners whom they filed suit against. The accident occurred three years ago when the boy fell through a gap by the escalator and fell 18 feet onto a display case. The boy's family claimed the mall was negligent in the boy's death. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Shaun Sutner, Worchester Telegram & Gazette 04/01/2014
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Judge Allows Sex Abuse Claims in Bankruptcy Hearing
A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit alleging sex abuse in a Catholic school in Helena, Mont. can proceed in court. The judge said he would allow nearly one hundred people to pursue sex abuse claims during a bankruptcy case involving an order of nuns from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena. Nearly 400 people filed two lawsuits alleging sexual abuse at the school dating from the 1940s to 1970s. The diocese has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a settlement with a majority of the plaintiffs.
Matt Volz, Missoulian 04/01/2014
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Bastrop Utility Settles Dozens of Lawsuits Related to 2011 Fires
Bastrop-based Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative has settled more than 60 lawsuits filed by insurance companies and individual members as a result of the 2011 Labor Day fires, according to court documents. The nonprofit electric utility had been accused of gross negligence in the most destructive fire in Texas history, which consumed nearly 34,000 acres, destroyed 1,700 homes and left two people dead. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Claudia Grisales, Austin American Statesman 04/01/2014
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Texas Children's Lawsuit on Medicaid Reimbursement Rejected
A state judge has rejected a Texas Children's Hospital lawsuit over a state health agency's interpretation of Medicaid reimbursement changes. The suit, filed in August, involves the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deducting from hospitals' reimbursement the difference between the amount paid out by private insurance for patients eligible for Medicaid and what CMS would have covered had it paid their bill. In an order signed Saturday and filed Monday, Travis County district judge Tim Sulak denied the Texas Children's motion against the state's Health and Human Services Commission, which is implementing the changes even as it appeals them to the federal government.
Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle 04/01/2014
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TWIA Sued for Charging Policyholders for Hurricane Ike Damage
Ramiro Gamboa of Corpus Christi is suing TWIA, for hundreds of millions of dollars because, according to the lawsuit, it improperly passed on costs to its policyholders, like him. Hurricane Ike caused more than $2.5B in damage, more than TWIA had in reserves, leaving it short by $600M. The lawsuit claims that instead of getting the money from insurance companies that write policies in Texas through a process called an assessment TWIA made up the difference by charging more to its policyholders.
Tim Eaton, Austin American Statesman 04/01/2014
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