Texas Trial Lawyers Association

This service sponsored by Trialsmith

  May 16, 2014

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Upcoming Online CLE


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


Neuropsychological Diagnosis in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury





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.  


AFL-CIO Report: Death on the Job Report, May 2014

This is the 23rd year the AFL-CIO has produced a report on the state of safety and health protections for America’s workers. Click on the headline to access the report.  





EPA Tightens Decades-Old Refinery Pollution Rules

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New federal rules would force oil refiners to adopt more aggressive measures for reducing hazardous air pollution, including the first mandatory monitoring of their fence lines for cancer-causing benzene. The sweeping proposal introduces a requirement that refiners measure benzene levels at their perimeter and provide the information in real time to the public. The rules also call for limits on releases of the harmful chemical that drift over the fence line and into neighborhoods.
Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Dating Service Company to Face Class-Action Lawsuit

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Dating website It's Just Lunch is facing a class-action lawsuit by clients who allege the company defrauded them into paying for its services. The lawsuit alleges deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment by the dating service for single professionals who charged the plaintiffs $1,000 or more per person per year for services it did not deliver. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say a recent decision by a U.S. judge to allow the class-action lawsuit may attract tens of thousands of clients seeking to recover damages from the company.
Jonathan Stemple, Reuters 05/14/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Woman Burned By Liquid Nitrogen Drink Sues Miami Bar

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A woman from Miami Beach, Fla. has filed suit against the bar in which she ingested a cocktail laced with liquid nitrogen and had to be hospitalized. The 61-year-old woman sustained severe burns to her esophagus and stomach after taking a drink of the cocktail containing liquid nitrogen and had to be hospitalized for five days. According to the lawsuit, the bartender did not tell the plaintiff to let the nitrogen evaporate before consuming the cocktail. The lawsuit names as defendants Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Haven Hospitality Concepts and Kryogenifex, the company who supplied the liquid nitrogen for the event.
Beatrice Dupuy, Miami Herald 05/15/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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$40.5M Verdict Against Baker Botts Fades Quickly

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A Dallas jury ruled that Baker Botts acted negligently more than a decade ago when it represented two competing technology companies vying for similar patent protections but didn't disclose the potential conflict to its client. The jury set damages against Baker Botts at $40.5 million, which is about 8 percent of the Houston-based firm's reported revenue in 2013. But 30 seconds later the jury also found that Addison-based Axcess International waited at least one year too long to file its lawsuit against Baker Botts. And, as a result, the 700-lawyer firm likely will not have to pay a dime. Lawyers on both sides plan to appeal the mixed verdict.
Natalie Posgate, The Texas Lawbook, Houston Chronicle 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Fort Worth School District Sues Chesapeake Energy

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The Fort Worth school district has filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its former chief executive officer alleging that the company improperly deducted its own expenses from royalties owed to the school district and its taxpayers. Chesapeake has “potentially shorted the school district through all forms of gamesmanship,’’ said the attorney representing the school district in the lawsuit. “They try to mask what’s really going on here and it allows them to try to pass on costs to royalty owners.”
Yamil Berard, Star Telegram 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Victim Wants 'Affluenza' Doctor to Testify in Lawsuit Against Couch

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Attorneys for a boy injured by the teenage driver who killed four people in a drunken wreck want to hear from the psychologist who said the teen had “affluenza.” A Fort Worth judge is to hear arguments Friday from lawyers for Ethan Couch, the teenage driver, and Lucas McConnell, one of several people injured in last year’s wreck.
Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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FDA Lowers Starting Dose of Lunesta

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In its latest effort to make sure that the millions of Americans taking sleep medications don’t drowsily endanger themselves or others, the agency said it will require the manufacturer of the popular drug Lunesta to lower the recommended starting dose, after data showed that people might not be alert enough to drive the morning after taking the drug, even if they feel totally awake.
Brady Dennis,  05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon


GM to Pay Feds Record $35 Million Fine Over Deadly Ignition Fails

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GM has agreed to pay a record $35 million penalty for delays in reporting flaws in ignition switches that have led to at least 13 deaths, the Department of Transportation announced on Friday. Apart from the maximum civil penalty, the automaker has agreed to “unprecedented oversight” as a result of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into the recall of 2.5 million vehicles. The NHTSA administration said the fine is the “single highest civil penalty amount ever paid as a result of a NHTSA investigation of violations stemming from a recall.”
Matthew DeLuca, NBC 10 Philadelphia 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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Exclusive: Medical Markup

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This report is the result of a collaboration between The Dallas Morning News and ProPublica, a nonprofit national investigative reporting group. Reporters from both organizations analyzed Medicare billing data for payments made to individual health care providers in 2012. Federal health officials encouraged the media to study the newly released data for signs of potential fraud.
DANIEL LATHROP, CHARLES ORNSTEIN, RYANN GROCHOWSKI JONES, The Dallas Morning News 05/16/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

Read Article: The Dallas Morning News     ProPublica    


Wrongful Death



Lawsuit Filed Against Ala. Police Over Shooting of Unarmed Man

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A federal wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over the shooting of an Alabama man by an Alexander City police officer. The man from Dadeville, Ala. was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a police officer on March 8. According to the lawsuit, an employee from a local restaurant called the police after the victim got into an argument with one of the restaurant's employees. The lawsuit contends that the caller falsely told the police that the man had threatened to shoot someone or blow up the restaurant. The unarmed man was then found and shot to death by a police officer. The lawsuit alleges that constitutional rights were violated and seeks monetary damages for wrongful death.
Mike Cason, 05/15/2014   Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn Icon

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