Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  April 24, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


Medicare Secondary Payer Act -- Guidelines and Forthcoming Enforcement in Personal Injury Cases


Trial by Human: Building and Presenting the Non-Economic Damages Case at Trial


Jury Selection in a Medical Malpractice Case


Everything You Need to Know to Second Chair at Trial


Med School for Lawyers: Spinal Injuries




TTLA Webinar TODAY: Effective Use of Social Media for Trial Lawyers

TTLA and Let America Know are hosting a FREE Spreecast on Thursday, April 24, starting at noon. Mitch Jackson, a successful California trial lawyer and social media champion, along with several special guests, will share their secrets with you in a LIVE interactive video experience. Click on the headline for more information and to RSVP.  



EDUCATE! Earn your CLE hours alongside your colleagues this summer in Austin at TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference: June 11th: The Jury Bias Model™ - From Car Wrecks to the Complex Case with Greg Cusimano & David Wenner. June 12th: Hot Topics with Charla Aldous, Todd Tracy, Clay Miller, Will Adams, Javier Herrera, Steve Davis and John Davis. June 12th: TTLA’s Annual Med Mal Seminar. Two days. Three great seminars. TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference. Click on the headline for more information and to register.  





Ala. Woman to Receive $15M in Whistleblower Suit

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An Alabama woman is expected to receive $15 million in the settlement of her whistleblower lawsuit against Amedisys Inc., a national home healthcare company and her former employer. The lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged that the plaintiff was fired from her job after reporting the company for violating the False Claims Act by submitting false home healthcare billings to Medicare for home health services. The settlement totals $150 million, $26 million of which is being split between the whistleblowers who filed the suit.
Kent Faulk, 04/23/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Seller of Cop-Killing Gun Settles Lawsuit

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A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit against a Mississippi pawnshop which sold a gun that killed an off-duty Chicago police officer. As a part of the settlement, the pawnshop owner has agreed "to alert authorities about customers who buy multiple handguns, beyond what is required by law." The lawsuit was filed by the family of the police officer and veteran who was shot and killed by a Chicago gang member in May 2010.
Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune 04/23/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Lawsuit Filed Over Calif. Powerhouse Fire

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A lawsuit has been filed against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power over last year's Powerhouse Fire in California which alleges that "the utility started the massive blaze and failed to properly maintain power lines and equipment." The lawsuit was filed by numerous individuals who suffered damage from the fire which destroyed dozens of homes and burned more than 30,000 acres. It is unclear what the lawsuit is seeking in terms of damages, but the lawsuit cites claims including personal injury, property damage, loss of cherished possessions, evacuation expenses and various forms of emotional distress.
David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes, LA Times 04/23/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Petco Faces Lawsuit Over Customer's Rat-Bite Fever

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A man from Portland, Maine has filed a lawsuit against Petco after a rat he bought from the pet supply store allegedly bit him and made him sick. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges that the plaintiff contracted rat-bite fever after he was bitten twice. According to the filing, the plaintiff was hospitalized for 35 days because of the illness which caused multiple spinal abscesses, painful inflammation of the joints, extreme debilitation and pain. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, including payment of $170,000 in medical bills and lost wages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs.
Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News 04/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Preliminary Settlement Reached in Iowa Bedbug Lawsuit

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A four-year class-action lawsuit over a bedbug infestation at two apartment buildings in Des Moines, Iowa has reached a preliminary $2.45 million settlement. In the settlement, each of the nearly 300 current and former residents could receive between $200 to $6,000. The lawsuit alleged that building managers were slow to react to the infestation and that the plaintiffs have been stigmatized because of the bedbug infestation. The building owners have made no admissions related to negligence in the preliminary settlement.
Christopher Pratt, DesMoines Register 04/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Towboat Owner Accuses Ship of Speeding in Lawsuit Over Crash

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Kirby Inland Marine owner of the towboat and barge struck and sunk by a Liberian bulk carrier last month in one of the biggest Texas oil spills in two decades alleges in a federal court filing that the Liberian vessel was speeding in Galveston Bay despite heavy fog, did not take evasive action and proved itself both "dangerous" and "unseaworthy." Kirby is seeking compensation from Sea Galaxy Marine, the owner of the bulk carrier, the M/V Summer Wind, for losses "in excess of $10 million" related to the cleanup and other costs. Kirby's filing came in response to a "limitation of liability" filed by Sea Galaxy, in which the Monrovia, Liberia-based owner claimed it bore no responsibility for the accident, a procedure often used in federal court cases by employers blamed for U.S. maritime accidents.
Lise Olsen, Houston Chronicle 04/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Jury Awards Wise County Couple $3M Drilling Lawsuit


A Wise County couple, Bob and Lisa Parr, who sued Plano-based Aruba Petroleum, claiming that natural gas operations near their 40-acre ranch made them sick, have won a $2.9 million award from a Dallas jury. The jury’s award included $275,000 in damages for lost property value; $2.4 million for past mental anguish, pain and suffering by the couple and their daughter; and $250,000 for future pain and suffering. The Parrs presented medical evidence that the family’s health issues began about the time Aruba drilled the wells in 2008. According to court records, the Parrs said they “have experienced almost continual sickness, annoyance, discomfort and inconvenience” because of the operations.
Jim Fuquay, Star Telegram  04/24/2014  Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

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More Victims Seek to Bar GM From Skirting Liability

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More accident victims are protesting General Motors' use of its 2009 bankruptcy sale to shield it from liability related to an ignition-switch defect, telling a judge GM should be "held accountable for its egregious wrongdoing." In a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, a group of people suing GM over the ignition-switch problem urged Judge Robert Gerber to bar the company from using its government-orchestrated sale as protection from lawsuits.
Joseph Checkler, Wall Street Journal - $$ Subscription Required 04/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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FDA Proposes First Regulations for E-Cigarettes


The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. While the proposal being issued Thursday won’t immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast-growing e-cigarette industry.
WIRE REPORTS, The Dallas Morning News  04/24/2014  Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

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Texas Supreme Court



PI, Med-Mal Lawyers Face Change in Medical Records Rule

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Starting this fall, personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys no longer will have to file boxes of their clients' confidential medical records with courts when they need to use the records as evidence in a trial. Instead, an amended evidentiary rule says that medical records would need "no extrinsic evidence of authenticity" to be admitted in court, as long as a certain form of affidavit accompanied the records and one party served the affidavit and records on his opposing party at least 30 days before admitting them at trial. The change comes after the Texas Supreme Court on April 14 amended Texas Rule of Evidence 902 to comply with a 2013 law. The court is accepting public comments about the change through July 1 and may make more changes before the rule is effective on Sept. 1.
Angela Morris, Texas Lawyer 04/24/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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