Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  May 12, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


Everything You Need to Know to Second Chair at Trial


Electronic Medical Records: More to Discover in Discovery


Med School for Lawyers: Spinal Injuries


How to Use Social Media in Your Case


How to be Successful At Obtaining and Maximizing Non-Economic Damages


Medicare Set Asides in General Liability and Medical Malpractice Cases


Da Vinci Robot Litigation




The 2013 Making a Difference Recipient Dustin Strelsky

The 2013 Making a Difference Recipient Dustin Strelsky, who in 2013 who was involved in efforts to reform the subrogation process, competed on Saturday in the first ever boys' wheelchair track events at the UIL State Track & Field meet in Austin. Dustin won both the the boys' 100 and 400. Congratulations!! Click on the headline to learn more about Dustin's journey.  



COLLABORATE! Join TTLA President Mike Guajardo at TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference in Austin, June 11-13. ALL MEMBERS are invited and encouraged to attend a very important meeting of our Board of Directors Meeting on June 12th. In addition, the CLE Committee has once again planned three dynamic programs. We’ll start things off with The Jury Bias Model™ - From Car Wrecks to the Complex Case presented by Greg Cusimano and David Wenner on June 11th, followed by a ½-day CLE on June 12th with some of TTLA’s brightest stars sharing their best tips. The conference will wrap up with our Annual Med Mal program with all the latest updates and insights, before closing with an evening of Magic and Music. Click here to see all we have planned for you! Two days. Three great seminars. TTLA’s 2014 Annual Conference. Click on the headline for more information and to register.  





Lawsuits Against Dallas Police Costing Millions

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Since 2011, the Dallas City Council has approved 10 six-figure settlements or verdicts for lawsuits against the police department, according to city records. Those payouts have added up to about $6 million. Two things are certain: Video is increasingly playing a major role in the cases, and the city has had to pay out money frequently and in some of the biggest sums since the fake drugs episode in the early and mid-2000s. That scandal rocked the department and led to millions of dollars in lawsuit payments, demotions, firings and even criminal charges. In the past six months alone, three cases — two settlements and a jury verdict — have led to the city paying out more than $1 million each.
TRISTAN HALLMAN, The Dallas Morning News 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Fed Govt Failed to Inspect Higher Risk Oil Wells

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The government has failed to inspect thousands of oil and gas wells it considers potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental damage, congressional investigators say. The report, obtained by The Associated Press before its public release, highlights substantial gaps in oversight by the agency that manages oil and gas development on federal and Indian lands.
HOPE YEN, The Associated Press , Austin American Statesman 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Largely Invisible Tank Cleaning Industry Awash in Risk

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If rivers, rails and roads are the arteries of America's surging petrochemicals industry, tank and barge cleaners are its kidneys, purifying containers so they can return to refineries and to energy and chemical companies across the nation to be refilled. But government health and safety experts don't know much about these cleaners, how many there are or where they're located, a Houston Chronicle investigation has found. OSHA does not even know how many tank cleaning establishments it has inspected, in part because no standard industry code is used by the U.S. Department of Labor for tracking and inspecting them.
Ingrid Lobet, Houston Chronicle 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Another Lawsuit Filed Over Asiana Airlines Flight Death on Runway

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A firefighter from San Francisco has filed a lawsuit alleging she was falsely accused of running over and killing a young girl who survived the Asiana Airlines crash last year. The plaintiff, an African-American lesbian, alleges that she was made the scapegoat for the accident because she did not fit in with the "fraternal" work environment. She alleges that the girl had already been run over and killed by another vehicle and covered up by a blanket when she ran over the girl's body. The lawsuit seeks $300,000 in damages.
Nicole Hensley, New York Daily News 05/10/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Boating Death Lawsuit Names Fla. Radio Personality

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The mother of a young man who was killed during a boating accident in Florida has filed a lawsuit against the radio personality who was at the helm of the boat at the time of the accident. According to the lawsuit, the boat became stuck on a sandbar and when the young man tried to help, he was fatally hit by the boat's propellers. The lawsuit contends that the radio personality "recklessly engaged the throttle of the engines," leading to the man's death. The lawsuit also names the vodka that sponsored the boat party as a defendant.
Beatrice Dupuy, Miami Herald 05/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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$3.5M Settlement of Lawsuit Over "Barefoot" Shoes

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A $3.5 million settlement has been reached in the class-action lawsuit filed against Vibram USA, the manufacturers of FiveFingers shoes. The lawsuit alleged that the company misled customers as to the health benefits of its "barefoot-style" shoes with "marketing claims that its shoes could strengthen feet and prevent running-related injuries better than traditional running shoes." Customers who submit claims could receive $20-$50 with the rest of the money going to the American Heart Association. Despite the settlement, the company continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Lindsay Deutsch, USA Today 05/09/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Last of Lawsuits Over A&M Bonfire Collapse is Settled

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Nearly 15 years after the deadly bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University, litigation surrounding the accident that killed 12 students and injured several others has come to an end. In April, the final defendants, Zachry Construction Corp. and Scott-Macon Equipment reached settlements in a lawsuit filed by the parents of four students who were killed and three injured survivors. The settlement amount is being kept confidential at the request of Zachry Construction, but Scott-Macon agreed to pay $171,147, Keith said. The two companies provided cranes and crane operators for the construction of the bonfire.
Sandra Baker, Star Telegram 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Supreme Court Slashes Texas Disposal’s Libel Award

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The Texas Supreme Court on Friday substantially reduced a $7.1 million libel award to Travis County-based Texas Disposal Systems in a long-running legal dispute with a competing garbage hauler. The unanimous court affirmed that Waste Management of Texas, a Houston trash-hauling business, knowingly published false information that damaged Texas Disposal’s reputation during a heated contract fight for Austin’s and San Antonio’s garbage in 1997. But the court tossed out $5 million of the award, saying Texas Disposal did not prove it lost that much money as a result of the false information. In light of that reduction, the justices also ordered a lower court to recalculate an award of exemplary damages from the original $1.65 million to a presumably lower number.
Chuck Lindell, Austin American Statesman 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Recalled Used Cars Roam the Roads as Federal Legislation Stalls

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The United States does not have a law requiring the repair of used vehicles — including rental cars — that have been recalled for safety issues before they are rented or sold to the public. Used-car dealers and rental car companies are allowed to fix problems when — and if — they see fit. And they are not required by law to disclose to customers that a vehicle is the subject of a recall.
RACHEL ABRAMS and CHRISTOPHER JENSEN, The New York Times 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Remington Rifles Recalled for Possible Problems with Trigger

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In April the Remington Arms Co. issued a nationwide recall of its Model 700 and Model Seven rifles equipped with the X-Mark Pro trigger saying that some may have “excess bonding agent” that could cause the rifles to accidentally fire. The recall applies to all of the rifles that were manufactured between May 1, 2006, and April 9, 2014.
Brett French, Billings Gazette 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Doctors Scrutinized for Potential Conflicts of Interest

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More than 100 Texas doctors were paid a total of $1.5 million in 2012 consulting and speaking fees by drug companies that also gave them funding to conduct clinical trials, compensation experts fear could influence research findings. The practice has come under much national scrutiny in recent years, particularly following whistleblower lawsuits accusing drug companies of improperly marketing their drugs and giving kickbacks to doctors. A new ProPublica database covers 15 companies already disclosing such payments is the first to demonstrate the extent of the practice. According to an analysis based on the nine companies that most fully reported data, 10 percent of researchers whose research was funded by drug companies also received money for speaking or consulting, or both.
Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Malpractice Suit Over Misdiagnosis and Death of Va. Teen

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A malpractice lawsuit has been filed by a Virginia family against the two doctors who misdiagnosed their son with ADHD. The young man committed suicide two years ago and the lawsuit filed by his parents alleges that the doctors misdiagnosed him. The lawsuit contends that the doctors "failed to monitor him, prescribed inappropriate medications, failed to wean him off those drugs, and did not communicate with each other to flag his addiction." The parents of the boy are seeking $2 million in damages.
Elizabeth Simpson, Virginian Pilot 05/12/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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